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Branded and exiled Running WildCD

1 Review
Running Wild
Currently in stock
Parcel arrival:  estimated between Monday, 28/08/2017 & Monday, 04/09/2017

Product Details

GenrePower Metal
Media formatCD
Media PackagingDigipak
Available since 11.08.2017
Product code364398

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4 reviews

OK, nothing spectacular

Branded and Exiled was my introduction to Running Wild, having purchased it in an old hole-in-the-wall record store in my hometown long ago. This was on vinyl; I had the full sleeve notes and everything to read as I listened, a young teen marveling at this new phenomenon called heavy metal -- delighting in the shocked and horrified expressions on my parents' faces and living for the power onslaught coming from my speakers. I wanted it all, every last bit. Here was some unheard-of group from Germany -- the reference to Judas Priest in their title did not escape me -- and I wanted to hear what they could do. A few bucks later, I was checking out what was, in the final analysis, to be an album that launched a legendary band in its own right.

Like all of Running Wild’s classic works, “Branded and Exiled” is a smooth-flowing album that varies relatively little from track to track. There’s nothing remotely soft or resembling a ballad here, and Rolf’s main emphasis is definitely on the catchy riffs. Although the first half of the record is generally faster-paced and unrelenting, we do get more mid-paced material on the second half, as the rocking “Evil Spirit” contrasts quite sharply with the absolute speed metal ferociousness of “Fight the Oppression”. Both are great songs, and the latter really illustrates Rolf’s success at pumping up the Accept/Priest influence to a fresh level of heaviness, while “Marching to Die” keeps things more in classic heavy metal territory. The only track I’m not entirely fond of is “Chains and Leather”, which is a stompy anthem finishing off the album. While I don’t mind the idea of it, it’s just kind of boring and lacking the energy of the rest of the tracks. Another speed metal number would have been more fitting to close the record, as there’s just too much momentum built up throughout to end on such a restrained note. Not crap by any means, but not my idea of a killer album closer, either.

Generally speaking, “Branded and Exiled” features a couple of decent songs. It is solid but without any possibility to be mentioned in a list of metal classics. The unspectacular work of art has taken on patina over the years. The best thing about it is that Running Wild had not started their piracy rubbish so far.

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