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4.07 | 38 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under Power Metal


1. Riding the Storm (6:28)
2. Renegade (4:29)
3. Evilution (4:43)
4. Running Blood (4:29)
5. Highland Glory (The Eternal Fight) (4:52)
6. Marooned (5:12)
7. Bad to the Bone (4:46)
8. Tortuga Bay (3:16)
9. Death or Glory (3:57)
10. Battle of Waterloo (7:48)
11. March On (4:12)

Total Time: 54:16


- Rock 'n' Rolf Kasparek / Vocals, Guitars
- Majk Moti / Guitars
- Jens Becker / Bass
- Ian Finlay / Drums

Guest musician

- Ladislav Křížek / Backing Vocals

About this release

Release date: November 8th, 1989
Label: Noise Records

Original vinyl edition does not contain "March On".

Bonus tracks:

12. Hanged, Drawn and Quartered (4:38)
13. Win or Be Drowned (4:17)

1999 reissue contains the Wild Animal EP (1990) as bonus tracks:

12. Wild Animal (4:14)
13. Chains and Leather '90 (5:46)
14. Tear Down the Walls (4:17)
15. Störtebeker (4:06)

Thanks to Time Signature, adg211288, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

By this fifth studio album, Running Wild had left their rough around the edges early speed metal releases in their wake, and had successfully claimed the uncharted power metal realm of Pirate Metal Island for their very own. Having done two studio albums and one live album in this full-on pirate-happy style, it's safe to say that by this point they'd settled into this new direction for the band and committed to it wholeheartedly, and it shows here with the confident set of songs.

Running Wild's pirate schtick seems to strongly divide audiences - some people love it, some people find their take on the subject cheesy, and some landlubbers just don't like pirates; I'm in the second category, but even so I have to acknowledge that this is a rather fun early power metal album which offers an accessible point of entry into Running Wild's particular aesthetic universe.
Death or Glory is the fifth Running Wild album from 1989. The album is usually consider to be one of Running Wild's very best releases and I agree with that assessment. For me this is the album where Running Wild took everything that they'd learned along the way and became one of the best bands in the then still relatively new German power metal scene. Later versions of this album add the Wild Animal EP from 1990 as bonus tracks.

The music on Death or Glory isn't very typical sounding power metal to my ears. It still has a very strong traditional metal element to it, though it features more actual power metal styled guitar riffs than any of their previous albums. As expected of a Running Wild album the vocals of Rock 'n' Rolf point more towards what one would typically expect to hear in traditional heavy metal over power metal. The production work is the biggest improvement on their previous album Port Royal, while the song-writing is of a high level throughout. Especially the opener Riding the Storm is a clear Running Wild classic. Other favourites of mine are the title track, Tortuga Bay and Bad to the Bone. In short, Death or Glory is one of the finest releases of 80's power/heavy metal that you're likely to find. 5 stars.
Time Signature
Glory or glory...

Genre: pirate metal, mate

I am going to stick my neck out and give this five stars. "Death or Glory" is a metal classic and captures almost everything which is good about the classic metal of the 80s, such as kick ass riffage, rock 'n' roll guitar solos, a great sense of melody, big sound, guitar harmonies, epicness and larger than life lyrical concepts.... pirates, mate... savvy?

Maybe this sounds terribly cliche-ish to some, and perhaps it is, but, remember that such cliches were an integral part of traditional 80s metal, and one of the challenges back then was to convey these cliches in

First off, this album is a pure riff-fest, and you will find awesome hard rocking riffs in tracks like "Renegade" (the main riff), "Evilution" (the chorus), "Bad to the Bone" (all riffage) while most of the other tracks are full of Rock 'n' Rolf's trademark melodic tremolo power/speed metal riffs.

What I particularly like about this album is its epicness, its bigness. I mean many tracks have big, epic introductions, such as "Riding the Storm", "Evilution", "Running Blood", "Death or Glory" and the epic war song "Battle of Waterloo" and the instrumental "Highland Glory (The Eternal Fight)" is just biiiiig and epic all the way through.

This album harbors (savvy?) some of the finest pirate metal tracks known to metalking, such as "Tortuga Bay", "Marooned" (I love the hoh-hoh-hoh-hoooh choir in the chorus), "Riding the Storm" and "Death or Glory".

Rock 'n' Rolf would kick Jack Sparrow's ass anytime, so if you consider yourself a true metalhead and a pirate-fan, check out this album, because it is one of the best metal albums from the late 1980s. Savvy?
"Death or Glory" is the fifth release by German's pirate metal heroes, Running Wild, and classified as one of their most successful releases. Inside this album, you'll find a lot of high quality headbangable tunes and plenty of classic and memorable heavy metal riffage performed by Peter Jordan and Rolf Kasparek himself. This is truly a remarkable record to close the 80s decade, a better effort compared to their prior album, "Port Royal", and I heard an improvement on the musicianship, including the vocal quality of Rolf Kasparek.

My fave tracks here are "Riding The Storm", you will witness an amazing killer riffs combined with harmonic solos, this track was almost included on their concert setlist rotation all the time, together with "Bad To The Bone", which I though is their best track here. The infectious hooks, the perfectly constructed verse and chorus, and the blazing aura of the song is just stunning. Some tracks have a regular heavy metal pattern which is very familiar to the fans such as "Renegade", "Running Blood", and the title track. They're all great but tracks like the Judas-Priest-influenced "Marooned" and the epic war soundtrack of "Battle of Waterloo" are better in my opinion. I only found two pointless fillers here which are the instrumental "Highland Glory" and the closer, "March On".

"Death Or Glory" is a pleasant heavy metal journey and I agree if this is considered as one of their best. Most of the tracks here are enjoyable, especially if you're a big fan of the genre, but that doesn't stop many casual rock fans to love this one too. An essential release to buy and at least, a big four-stars is fully deserved for such an amazing attempt!

Members reviews

Running Wild are one of the earliest Power Metal bands around, starting as Speed/Heavy Metal but moving closer to true Power Metal by the end of the 80’s. With each release, they sailed further from mediocracy to uniquely speedy melodic pirate metal with delicious riffs and gruff but talented vocals. Death or Glory is the peak of their 80’s material and often cited as their magnum opus.

The opening track “Riding the Storm” is indeed possibly the finest Power Metal song that had been laid to record by 1989. The guitar leads weave melodic, infectious riffs around a constantly pummeling rhythm section that keeps the song at full energy the whole ride through. The vocal performance is just awesome. Never a dull moment in the epic rocking of over 6 minutes. The title track “Death or Glory” captures this in a similar vein. Though much shorter, the atmosphere is just as epic and powerful, and that chorus stands against the best. Two prime examples of what a perfect Power Metal song should be.

Unfortunately, while the rest of album is great, there’s nothing else that can really hold its own against the aforementioned tracks. It mostly just blends together as strong but unmemorable material. It’s also a bit of a problem when the album starts on its highest note and ends on its lowest (the slower “March On” leaves a bit to be desired and sounds like an arena rocker). Truly, Running Wild wrote some of the best Power Metal songs of all time, but Death or Glory as an album doesn’t quite match such standards.

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