Label: SPV/Steamhammer 2012
Review by Alan Holloway
I’ll be honest here - I don’t know much about Running Wild, except that they’ve been going since the late 70s and are credited as the first ‘Pirate’ metal band when they released “Under The Jolly Roger” in 1987. That’s sort of it, so I had no preconceptions as I spun this, their first album since they split in 2009.
“Sons Of Malice” actually starts of pretty well, if rather unoriginally. “Piece Of The Action” grows from a “Breaking The Law” type riff into a catchy old school metal track, and “Riding On The Tide” carries on the pace nicely. Standard bearer and original member Rolf Kasparek has a nice, traditional metal voice and does a good job here, with him and Peter Jordan providing some exciting guitarwork as well. They pick up the pace for “I Am Who I Am”, a fast track with a great headbanging backbeat, and to be honest by this point I was pretty impressed by the album. Nothing exactly new, but in a good way, if you see what I mean. From here on, it’s pretty much traditional, uninspired old school heavy metal, with touches of Accept (“Me & The Boys”) and any other chest beating 80’s band you want to mention.
Aside from the first three tracks, “Sons Of Malice” is like an album of out takes from early 80s metal albums. It’s not pirate metal in any way, and it’s not good enough for fans of traditional metal either. There’s a few spikes of interest (“Shadow Maker“, “Saving Fire“), but in the end this isn’t worth coming out of retirement for, and perhaps Running Wild should be put out to pasture.