"DEATH OR GLORY :This is Running Wild the year 1989 before the formation got their modern/sensational line up during the period 1992-98. Back in 89' there was ( besides the frontman Rolf ) ; Jens Becker , Majk Moti and drummer Ian Finlay.The songs are not as complex and fast as R.W:s later albums ( Masquerade,BHI or Pile of Skulls ) and the production is not 100 % flawless , but on the other side not bad either. Production and mixing are tending to sound a little hollow and I am sure that the album would have got a radical improvement regarding clarity and bass depth if Rolf Kasparek himself would arrange the production - which is the case on the later R.W albums.Those of you who have heard R.W:s wellknown speedmetal-like drum-sound from the abovementioned albums should be warned ; the drumming by Ian Finlay on DOG is good - but not anywhere near the wizardry of Jörg Michaels thunderspeeding drum attacks on Masquerade or BHI. In spite of these factors DOG is still a tremendous R.W-album ; The catchiness and melodic elements of these songs will bring great enjoyment to all you who appreciate european powermetal. Great riffing and singing throughout ( almost ) all the record. The only objections from my point of view would be the tracks " Renegade " and " Bad to the Boone ". Albeit having interesting lyrics both are some notches below R.W:s capabilities in terms of melody and energy. On DOG you also will find R.W:s most wellknown singalong anthem ever - " Riding the Storm ". This particular tune will literally take you by storm ( no joke intended ). When the pre-corus and refrain comes blasting you will feel a uncontrolable urge to raise your voice in participation. Other hightlights include " Running Blood " , " Marooned " ( mighty man bass choir will make you shiver ..... ) and the epic arrangement of " Battle of Waterloo ". Rolfs voice is enjoyable - even if his singing has improved notably during the R.W-albums of the 90's. The backing vocals are also very well sung and powerful , especially on " Riding.... " and "Marooned". As the songtitles indicate ; this is another of R.W:s pirate-lyrical compositions describing naval battles, rumdrinking seadogs and flaghoisting shipmates. Those of us who listen to R.W for that reason will love it. If you by chance feel that songtexts should reflect love relations, or party hedonism you should avoid this exciting CD and buy something less dramatical ( preferrably the horrid music from Poison or Aerosmith ) By this I must oppose against the older review below. To say that the lyrics are less than serious is not correct , they are very serious. This is proven by the fact that R.W have not left their "sea romancing" style beginning on their older albums from the late 80's and up until today ( with exception of their latest CD " The Victory " - which is a rather untypical R.W performance in many ways and has created a lot of mixed emotions among the older fans. )If someone really think that sentimental texts belongs within the tradition of power metal ( which they do not ! ) he would disagree with me. Otherwise there is no choice but to commend Rolf and his squad for this impressing effort. Many of the songs are clearly designed in the vein of typical R.W powermetal with a ability to invade your head and memory because of their incredible catchiness and melodic drive. If you have not heard R.W before and really want to play it safe I would recommed you to begin your acquaintance with the hanseatic pirates ( they hail from the north german town Hamburg ) in Running Wild through their creme de la creme / masterpieces : Pile of Skulls or Masquerade. That does not mean that DOG is anything other than great - it is regardless a very wellwritten and pleasing piece of power metal in the classical german style."
An essential German metal release
Lunar Strain | United States | 11/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Running Wild's last two releases were good, but this release is just plain amazing! When it comes to quality German speed metal, you can't get much better than this. Amazing riffs, blazing fast guitars, and tight drums all aided by the wonderful vocals of Rock 'N' Rolf. It seems with each release the band keeps getting better and better making this arguably their best album. Thats arguably because Black Hand Inn and Masquarade are also contenders for that postion. One of the best, if not the best track, has to be the opener Riding the Storm with its haunting intro. The guitar work is just superb proving that Rolf is easily one of the most underrated guitarists in the genre. The track Bad to the Bone also porduced the bands second and last music video. The tour was also one of the bands most successful and they even recorded one of their shows for home video release. You haven't seen how good Rolf and the gang are until you have seen them playing these complex guitar structures live! If the album weren't great enough alone, the new remastered version also contains the entire Wild Animal EP as bonus tracks. For die-hard fans its a must because the Wild Animal EP up till this point was almost impossible to find. One song that was included on that EP was a remake of the silly metal anthem Chains & Leather, a song in its original form appeared on the bands sophmore album Branded & Exiled."
