|Classic Review: Running Wild - Port Royal|
Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1988
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 28, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This was the fourth Running Wild full-length from waaaaaay back in 1988, only the second CD to bear the now-familiar pirate theme. Originally a more thrashy satanic band, with "Under Jolly Roger" RW grabbed the pirate thing and never looked back. Here they expanded and enlarged on the idea, getting good and set for ye long haule, matey.
It has been said if you've heard one Running Wild album you've heard them all, and I won't really disagree with that. Like fellow old-school stalwarts such as Saxon and Iron Maiden, Running Wild never vary their formula much. Every album will have some killer cuts and some filler cuts, this one is no different. We get the traditional "Intro" track, then The Big Opener "Port Royal" gets things moving in fine style. This is RW all the way folks: big riffs, big choruses, catchy hooks all over. "Raging Fire" is another great song, probably the best one here with a great pummeling chorus. "Into The Arena" is a bit dull, but then so is "Warchild". But with classic RW songs like "Mutiny", "Conquistadores" and the epic "Calico Jack" I'm not gonna nitpick about some filler. Even the instrumental "Final Gates" is really cool, despite being an atypical song for this band. The only gripe I have with this album is that the recording job sucks. Not the actual sound, but the fact that it is so frigging quiet. You have to really crank this album to even hear it, fortunately it's worth cranking. While not as good to my ears as later works like "Blazon Stone" or "Black Hand Inn", "Port Royal" is still a solid album from one of metal's longest-running and most reliable bands. Arrrrh!
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