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Running Wild - Death Or Glory (Reissue) Award winner

Running Wild
Death Or Glory (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 September 2017, 4:27 PM

One could never know the exact moment when the top is reached, or at least close to the peak. The end of a decade is coming to a close, and what a better way, right before entering the 90s, to set sail with a piece of music that is one hell of a mighty roar in the name of Heavy Metal. Like the last two RUNNING WILD albums, it didn’t take long for the definitive crew to gather themselves and their experience to create such a wonder. The new album titled “Death Or Glory” became a part of the band’s still under forge legacy in 1989, preserving the Pirate Metal sweet taste while further exploring the halls of history. As part of the double CD remastered expansion effort for the release, the later EP, “Wild Animal” joined the juggernaut along with reworked guitar tracks made in 2003. This is going to be quite a shindig of Teutonic Metal of the high seas and into history’s battlefield.

Unlike the instrumental masterful accomplishment that was revealed in “Port Royal”, the factors that made the impact on “Death Or Glory” were the sound production and the songwriting itself. Both the mixing and mastering were augmented, leaving in dust the previous processes made on the earlier album that caused it to sound rather thin. “Death Or Glory” on the other hand, sounded larger than life. The remastering of the release might have helped a bit, yet if you would listen to the original form of the album, you would notice that what I claimed isn’t farfetched. Heading forward to the songwriting, it unveiled as a compilation of a decade of amassed merits that consists of the added melodic orchestration, which was firstly introduced in “Port Royal”, actual canorous singing along with the gained expertise of composing heavily addictive power chords riffing. Possibly the only aspect that was left out was the immense touch of darkness that reigned over the first two albums, which isn’t a total loss due to the themes that the band has been infested with.

Going down straight to the battlefield, where blood flows instead of water. I usually don’t believe in perfection in music. It is almost impossible to achieve even when the artists is no less than a genius. However, when I listen to the epic “Battle of Waterloo”, it is one of those rare moments in life where there is the feeling of wholeness, like a picture of perfection. RUNNING WILD proved that they have what it takes to compose an historical chronicle, a song that is both thrilling, portraying a heaviness of a marching army, delivering the Teutonic fist with an impeccable rate. This song may as well be RUNNING WILD’s best epic to date. “Riding the Storm” is a dominator of the sea, a Speed Metal frenzy calling all the Metalheads to rejoice and take on the storm without fear. “Running Blood” breathes the harmonic intensity, yield a sonic chorus that may be near basic, yet with powerful lyrics and impressive vocal melody. “Bad to the Bone” and “Death Or Glory”, each in its own way, conveys the anthem driven specialty that the band has been implementing since their debut, songs that would entice an audience, strike a major blow to any unbelievers out there. I would suggest to take additional sessions with “Marooned”, “Renegade” and another of Jens Becker’s lead bass instrumentals, “Highland Glory (The Eternal Fight)”.

Enclosed on the second CD, there is a quality remastered version of the “Wild Animal” EP, which divulged itself as less melodic in overall than the band’s works in the last two albums, however, showed the heavier side of the coin. “Wild Animal” displays utter heaviness, and cracking 80s Metal fit chorus. Another version of the old early 80s demo “Chains and Leather”, which this time felt two times stronger in its influence, a well reserved anthem. Honors were made to the most famous German pirate, “Störtebeker”, with a memorable tune that should have been included in the “Death Or Glory” release. I wasn’t overly impressed with the newly recorded guitar of the two reworked versions as for some reason the channel wasn’t mixed good enough.

Throughout this double album’s booklet, it is the described how RUNNING WILD were able to get out of another camp crisis, readjusting the lineup to create this amazing beast. Malcolm Dome and Rolf Kasparek portrayed well what went on before and after the album was released.

Generally, one would argue or assume that “Death And Glory” is a kind of a best off release, a solid gold Heavy Metal example of the sharpest of forms. It is actually, an album that became one of the 500 best albums of all time in the Rock Hard magazine. Even so, maybe it was a carried away declaration. This is the relic’s version that shouldn’t be missed, a collector’s piece that should be cherished.

Purchase Link: BMG Music

4 Star Rating

1. Riding the Storm
2. Renegade
3. Evilution
4. Running Blood
5. Highland Glory (The Eternal Fight)
6. Marooned
7. Bad to the Bone
8. Tortuga Bay
9. Death or Glory
10. Battle of Waterloo
11. March On

CD 2
12. Wild Animal
13. Tear Down the Walls
14. Störtebeker
15. Chains and Leather
16. Riding the Storm (Reworked Guitar Version 2003)
17. Bad to the Bone (Reworked Guitar Version 2003)
Rolf Kasparek - Vocals / Guitars
Majk Moti - Guitars
Jens Becker - Bass
Iain Finlay - Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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