Mmmm, German metal the way it's supposed to be
Paul Lawrence | Australia | 01/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some find German metal a bit too Teutonic. But when it's this furious who cares. The first four tracks will pretty much take your head off and put it back on again for you. Sure, it may be facing the wrong way but at least that way you'll be able to see the licence plate of the truck that just ran over you!
Riding the Storm, Renegade - this is great metal. Sure by side two (in the old terminology) some of it gets a little unhinged but Bad to the Bone which was the lead single is a bit hard to go past. And don't forget to read the lyrics too as with this band they can sometimes add to the fun.
Running Wild didn't make many good albums - but don't let anybody tell you they didn't make at least one. And here it is!"
BEST OF ALL RUNNING WILD ALBUMS
Wreckedneck | jacksonville, florida United States | 01/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS BY ALL MEANS THE BEST OF RUNNING WILD ALBUMS. I JUST BOUGHT THIS ALBUM AGAIN A FEW MONTHS BACK. ITS A CLASSIC AND A MUST HAVE IF YOU LIKE RUNNING WILD."
Still holds its own 20 years later
Tom P. the Underground Navigator | Park Forest, IL USA | 08/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Running Wild's fifth full length release "Death or Glory" was recorded during July and August of 1989 at Studio M in Germany; this being August of 2009, I thought it would be a great way to celebrate this album's 20th anniversary by reviewing it.
In my mind, this band could do no wrong in the late '80s. They had already come off the success of two classic pirate metal albums from two successive years, 1987's "Under Jolly Roger" and 1988's "Port Royal." I had been a fan of these two recordings for many years but had never heard any later material from the band. After reading overwhelmingly positive reviews of the follow-up "Death or Glory" on the internet, I decided I had to own it.
What's sad is just how much cash one has to shell out for nearly any old Running Wild CD these days. Every several years they seem to be repressed, only to disappear from availability as quickly as they came, making for some ridiculous going prices for almost any of them. I myself shelled out $30+ dollars for a sealed copy of "Death or Glory" recently, no small pocket change mind you.
The question arises, was it worth it. I am happy to report that my answer is an unequivocal YES! The more I listen to this one the more I appreciate it for the masterpiece it is. Because as terrific as the previous two Running Wild records were, if anything they both suffered somewhat from rather hollow analog mixes that can come off sounding kind of flat, especially when heard on CD. This problem was definitely remedied on "Death or Glory," recorded at a different studio with a more up to date (digital?) production.
The most important aspect remains the music though, and this album features some of the group's strongest songs. This band is possibly the most consistently good classic metal outfit I can think of; guitarists Majk Moti and Rock'n Rolf make crafting meticulous, catchy, streamlined power metal anthems seem effortless. Must be that German precision at work. This record is 54 minutes long and I didn't cite one bad cut on the whole thing in listening to it just now. Now that's rare. Standout tracks include "Renegade," which features a fast overriding tempo highlighted by a memorable chorus; and any Running Wild album is sure to be chock full of mindblowing metal riffs, and the best on this one may be on "Running Blood" -- simply spellbinding. And the group keeps with the pattern of previous outings by featuring at least one track of epic length -- this time it's "Battle of Waterloo," which clocks in at almost eight minutes. I can't get this one out of my head either. Finally, there is album closer "March On," a militaristic metal anthem with a chorus that is to die for.
You can't keep good men down, and the band ushered in the new decade by releasing the "Wild Animal" EP shortly thereafter in January of 1990, and I'm happy to report that it too is included here in its entirety. This record holds its own against the previous year's LP tracks, with four rockin' cuts, one being a rerecording of "Chains & Leather," which originally appeared on 1985's "Branded and Exiled" LP, which I don't have, so this was my first time hearing this earth-shaking anthem.
All in all, you get 72 minutes of music (11 LP cuts plus four from "Wild Animal") and I guarantee you won't be skipping any tracks. It's just a travesty that Running Wild's back catalog is so rare; these CDs should be at least as available as that of say fellow German metallers Accept. But get this album any way you can -- no price is too high. Recommended for any fans of vintage, European power metal."