By Dr. Abner Mality

This is more like it. Running Wild's "comeback" album "Shadowmaker" was tepid at best, with a few good moments flailing away in the midst of music that sounded tentative and at times, not very much like their other material. Rock N' Rolf seems to have realized this, because "Resilient" is nothing but pure Running Wild pirate metal in the vein of "Under Jolly Roger", "Port Royal" and "Pile of Skulls".

Some will say this is just a rehash of past glories. I can't totally disagree, because a lot of the material here is so firmly in the vein of those past albums I just mentioned, but goddammit, that's why I like "Resilient". You just get a warm fuzzy feeling from hearing classic Running Wild metal that gets your pulse racing and blood pumping. This is not intellectual or deep stuff. But with "Soldiers of Fortune", you know in the first 30 seconds, this album is going to kick ass. This one track is better than just about everything off "Shadowmaker" and Rolf has embraced his past with a whole heart. The album is ballad-free and has no pretensions to be more than it is. Truth is, "Desert Rose" and "Crystal Gold" are full of killer riffs and solos, with Rolf sounding like he's having a lot of fun. The sound is a cross between fast and epic sounding power metal with a more grinding, Accept-ish stomp. The title track, "Run Riot" and "Down To the Wire" are very simple, more rocky songs, but with more grit and fire than Running Wild's more commercial stuff.

For true swashbucklers, though, it's last cut "Blood Island" that's the real treasure. Following very much in the footsteps of songs like "Calico Jack" and "Ballad of William Kidd", this is a gloriously overboard slice of epic power metal. It's the kind of tune you could play while plundering and pillaging the Caribbean!

"Resilient" is a most appropriate title indeed for this release and it comes highly recommended to all fans of the Running Wild sound.