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We are prisoners of our time

But we are still alive

Fight for the freedom, fight for the right

We are Running Wild
—"Prisoners of Our Time"

Running Wild is a Speed/Heavy Metal band from Germany. They formed in 1976 as Granite Hearts before changing their name to Running Wild after a Judas Priest song. They used to have occult and satanic imagery on their earlier work, but by the time of the third album of the band the frontman and leader Rolf Kasparek wanted something different, and he chose Pirates. This has became the main turning point in the band's career, and they never looked back.

The band was split-up in 2009 and came back in 2011.

Although piracy composes Running Wild's main imagery, they're not as gimmicky as you'd think. The topics of their songs range from ancient conspiracies, literature, Heavy Meta and environmetal issues to history in general, and pirate histories (including rogues) in particular.


  • 1984 - Gates to Purgatory
  • 1985 - Branded and Exiled
  • 1987 - Under Jolly Roger
  • 1988 - Port Royal
  • 1989 - Death or Glory
  • 1990 - Wild Animal (EP)
  • 1991 - Blazon Stone
  • 1992 - Pile of Skulls
  • 1994 - Black Hand Inn
  • 1995 - Masquerade
  • 1998 - The Rivalry
  • 2000 - Victory
  • 2002 - The Brotherhood
  • 2005 - Rogues en Vogue
  • 2012 - Shadowmaker
Tropes used in Running Wild (band) include:

