I’ve been listening to RUNNING WILD for a long time now and have enjoyed (to some extent) everything that the band has put out under that name. I even thought that the highly criticized “The Brotherhood” had some great moments. So it hurts me to even admit that the band’s 2005 album, “Rogues En Vogue” is a pretty significant disappointment.
For those of you that have been following the career of the cult-like RUNNING WILD know that in the last few albums the band has been on a steady downward slope culminating into many of the elements that make “Rogues En Vogue” the lack luster effort it is.
A good portion of this album suffers from a band that sounds far too tired to pull off the energetic Pirate themed Power Metal they used to play. Although there are a few songs of descent quality, most of this album sounds like a collection of modern B-sides that didn’t make the cut for other albums. And most of this filler runs together like watered down paint in a mid tempo water fight. The songs aren’t particularly bad but compared to the likes of what the band has produced before its definitely weaker all around.
The overall reason that this album was such a let down is the really shoddy production values for it. The music on the album is pretty lackluster but it’s the production that really takes what was good and just stomps it into dust. The guitar tones sound like you are listening to them through concrete walls (with exception for some of the soloing which is still pretty lackluster in writing) and the echo effect that Rolf has on his vocals starts off interesting but quickly falls into annoying. Couple the weak production of these items with a completely-void-of-all-feeling drum performance from our main man, the drum machine, and even the performances tend to be as mediocre as the writing.
Maybe I just wanted RUNNING WILD to destroy this album by learning from the mistakes made on “The Brotherhood”, or maybe I just miss the RUNNING WILD of old, but “Rogues En Vogue” misses on far too many levels. Now I just want the band to learn from this one and recoup with a massive comeback album that is going to get them noticed in the United States. A man can dream you know.
Songs to check out: “Draw The Line”, “Skulls And Bones”, and “Rogues En Vogue”.
(Online September 24, 2009)