Running Wild – “Port Royal” (1988)

With Port Royal, we find Running Wild expanding their universe of pirate-tinged metal.  Running Wild’s previous LP, Under Jolly Roger (1987), seemed to have re-charged the band’s creative juices.  It was that record where Running Wild stumbled upon their unique identity, and a pretty ingenious niche in metaldom: PIRATES!  No surprise then that Port Royal continues the journey, as these German buccaneers set sail once again with rum-soaked bellies, and sea-salted scrotums.  Overall, I think this was Running Wild’s most accessible album to date, as lead scoundrel Rolf Kasparek led his rogue’s gallery into a slightly more “power metal” direction, cleaning up the rough edges of their previous albums while still delivering plenty of speed and swashbuckling steel.  The title track reigns supreme, but I also recommend the soaring Uaschitschun and the galloping Conquistadores.  My score: B+

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