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Running Wild - "The Brotherhood"
GUN / BMG Ariola 2002

Now we can really say that Running Wild are Rock'n'Rolf. The only human being that helped Rolf in playing new material was Peter Pichel on bass guitar. Production is in typical Running Wild fashion. That means again a lot of empty space between synthetic (!) drums and highly tuned guitars. I said synthetic drums. Rock'n'Rolf as a great cynic is giving his "thanks to Angelo for best drums ever" (Angelo Sasso is the name of Rolf's drum computer) in the booklet. Which computer can be better than live drumming from Jörg Michael, AC, Stefan Schwarzmann or Ian Finlay? "The Brotherhood" is because of that reason and of course without having a complete band, a great step backward for a band.
New release contains 10 tracks and is also available as a limited edition with two bonus tracks called "Powerride" and "Faceless".

First song called "Welcome To Hell" is a straight opener, without intro. But when I come in listening to chorus, I couldn't believe my ears. Is this "L.o.v.e. Machine" from W.A.S.P.? Hey guys, what are you doin'??????? "Soulstrippers" is also based on easy riffing and you can immediately digest this song too. Hey, yet another disappointment.
Third piece is called "The Brotherhood" and is revealing the truth (?) about "Order of the Illuminati" having our own destiny in their hands. This song begins with harpsichord intro. Wow, is J.S.Bach joining the band? A nice move. Except unexpressed chorus that kills the atmosphere of the whole song. Here we can hear great harmonic passages for the first time, a classical Running Wild specialty.
Well, songs like "Crossfire", "Detonator" and "Dr. Horror" are what I meant by being a bad copy of early eighties Judas Priest. "Unation" reminds us by its great backing vocals in chorus on golden age of Running Wild with their masterpiece "Blazon Stone".
Whole album contains three highlights. First is instrumental piece called "Siberian Winter". Great changing of melody and rhythm through entire song. At last classic Running Wild with a lot of picking on guitars, that's what I was looking for. The fastest song on album is called "Pirate Song". This song can be easily compared with "Conquistadores" from their masterpiece "Port Royal", with some speed of light. The third highlight is the last song, an epic story about T.E. Lawrence called "Ghosts". It includes everything we can ask from Running Wild (except synthetic drums of course). Here Rolf uses for the first time ever nice Arabian melodies in intro and outro of the song.

At the end, I would like to give my best wishes to Rolf in recovering his band as soon as possible. Please Rolf, get back to a band that once didn't use computer drums or was "a one man" band. I hope that "The Brotherhood" is only a short band's crisis, 'cause it's absolutely "Soulles" product.

Author:   Ale¹

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