Crossing The Blades E.P.

Running Wild are a heavy, power metal band from Germany forming in 1979 releasing their first full length studio album in 1984. Running Wild set a standard for European power metal for the likes of Helloween, Gamma Ray and Primal Fear to follow. During the bands thirty year plus career, seventeen studio albums, as well as numerous live albums, E.P.'s and videos have been released. 'Rapid Foray', released in 2016, was the bands seventeenth studio album, with the E.P. 'Crossing The Blades' a 2019 release.    
Described as the German answer to Iron Maiden... Running Wild have always had a touch of the NWOBHM about their sound, the classic "foot on the monitor" gallop melded with their power metal roots. They have enjoyed nearly four decades at the front of the power metal genre, and with a new album scheduled for release in the summer of 2020, the band have released a four song E.P. containing a couple of surprises...    
...the first of which is the title song, which launches the E.P. This version of 'Crossing The Blades' will only be available here, the version that appears on the coming album is completely re-recorded with a number of little changes. Intriguing huh? This version then, still sounds like Running Wild, albeit less energetic and bombastic, and is a melodic mid tempo strut. Still plenty to get your head nodding and raise your fists in the air, but it's missing that punch that Running Wild have made themselves famous for. 'Stargazed' however, does have that bombastic punch, that dynamic riff and catchy rhythms. Add a chant style chorus and 'Stargazed' is a crowd pleaser, as am sure attendees of the Wacken Open Air festival of 2018 would agree, because Running Wild chose this event to premiere this song.    
The second surprise on the E.P. is the choice of cover song - 'Strutter' by American rockers Kiss, off the bands self titled debut album released in 1974. To many Running Wild fans it may be a surprise choice, but for fans of lead singer Rock 'N' Rolf Kasparek it should come as no surprise - Kiss were one of his first idols and the reason he founded his first band Granite Heart in 1976. This cover version remains true to the pace of the original, although it has been given the Running Wild treatment and sounds a bit more beefy. And talking of beefy, final song 'Ride On The Wild Side' has more beef than a herd of a thousand cattle. Energetic and bombastic in equal measures, 'Ride On The Wild Side' didn't actually make the shortlist for the new album! And if a song this good didn't make it, just imagine how good the songs are that did make it...anticipation is sky high.    
Overall, a short but exciting release that showcases a number of sides to Running Wild, that may just surprise a few.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
Other Reviews    

Rapid Foray      
"galloping rhythms, chugging guitars and a collection of songs that are just brilliant. Get set to head bang and raise your fists high in the air...this is a cracking ride" Read Review      

Diamonds & Pearls (single)      
"a high paced and highly melodic gallop of old school, traditional heavy metal, 'Diamonds & Pearls' is classic sounding Running Wild" Read Review      

Blood On Blood      
"classic sounding Running Wild, highly infectious, massively melodic, and a completely joyous listen, 'Blood On Blood' does not disappoint" Read Review