“Under Jolly Roger† is an album by Running Wild, released in 1987. It’s considered the first ‘pirate metal’ album, because of the front cover and some songs on the album. But how does ‘pirate metal’ sound?
Well, let me start saying that ‘pirate metal’ isn’t really a sub-genre of heavy metal music. It’s just what everyone calls the music of Running Wild because of their pirate themes. So let me explain how Running Wild sounds.
Everything you could want is all counted and present. They have the up beat power metal War In the Gutter, The fist pumping Raise Your Fist or the plodding eerie number Land of Ice. Of course you have to mention the absolute classic title track, Under Jolly Rodger. A great power metal anthem if there ever was one. The dual guitar playing is great and the guitar solos are just brilliant.
So the song selection is about as perfect as a German power metal album ever will be. But it fails pretty badly in the production side of things. The album suffers from that horrible boxed sound that has plagued pretty much every rock band that did not have a budget. It is clearly in dire need of remastering and it is a serious shame that it has not received the treatment it deserves.
This album alone has more originality and creativity in it then you will find in Slayer’s entire back catalogue. Despite the not so great production, the album still rocks as a timeless piece of heavy metal that every true metal head should own.