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Running Wild

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The four-man heavy metal combo from Germany named Running Wild was formed in the mid-'70s by vocalist and guitarist Rolf Kasparak along with guitarist Preacher, bassist Stephan, and drummer Hasche. The group cut their first demos in 1982 and signed to Noise Records for debut album Gates of Purgatory. A support slot for Mötley Crüe in 1986 gave Running Wild a leg up on other European metal bands, and they toured America soon after. The 1987 album Under Jolly Roger broke the group with metal audiences across the world, employing an outlandish pirate image that would, in coming years, greatly influence the pirate metal subgenre of the 2000s. The success of this album would cement Running Wild's direction over the next two decades and, as heard on subsequent albums like Port Royal (1988), Pile of Skulls (1992), and Masquerade (1995), their material would continue to rely heavily on historical and often piratical themes. Lineup changes continued, but the band soldiered on into the 2000s 13 studio albums and a handful of live releases, Running Wild announced that their final show together would occur at Wacken Open Air Festival in July of that year. In 2011, a CD/DVD of the concert, titled The Final Jolly Roger, was released, though Kasparak ended up reuniting the band later that year. The newly revived Running Wild released two new studio albums in quick succession, beginning with 2012's Shadowmaker and followed by Resilient a year later. Now on Steamhammer Records, they followed up in 2016 with Rapid Foray, their 16th album. ~ Timothy Monger & John Bush

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1976 in Hamburg, Germany

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s