  • After the End: "Straight to Hell", from Blazon Stone, is about "stumbling few" people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Age Progression Song: "The Ghost (T.E. Lawrence)", from The Brotherhood, has hints of this.
  • Alien Invasion: "Iron Heads", from the infamous Death Metal split-album, (with Helloween, Hellhammer and Dark Avenger) and the Masquerade remaster.
  • The Aloner: "Marooned" from Death or Glory.
  • Author Catchphrase: The line "Wild and free!"
  • Badass Creed: "Prisoner of Our Time", "Branded and Exiled", "Chains and Leather", "Under Jolly Roger" "Raise Your Fist" and "Unation".
  • Ballad of X: "Ballad of William Kidd", from The Rivalry.
  • The Band Minus the Face: X-Wild was one, their members were all (except the singer Frank Knight) ex-Running Wild members. They even mimic Kasparek's Signature Style on some of their songs.
  • Book Ends: The Victory album begins and ends with a gong sound. (Reversed on the first track, normal on the last)
  • Burn the Witch: John Xenir gets burned at the stake in the intro ("The Curse") of Black Hand Inn, for being guilty of "being in league with the devil and having used heathen and forbidden rituals".
  • Concept Album: Part of the album Black Hand Inn talks about a man called John Xenir, who fights against Corrupt Church and such.
  • Cool Boat: "Adventure Galley" from The Rivalry is about the privateer William Kidd's ship with the same name.
  • Cover Version: Running Wild has covered "Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)" by Thin Lizzy and "Revolution" by The Beatles.
  • Crystal Ball: John Xenir has one which can tell "tales of past and future", in Black Hand Inn.
  • Dark World: "Realm of Shades", from Branded and Exiled.
  • Dragon Rider: "Dragonmen" from Black Hand Inn is all about this trope.
  • Epic Rocking: "Calico Jack", "The Battle of Waterloo", "Treasure Island", "Genesis (The Making and the Fall of Man)", "Ballad of William Kidd", "Fire and Thunder", "War and Peace", "Tsar", "The Ghost (T.E. Lawrence)" and "The War".
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: The intro of Death or Glory's "The Battle of Waterloo".
  • Evil Laugh: "Under Jolly Roger", "Underworld".
  • Eyepatch of Power: The band's mascot has one since Under Jolly Roger.
  • Fading Into the Next Song
  • Filk Song: "Treasure Island" and "War and Peace".
  • Go Mad From the Revelation: After a lifetime of searching, the protagonist of the song "Diamonds of the Black Chest" (from Under Jolly Roger) finds the titular chest. And it's empty.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: The name Running Wild was taken from a Judas Priest song.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Several, two of them are more worthwhile compared to others: The First Years of Piracy, which has songs from first three albums remade by the 1991 line-up and 20 Years in History, which has couple of new songs and little touches of improvement in their past catalog. There's another one, Best of Adrian, which only covers the era between The Rivalry and Rogues En Vogue, including the live album Live 2002.
  • The Greys: "Sinister Eyes", from Pile of Skulls. The cover art for this single (which was never released) has one holding a key and shedding a tear.
  • The Grim Reaper: "Black Wings of Death" from Pile of Skulls.
  • Heavy Meta: "Chains and Leather" from Branded and Exiled.
  • Heavy Mithril: Lots of it, the albums Black Hand Inn and Victory being prime examples.
  • I Am the Band: Rolf Kasparek, who wrote the majority of the songs.
  • In Name Only: The song "Mordor" from Branded and Exiled isn't related in any way with the Mordor we all know.
  • Instrumentals: "Final Gates", "Highland Glory (The Eternal Fight)", "Over the Rainbow", "Final Waltz" and "Siberian Winter".
    • Some albums open up with an instrumental intro.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: "Ballad of William Kidd" has some riffs resembling "Crazy Train".
  • Last Chorus Slow-Down: Used on "Running Blood" from Death or Glory.
  • Laughing Mad: At the end of "Diamonds of the Black Chest".
  • The Legions of Hell: "Soldiers of Hell", from Gates to Purgatory.
  • Limited Special Collectors Ultimate Edition: A limited edition of Masquerade came in a wooden box which featured the album, the Death or Glory VHS, and a treasure map. There was also an even rarer edition which came with a bottle of rum.
  • Loudness War: The album Rogues en Vogue.
  • Lovable Rogue: "Billy the Kid", from the "Little Big Horn" single, and the Blazon Stone remaster, portray the eponymous gunslinger as such.
  • Mad Scientist: "Dr. Horror", from The Brotherhood.
  • Mascot: Captain Adrian, who is an undead werewolf pirate who is also a son of Satan.
  • The Men in Black: "Men in Black", from Masquerade, portrays them in villainous light.
  • Metal Scream: In "Diabolic Force", (from Gates to Purgatory) every verse ends with a high-pitched "Tonight!"
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: They belong to level 7.
  • The Mutiny: "Mutiny", from Port Royal.
  • The Neidermeyer: The titular character in "Evil Spirit", from Branded and Exiled.
  • No Export for You: Many albums are unavailable in USA, as well as the rest of the world.
  • Noble Savage: The Native Americans are portrayed in this way in Port Royal's "Uaschitschun".
  • Non-Appearing Title: Gates to Purgatory.
  • Nothing but Skulls: On the cover of, well, Pile of Skulls.
  • The Noun and the Noun: "Fire and Ice", "Fire And Thunder", "Chains and Leather" and "War and Peace".
  • Number of the Beast: Mentioned in "Satan".
  • Our Angels Are Different: "Angel of Mercy", from Rogues en Vogue, is about a sole angel rescuing the world from darkness. (Or, perhaps, a divine mecha)
  • Our Dragons Are Different: In "Return of the Dragon", from The Rivalry, the dragons are benevolent beings, and the dragon slayers and serpents are evil.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Just check out the Mascot example above.
  • Performance Video: The videos for "Branded and Exiled", "Bad To The Bone", "Prowling Werewolf" and "Conquistadores".
  • Pirate: All albums, except Victory, have at least one song based on pirates and seafaring.
  • Rated "M" for Manly
  • Religion of Evil: Both "Preacher" and "Walpurgis Night", from Gates to Purgatory, are based on a happening of Black Mass.
  • Rule of Cool: "Firebreather", from The Rivalry, is about a plane that fights against minotaurs, genetic beasts and their black helicopters from hell.
  • Satan Is Good: "Satan", on the "Victim of States Power" single and the Gates to Purgatory rerelease, portrays the titular character as a rebel who destroys the worst of the mankind ("Nazis, moralists and conservatives") and brings "liberty and peace to the good".
  • Self-Plagiarism: The solo section in "Timeriders" is very similar to the one in "Merciless Game".
  • Signature Song: "Under Jolly Roger".
  • Signature Style: As heard in this video.
  • The Something Song: "Pirate Song", from The Brotherhood.
  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • Port Royal: Album intro and the trial on "Calico Jack".
    • Death or Glory: A doctor diagnosing the title character of "Renegade".
    • Black Hand Inn: Opening track "The Curse" and ending track "Genesis".
    • Masquerade: Redcoat recruiting his agents of evil in "The Contract" and giving the Reason You Suck Speech at the end of "Underworld".
  • Subdued Section: "Chains and Leather" and "Prisoners of Our Time" have moments where the chorus is backed only by drums.
  • Take That: The song "Purgatory" on the Ready for Boarding live-album was a hard hit for the PMRC.
  • Time Travel: "Land of Ice", from Under Jolly Roger, talks about a group of people travelling to the future to find powerful weapons. Instead, they find a world caught in nuclear winter and its mutant inhabitants.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Tear Down the Walls" from Wild Animal.
  • To the Tune Of: The main riff of "Little Big Horn" (from Blazon Stone) uses the main melody of old american folk song "Girl I Left Behind Me".
    • The main melody of "Chamber of Lies" (the intro for Pile of Skulls) came from The Nineties' Treasure Island movie.
    • X-Wild, the aforementioned band which consisted of Running Wild's ex-members, based their song "Skybolter" on an unused Running Wild song called "Skulldozer".
    • The outro melody of "Tsar" (from Victory) is taken from an old Russian silent film.
  • Train Song: "Locomotive" from Shadowm aker.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: "Fire and Ice", and "Crossfire".
  • The Unmasking: The theme for the Masquerade album.
  • Updated Rerelease: Albums from Death or Glory to Masquerade have remastered rereleases with additional bonustracks.
  • War Is Hell: "War and Peace" and "The War", unsurprisingly.
  • Witch Hunt: "Bones to Ashes", from the Death Metal split-album and Masquerade remaster.
  • World War One: "The War" from Rogues en Vogue.