Running Wild

A German metal band from Hamburg, Running Wild initially filled their act with Satanic imagery, but achieved greater success when they changed direction to adopt pirate themes on their third album 'Under Jolly Roger' in 1987. They had their beginnings a decade earlier when Hamburg singer and guitarist Rolf Kasparek got together with Uwe Bendig, Michael Hofmann and Jörg Schwarz in a metal band called Granite Hearts, changing their name to Running Wild in 1979 and going through a long string of personnel changes along the way as they played with occult imagery and death metal on the albums 'Gates to Purgatory' and 'Branded and Exiled'. 'Under Jolly Roger' triggered their 1990s switch to more esoteric, historical themes, researched in depth by Kasparek, complemented by complex and ambitious musical arrangements. One of their most advanced tracks 'Genesis (The Making and the Fall of Man)' from the 'Black Hand Inn' album was 15 minutes long. Fascinated by the struggle between good and evil, Kasparek masterminded a trilogy of albums - 'Masquerade', 'The Rivalry' and 'Victory' - followed in 2002 by one of the band's best-selling albums 'The Brotherhood'. After 30 years they effectively split in 2009, but returned to great acclaim in 2012 with their first album for seven years, 'Shadowmaker', followed by 'Resilient' a year later. Always a powerful stage presence, they proved they were still a formidable force in 2016 with the album 'Rapid Foray'.

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