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Thursday, September 21, 2017

NEWS: Running Wild's first 9 full-length albums have been just re-released by NOISE Records

German major heavy metal label NOISE RECORDS have just finished re-releasing Teutonic pirate metal legends', RUNNING WILD's, first nine full-length albums starting from the raw and diabolic heavy/speed metal opus "Gates To Purgatory (1984)", ending up to dark power metal thunder of "Masquerade (1995)". That's the whole prime era of the band boxed within those years right there, in my personal opinion.

The albums are available in both editions: 180gram vinyl record, as in deluxe digipak CD record. Even the earliest albums have given remastering treatment, which I don't think have been remastered before; not "Branded And Exiled", at least. I can't comment on the success of the remastering at this point as I'vent personally heard the new re-releases (I own the older versions already).

The new digipaks look nice and feature bunch of bonus tracks, which weren't available on earlier equivalent versions of the albums; but which are not completely previously unreleased, though. The bonus tracks've seen the light of the day earlier on in some form, within some other releases. For example, "Gates To Purgatory" re-issue (2017) now features three re-recorded songs from 1991 as bonus tracks, which are probably taken from "The First Years of Piracy (1991)", the re-recorded songs compilation. The "Branded And Exiled" bonus tracks seems to follow the similar route.

The better, refined booklets are, of course, a nice touch. Especially, when it comes to the first three albums, which booklets were really lackluster. If you own these albums in any previous version, then the value of getting the new versions on the side might not be that big for you, unless you're a die hard fan and a collector. In the case, I'd at least want to wait for some user experiences about the new remastered sound and booklets.

If you, however, DON'T OWN THESE ALBUMS PREVIOUSLY, and have waited for a good opportunity to grab them at reasonable price - HERE'S YOUR CHANCE! Or perhaps, you own an original CD versions, but crave for a vinyl release.

A few places to buy the new RUNNING WILD album re-releases are:

NO REMORSE RECORDS (Greek great record label / shop, PayPal)

Be sure to check that you're looking at the CORRECT VERSION (2017!).

Who are Running Wild? I could write a whole serie of articles about their career, but in short, they are one of the oldest German heavy metal bands with the most extensive career, having rather massive back-catalogue of album releases. The "band" is still active today, although, in my opinion it has long been rather a solo-led project of Rolf's, than anything else. Running Wild are one of the most respected bands ever hitting the scene from Germany, alongside of Accept, Sodom, and many more. The band was formed back in the late 70s under the name "Granite Heart" by Rolf  "Rock n' Rolf" Kasparek and few other friends, starting out as a bit heavier, demonic heavy/speed metal band with pure raw power. The band soon changed their name into Running Wild, debuting as late as in 1984 after releasing several demos over the years.

In due time, the demonic and evil lyrical themes were traded into themes of war, battles, conspiracy, and the most known of all - pirates of the high seas - and on the side, some of original heaviness was traded into melody. The both, early "Gates To Purgatory"-era, and the bit more melodic middle-career era of the late 80s/early 90s, did feature equally great releases, such as the melodic "Death or Glory (1989)", or bombastic power metal effort of "Black Hand Inn (1994)" featuring hard-hitting and thundering drumming by legendary Jörg Michael (ex-RAGE, Headhunter, Stratovarius, Grave Digger, Headhunter, Saxon, etc.).

Speedy straight-forward melodies and rough middle-range vocals of Rolf have ever remained the central image of the band, along with the most-loved pirate themed songs and imago.

Below are some pictures of the re-issues - the digipak CD version back-covers: