Officially Running Wild died and were buried by vocalist, guitar player and mainman Rock `n Rolf Kasparek 3 years ago. Now the time seems to be right to emerge from the tomb and give their fans a new album. This one is entitled Shadowmaker and its cover artwork does not look like an RW album at all.
But it is not only the cover that does not work, it is also the music. Even after numerous plays I am still not sure what to think about it. On the one hand there is some light: `Piece of Action` (untypically happy), `Riding on the Tide` (typical pirate song) and `I am who I am` (fast song with a cool prechorus/chorus-change) are some of the better songs. On the other hand there is also shade: `Black Shadow`, `Sailing Fire` and `Into the Black` are nothing more than unnecessary. All the rest is somewhere in between. The best one of this average stuff is `Me + the Boys`, which is, however, again way tooooo happy and does not fit to RW at all (it fits more to Rolf´s side project Toxic Taste).
Similar to the songs, the sound, too is somewhat ‚difficult´. The rhythm guitars and the bass sound really heavy, the lead guitars are partially quite uninspired and the drums are really liveless (drum computer???). The vocals in contrast are quite good, especially some parts with multiple voices. Over all the sound is much too monotonous and one-sided. What about an accoustic guitar, some guitar effects, maybe a chorus or a flanger on the leads or a synthesizer part? All in all, Shadowmaker is disappointingly average.