There are two ways of reviewing every single release by Running Wild. The first one is to evaluate it without thinking of the band’s glory days. The second one is to go into the path of comparing –more or less- dissimilar things. The truth is that after the mid-90s, Running Wild follows slowly yet steadily a downward course and its popularity has been diminished to a few loyal, die hard fans. After all, I don’t think that there is anyone that believes that Running Wild’s albums after “Masquerade” has done justice to the outfit’s illustrious career.
Personally, I can’t really make out sonic differences (let alone songs) among such albums as “Victory”, “The Brotherhood”…even “The Rivalry”. Good records but more of the same really…
So, what about “Rapid Foray”? I dare to say that this is the best Running Wild album since the “Masquerade” days and I guess that says it all considering the overall respectable effort of its predecessor (“Resilient”, 2013). Rock N’ Rolf’s pirate ship sets sail once again to open seas and both lyrically and musically there are no vast differences to be found (not that we were searching for any…). There is a clear cinematic atmosphere where you find yourself aboard the ship and ready for yet another battle. The anthemic and typical Running Wild songs “Black Skies, Red Flag”, “Warmongers”, “Blood Moon Rising” and “Black Bart” lay the foundation which is enriched by “Stick To Your Guns” (Accept would be proud of it) and the Celtic-influenced “By The Blood In Your Heart”.
But the true pioneering tracks on the album are the brilliant instrumental “The Depth Of The Sea – Nautilus” (images of Captain Nemo, Ned Land and…gigantic squids come to mind) and the epic closing track “Last of the Mohicans”.
All in all, I’d say that “Rapid Foray” is probably the best Running Wild album since 1995 and personally they caught me off guard with this one! Only time will tell if it will remain a classic one…I sincerely hope so.
Highlight: It remains unknown who will accompany Rock N’ Rolf and Peter Jordan in possible live shows in the future.