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Although I went ahead and reviewed Black Hand Inn awhile ago before this one, and I've given both these albums the same rating (97 being in the legendary zone for me), I do favor this album slightly more than Black Hand Inn, and this is overally probably my top favorite Running Wild album of all time. This entire disc just screams "classic traditional metal" at its finest, left and right. Are you ready to board the ship?
Running Wild was extremely extravagant in their earlier days, putting out incredible albums consistently. Death or Glory, is basically a perfection of what Port Royal and Under Jolly Roger were. The pirate theme is as clear as ever, and there's a huge sense of this laid back amazing traditional feel as well. Metal fans of any kind could probably enjoy this disc, easily. A huge chunk of these songs on this album are what Running Wild would eventually begin to play at many concerts, pretty often. There's definitely a great deal of classic tracks to be heard here.
Right off the bat, you're treated to one of Running Wild's best songs out there, "Riding the Storm", and from then on you're hooked and it just never slows down. This album has hands down some of their best rhythm's, riffs, and guitar leads in their entire career. And that's saying a lot considering they've always been known for putting out catchy riffs and hooks left and right. The solo's are extremely top notch and mesmerizing as well. Just when you thought "Marooned" had one of the coolest riff-driven intro's, you haven't heard anything yet until you get to "Tortuga Bay". Then there's a few epic pieces such as "The Battle of Waterloo" that take their pirate image to a whole new level! The bass is crazy in this song, as well as most of the songs, and the drumming always keeps the pace up throughout this whole album. All of the members are definitely at the top of their game here. This album is just so damn catchy, you won't be able to help but constantly keep your head banging!
And damn, is the production top notch. This is definitely Running Wild's best produced album compared to the previous albums, and even triumphs over the upcomming albums Blazing Stone and Pile of Skulls, somehow those albums drowned back down into poorer production quality, especially compared to this. Each instrument is extremely easy to hear, and the fancy sound effects from time to time sound great (usually intro's).
Then there's Rock´n´Rolf Kasparek's performance on here with his vocals. In my opinion, Kasparek has never sounded this good, even compared to later albums to come. His voice is extremely clear on this entire disc, driving the music to insane new heights. He seems to be having the time of his life, along with the rest of the crew, but he just really stands out with his top notch vocals throughout this whole album. The vibe his voice emits just further demonstrates the classic feel this whole album gives off, making it extremely enjoyable and accessible to anyone.
So, this album is it folks. Running Wild has put out more than a handful of incredible classics, and this is their best treasure to be found hands down. This is their pirate image at its finest with an explosive vibe that traditional heavy metal fans would love as well. If you've heard Running Wild's other albums and enjoyed them, chances are you've already gotten your hands on this. If you've somehow never heard of Running Wild, or have been meaning to check them out, this album would be the perfect introduction to the band and what they're all about. I give this album my highest recommendation!
The Battle of Waterlooooooo!!!