Well, Running Wild is back! It wasn't that long ago we were reading about them calling it a day and sailing off into the proverbial sunset. Apparently they have changed their mind. Listening to SHADOWMAKER, maybe they shouldn't have reconsidered retirement.
To be fair here, that's a bit misleading. SHADOWMAKER is, pretty much, a middle of the road album that is as average as steamed rice served with a gourmet dinner. The hardcore fans that have loved everything from "Victims Of States Power" to "The Fall Of Dorkas" will probably like this. People that never got these pirate metallers will continue to not care. As a fan in passing of some of their material, I can say honestly that I'll probably never encounter this release again, but wouldn't turn off a song or two if they came on my Ipod shuffle. In short, SHADOWMAKER is pretty much standard fare for these feisty Germans.
Well, this is a first for me - a band reaching out and asking me to review their new music by listening to it on Spotify. I guess that's an OK strategy, although if I really liked the material this would not be acceptable to have to burn up my 3G bandwidth that AT&T robs me for using. Still, I'm in front of the computer most of the time, so why not give this a listen.
For those that don't know, Scalp is a project who's mere mention probably put Andrew McNeice of MelodicRock.com into convulsions! This is an AOR supergroup of sorts - featuring members of acts like W.E.T., Insania, Eclipse, Baltimoore and Sabaton). Unfortunately for Scalp, the amalgamation of a lot of talent doesn't always translate into a great project. SCALP is a pretty sub-standard AOR rocker that suffers from somewhat murky production as well as fairly drab material.
This almost never happens. It almost never happens that a band of some notoriety finds a way to come all the way back from the dead and be better than ever. That's exactly what has happened here. For all intents and purposes, Accept was dead. Udo Dirkschneider started an Accept clone band called U.D.O., and the remaining guys were doing nothing. For many, Accept was over. Somehow though, they brought in the surprisingly awesome Mark Tornillo from TT Quick, and came roaring back with BLOOD OF THE NATIONS. To say they stunned the world would be an understatement, as I think even the most staunch believers didn't come close to imagining that release being very good. That said though, the band's follow-up STALINGRAD could actually be more important for them. Would it live up to the last album, or was NATIONS just a fluke?
I get why some bands regroup and take another stab at recording and touring. I really do. For a lot of them, it's all about making some money and reliving old memories of past glory. For some though, I just shake my head and wonder why. Mekong Delta is one such band. Just being honest here, but has there ever been more than fleeting interest in this band? Ever? Being truthful, I don't know that a lot of people have ever considered them even to be a b level band in the thrash metal game. Their fusion of prog and thrash has always been a miss with most fans of both genres. Yet, they keep plugging onward, although now with the only original member being the bass player.
ROCK AND ROLL RIDE
I have to admit it – I’m pretty much a fan of whatever Jack Blades does. I loved Night Ranger back in the day (and as recently as their last album SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA). I couldn’t get enough of his band Damn Yankees. I even love his stuff with Shaw/Blades, specifically his covers album called INFLUENCE. Inadvertently, I was a big fan of the TMG album he did with Eric Martin as well. So, a solo record from Blades is more than welcomed on my desk.