Running Wild! Under Jolly Roger (Noise Records) was the album that kicked off Running Wild’s trademark “pirate metal” image. The album’s title track tells a tale of pirates plundering and marauding all over the god-damn place. With sound effects like cannons firing and swords clashing, Running Wild brought the fantasy to life with enthusiasm. It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that pirate lore and heavy metal went together so well. Heavy metal has always been a perfect medium for tales of evil-doing and malfeasance. Pirates fit right in. Anyway… Under Jolly Roger is an outstanding track! Rolf Kasparek’s gruff vocals suit the song well. Dude sounds like a pirate!
The Under Jolly Roger album is a pretty nice blend of old-school German metal (commonly associated with Accept) and the melodic speed metal of Walls Of Jericho-era Helloween. The recording is a bit rough around the edges. You may not be able to decipher every single note played, but all in all the recording passes as serviceable for 1987. I mentioned the great track Under Jolly Roger. Another real standout is Raise Your Fist. This song rocks! And it is catchy a hell. A real jewel in Running Wild’s treasure chest. Diamond Of The Black Chest also gets my mojo going. There’s a couple of bum tracks, too. Land Of Ice and Raw Ride do nothing for me. But nevertheless, Running Wild found a nice little niche with Under Jolly Roger. The pirate thing was a cool idea, and they’ve been doing it ever since. Chips Ahoy! My score: B