Monday, March 12, 2018

Metal Mail: Rapid Fire Records

For some reason, I only recently decided to check out Running Wild.  The German power/speed metal band has been around for 40 years, yet I never took the plunge.  It was only a few months ago that I added Blazon Stone to my collection and loved it.  So I picked up this release which was the album that immediately preceded Blazon Stone and I love it even more.  Running Wild, along with Blind Guardian and Helloween, really helped usher in the European style of power metal.  This album is filled with terrific, pulse-pounding burners with infectious hooks and choruses. The middle tracks drag just a little bit, particularly with the instrumental "Highland Glory" and its oddly bouncy bass riff, but it picks right back up on "Marooned".  I was a little concerned when I saw the tile "Bad to the Bone" that Running Wild might be attempting an ill-advised cover, but this song is an original and quite catchy.  After two positive experiences, I will be checking out additional material by Running Wild.  There is a lot of stuff to go through yet.

Nuclear Assault is the band that really got me into crossover.  I had heard groups like Suicidal Tendencies and Prong, and even the Corrosion of Conformity stuff that was more crossover-oriented, but it was when I checked out "Critical Mass" again that I was really sold on the genre.  I loved the album that that song appeared on Handle with Care as well.  So, when I had an opportunity to add their debut album to my collection, I jumped on it.  I do not like this one quite as much as the aforementioned album though.  The band had not fully grown into their sound on this release.  It is more of a straight thrash metal album than the later release.  There are a lot of great songs on this album, but some of the tracks are clearly done to be humorous and end up falling a little flat.  There is nothing inherently wrong with doing humor in metal, but it does not always work, and this is one of those occasions.  The more serious tracks are definitely the standouts and keep the album interesting. 

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