Tracklist - Gates to purgatory
- 1.Victim of States Power (2017 Remastered Version)
- 2.Black Demon (2017 Remastered Version)
- 3.Preacher (2017 Remastered Version)
- 4.Soldiers of Hell (2017 Remastered Version)
- 5.Diabolic Force (2017 Remastered Version)
- 6.Adrian S.O.S. (2017 Remastered Version)
- 7.Genghis Khan (2017 Remastered Version)
- 8.Prisoner of Our Time (2017 Remastered Version)
- 9.Chains & Leather (2017 Remastered Version)
- 10.Adrian (2017 Remastered Version)
- 11.Walpurgis Night (The Sign of Women's Fight) [2017 Remastered Version]
- 12.Satan (2017 Remastered Version)
- 13.Iron Heads (2017 Remastered Version)
- 14.Bones to Ashes (2017 Remastered Version)
- 15.Soldiers of Hell (2017 Remastered Version)
- 16.Prisoner of Our Time (2017 Remastered Version)
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Gates to Purgatory from 1984 is Running Wild’s very first album. I love taking a look at debuts because you often find an artist or band in a very natural, informal state on their first release. Debuts hold a certain magic or atmosphere that is never truly recreated on that artist’s future albums (just take a look at the debuts from Iron Maiden, Bathory, Metal Church, or Entombed). That being said, many artists do happen to improve their sound later on throughout their career, like Running Wild for example. These guys got massively popular off their pirate metal sound, and became one of the most recognizable German power metal bands of all time. Taking a look at their two releases before Under Jolly Roger is extremely interesting because Gates to Purgatory and the follow-up in 1985, Branded and Exiled, are such drastically different releases. Running Wild progressed their sound massively from Branded and Exiled to Under Jolly Roger.
Gates To Purgatory kicks off immediately with a horrific bombardment of the ear lobes. Victim of States Power is one fast, heavy mother of a song. The guitar tones are extremely over powering. Even more so on the follow up track Black Demon. A big high point of this album is the clear raw power coming out of Rolf Kasparek and Gerald Warnecke’s guitars. The solo’s are quite melodic and blistering fast as you would expect. But the dual guitar riffs are absolutely ear shattering. A sound that wouldn’t necessarily come into play until the 90’s, these guys were very much ahead of their time.
A charming debut from one of the world’s most famous power metal bands. In 1984, Running Wild didn’t really have a well established sound and the band sounds sounds kind of unbalanced here. While this release clocks in at just over half an hour, if you’ve never been a fan of European power metal or speed metal, there are other debuts out there that may be more worth your time, such as Walls of Jericho or Battalions of Fear. Overall, a good album from Running Wild that proves to have a lot of charm and grit to its abrasive sound.
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