This is the first Running Wild album I have listened to and I am very impressed. They are different, as I suspect many of you will have picked up, because of their subject matter in that they sing about pirates...a lot...but it's different from the normal power metal lyrics you get I guess.
Intro (0:50) Pretty standard power metal start to an album. A person with a wooden leg (pirate) is walking along, opens a door into a tavern or something, asks where he is - 'You wanna' know where you are? You're in Port Royal! Hahaha!'
Port Royal (4:12) It leads immediately into the title track with a really catchy riff played on single string and then the rest of the band comes in and the singer gives a proper pirate 'Yaaaaargh!!!' This song has a great chorus and you'll be humming it for while, along with many other songs on this album. A really good opener with a good solo. Definite 10/10
Raging Fire (3:28) The opening riff sounds a bit like a White Stripes song of all things (about the only thing on the album thankfully). I'm not quite sure what it is about this song but it doesn't quite have the sparkle of other songs on the album, and I'm not keen on the chorus of backing vocalists present in parts of the song, but still a reasonably good song. 7/10
Into The Arena (3:59) Starts with a piraty sounding riff before leading into a speedy verse. Again, it's just lacking a bit and it has that chorus of backing singers during the 'Into the Arena!" chorus. Good solo though and the we see one of the few times where the vocalists reaches a high note (even if it is for half a second). 7/10
Uaschitschun (4:53) I love this song. Another slow piraty riff with the rest of the band coming in, then we speed up with a bit of phaser (I think) on the guitar and into the verse which is quite simple and another great chorus. It's great to sing along to: "Free as an eagle, proud as a king". A cool couple of solos and I must say that the solos in general on this album are of a high quality. Oh! That chorus is just so catchy and another definite 10/10
Final Gates (3:00) A slight change of tack here in that this is an instrumental, which is based around quite a funky little bass line thast runs throught the song. There's the main riff - solo - main riff - another solo - main riff outro so I can see how some people would find this a bit repetitive because it is the same fill played for 3:00 but with a couple of solos over it but I like it so it's getting 8/10
Conquistadors (4:50) Another highly memorable track fromt the album. Starts with a slow bass line just for a change but then the drums strike up and tremolo picking guitars come in and we're right back up to speed! This song is having a bit of a go at the Spanish and Catholic Church, though Running Wild are not the most politically charged band so I don't think we can take it too seriously! The chorus on this is terrific and you've just got to love the 'Yaargh!' the vocalist gives again on this song. Great song 10/10
Blown To Kingdom Come (3:19) A bit more mid-tempo and plodding this song. The verse is okay but it gets a bit repetitive because they have about 4 verses in a row before going into the chorus and then fill before going out on a long chorus. Again I love the chorus 'Pay attention to history, look at all the things they've done! No remains there's nothing left, it's all blown to kingdom come!' 8/10
Warchild (3:01) This must be one of the quickest on the album, complete with double bass drumming and even what sounds like a blackpowder pistol being fired. Again it's really strange how they do all the verses, solo then go out on what sounds like the chorus... but still a fairly decent song 7/10
Mutiny (4:28) My least favourite song on the album and for literally the only time on the album the chorus isn't great. Nothing all that special about this song, though the solo does rescue something for the song. Hmm 6/10
Calico Jack (8:15) Longest song on the album by far. Starts with a softly plucked acoustic guitar (you could be in the times of piracy by the sounds of it) and then a distorted electric comes in playing the same riff. The start of the song is the best part and is great to nod (or bang) your head to. This song doesn't get repetitive and there are plenty of different riffs, fills etc to keep you interested. However, it does lay claim to one of the cheesiest moments in power metal in my opinion (along with the chorus of 'Emerald Sword' by Rhapsody). It goes into a breakdown and we hear a voice-over sentencing John Rackham (aka Calico Jack) to be hanged, drawn and quartered for piracy to which he replies "My last words? Ha ha! Who do you think you are? What right ave you to judge over my destiny? Take your pompous words and stick them where the sun don't shine! I swear we'll meet again! Bye!" It just sounds really silly! Anyway they're not supposed to be really serious and uber all it's a good song and I like the way it fades out with a little piraty chuckle. 8/10
So to conclude I would recommend that you defintely purchase this album if you're looking to get into Running Wild. It is my first and only purchase and I'm definitely getting more (don't worry I've listened to it many times and had it a couple of months so it wasn't a 'single listen quick let's write a review' job). I rather like the piraty theme and as you can see many of the songs are based around this and the guitar riffs and music in general suit this concept very well. A must have