May 27, 2020

Running Wild - The Brotherhood (Limited Edition) (2002)

*Contains 2 bonus tracks. 
12 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
.AAC 256 kbps via Mega (Link)

© 2002 GUN/BMG
Review by Mike for Metal
The pirates of metal have returned with their latest opus, The Brotherhood. Like its predecessor Victory, this album is not a “pedal to the metal” speedy effort, but instead features mostly mid paced songs full of catchy hooks and wonderful guitar work. The album does have its speedy moments, but don’t expect heart pounding double bass drums from beginning to end. Basically, if you are a fan like me that appreciates the earlier work of the band as well as the more recent “quieter” work, there is absolutely no reason at all not to get this CD!

As always, the rhythm section is tight and steady, providing a strong backbone for the overall sound. In the spots where the tempo is turned down, the thoughtful and more intricate song structure fills in the gap. The production is top notch as the guitars, vocals, and percussion are clear and one component of the sound is never overpowered by another. In particular, the percussion is very clear and crisp which can really be appreciated after listening to an album with “muddy” percussion. For me, “muddy” percussion can ruin an album, but that is far from the case here. Every drum hit and crash of the cymbal is crystal clear, even during the three most powerful tracks of the album, Pirate Song, Welcome To Hell, and Siberian Winter. The instrumental, Siberian Winter is very much a power packed cut, complete with time changes, furious riffs and guitar solos, as well as pounding drums clocking in at over six minutes. Unlike the instrumental track Highland Glory from the Death or Glory album which could only have been an instrumental, I really believe this track should have lyrics. Given the long length of the track, and there being only two other speedy cuts on the album, I think the album could have been enhanced by adding vocals to this track. This is a small complaint since this track is still a damn good, well executed instrumental. Throughout the album, I hear more shred work in the background in comparison to previous albums which makes things a bit more interesting. Such is the case for instance on the leadoff track Welcome to Hell and the more melodic cut Crossfire. Crossfire also has one of the most memorable hooks I’ve heard from the band in recent years. Almost worth the purchase of this CD on its own is the ten minute long epic, The Ghosts. Complete with intricate guitar work, time and key changes, and the unique “piracy” atmosphere the band has delivered time and time again, The Ghosts is a standout track that doesn’t become boring or repetitive in the least despite its length. This track is a model for the more complex songwriting Rolf has developed in recent years as well as the talented musicians Rolf has surrounded himself with. After hearing this track (last of the album), I am craving more. I eagerly await to hear the standard release of this album which contains an additional two tracks!

What we have here is yet another classic to add to the Running Wild discography. This album took me an extra listen or two to fully appreciate compared to Victory. But, once you give this album a few spins, it will forever imprint itself within you as do most other Running Wild albums. Not a weak song on the entire disc, and in this case I believe the band truly did “save the best for last” with The Ghosts, which is simply brilliant. Excellent job guys, hopefully many albums more to come in the future!

tags: running wild, the brotherhood, limited edition, 2002, flac,


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