RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album

Running Wild's debut album, "Gates to Purgatory," released in 1984, marked a pivotal moment in heavy metal history. Predating their famed pirate themes, the album delved into satanic influences, creating a raw and rebellious sound. With haunting lyrics and iconic cover art, the album set the stage for Running Wild's future success, influencing subsequent metal bands and cementing its place as a pioneering force in the genre.

This album "RUNNING WILD Gates To Purgatory" includes the original custom made inner sleeve (OIS) with album production details, complete lyrics of all songs by and artwork/photos

RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album  front cover

"Gates to Purgatory" Album Description:

In the world of heavy metal history, few albums hold the same mythical status as "Gates to Purgatory," the debut studio album by the German band Running Wild. Released as a 12" Vinyl LP album, this iconic record not only marked the inception of a band that would later become synonymous with pirate metal but also showcased the raw energy and rebellious spirit that defined the early years of the heavy metal genre.

The genesis of "Gates to Purgatory" can be traced back to the vibrant metal scene of the early 1980s. Formed in 1976 by guitarist and vocalist Rolf Kasparek, Running Wild underwent several lineup changes before solidifying into the quartet that would record their debut album. The band's early years were marked by a determination to carve a unique identity within the burgeoning metal landscape.

Released in 1984, "Gates to Purgatory" captured the essence of the era, blending traditional heavy metal elements with a darker, satanic aesthetic. This album predates Running Wild's later thematic focus on piracy, showcasing a different facet of their artistic expression. The lyrics, heavily influenced by satanic imagery, added an element of controversy that further fueled the album's notoriety.

One cannot discuss the creation history of "Gates to Purgatory" without acknowledging the significance of its cover art. The album's iconic cover, featuring a menacing skeletal figure wielding a scythe against a backdrop of flames, perfectly encapsulated the album's themes and added visual impact to the auditory experience. The cover art became an integral part of Running Wild's identity and contributed to the overall mystique surrounding the band.

Album Fact Sheet: RUNNING WILD Gates To Purgatory
Music Genre: Heavy Metal 
Album Production information:

The album: "RUNNING WILD Gates To Purgatory" was produced by: Running WIld

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Horst Muller

This album was recorded at: Caet Studio, Berlin, Germany, June 1984

In the world of music, certain studios hold an iconic status due to their rich history and the multitude of talented artists who have graced their halls. One such studio is Caet Studios, located in the vibrant city of Berlin, Germany. Renowned for its exceptional sound recording capabilities, Caet Studios has become synonymous with the German Heavy Metal scene, serving as a creative hub for numerous influential bands during the 1980s.


The 1980s marked a golden era for Heavy Metal music, with the genre reaching new heights of popularity and cultural significance. German Heavy Metal bands, in particular, emerged as a force to be reckoned with, capturing the attention of both domestic and international audiences. Among these bands were Celtic Frost, Running Wild, and Destruction, who utilized Caet Studios as their creative sanctum.

Celtic Frost, a pioneering group in the Extreme Metal subgenre, left an indelible mark on the music world with their groundbreaking albums. Caet Studios served as the birthplace of their magnum opus, "To Mega Therion," released in 1985. The studio's pristine acoustics and state-of-the-art equipment allowed Celtic Frost to craft a sound that was as dark and atmospheric as their lyrical themes. Songs like "Circle of the Tyrants" and "Necromantical Screams" resonated with fans and established Celtic Frost as one of the most innovative and influential Metal bands of their time.

Running Wild, known for their pirate-themed anthems and energetic live performances, also found solace within the walls of Caet Studios. Their album "Under Jolly Roger," released in 1987, solidified their status as a leading force in German Heavy Metal. Caet Studios provided Running Wild with the ideal environment to capture their raw energy and intricate instrumentation, resulting in a record that showcased their trademark blend of speed and melody. Tracks like the eponymous "Under Jolly Roger" and "Raise Your Fist" became instant classics and continue to resonate with fans to this day.

Destruction, a band synonymous with the German Thrash Metal movement, sought refuge in Caet Studios to unleash their sonic assault. Their album "Infernal Overkill," released in 1985, epitomized the aggression and intensity that characterized the Thrash Metal genre. With Caet Studios' expertise, Destruction meticulously crafted a sonic landscape that showcased their breakneck speed and razor-sharp riffs. Tracks like "Total Desaster" and "Bestial Invasion" became anthems for the thrashing masses, solidifying Destruction's position as one of the genre's titans.

While Celtic Frost, Running Wild, and Destruction are just a few of the notable bands that graced Caet Studios during the 1980s, countless others followed suit. The studio's reputation for excellence attracted a multitude of emerging and established Heavy Metal acts, all eager to harness the power of its remarkable acoustics and cutting-edge recording equipment. Caet Studios became a pilgrimage site for musicians, offering a sanctuary where creativity and sonic innovation thrived.

Beyond its technical prowess, Caet Studios fostered a sense of community within the German Heavy Metal scene. Bands not only shared the same recording space but also collaborated and inspired one another, pushing the boundaries of the genre. The legacy of Caet Studios extends beyond the music it helped create, representing a pivotal era in German Heavy Metal history and leaving an indelible mark on the global music landscape.

Album cover photography: D. Magnussen

Information on the people working on the production of "Gates to Purgatory"

  Horst Mueller - a sound engineer from Germany and has engineered the records of several German Metal bands, notable Destruction, Running Wild, Warrant and the Swiss Celtic Frost band, as well as many others. He has used several different aliases/pseudonyms, aliases used by Horst Mueller include: Horst "Hoddle" Muller, Horst H.I.F. "The Crazy Frog" Muller, Horst "The Only One" Muller, "Mad" Horst Muller

Record Company / Catalog number / Label:  Noise N 0012
Record Format: 12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  
Year & Country:  1984 Made in Germany  
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: RUNNING WILD Gates To Purgatory
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Rock 'n' Roll (Rolf Kasparek) - Lead Vocals, Guitars (Rock and Rolf Kasparek - Guitar, formed the band "Granite Heart" around 1979 this band was renamed into "Running Wild".)
  • Preacher (Gerald Warnecke) - Guitar, Vocals (Gerald "Preacher" Warnecke - Guitarist with the Germany Pirate Metal band "Running Wild" from 1982 until 1985 and left to complete his study in Theology.)
  • Stephan (Stephan Boriss) - Bass
  • Hasche (Wolfgang Hagemann) - Drums
Complete Track-listing of the album "RUNNING WILD Gates To Purgatory"

The detailed tracklist of this record "RUNNING WILD Gates To Purgatory" is:

  1. Victim of States Power 3:36
  2. Black Demon 4:25
  3. Preacher 4:22
  4. Soldiers of Hell 3:23
  5. Diabolic Force 4:58 (This track "Diabolic Force" has also been released on the Compilation album "Metal Attack Vol. 1 on NOISE N 0022)
  6. Adrian S.O.S. 2:49
  7. Genghis Khan 4:11
  8. Prisoner of our Time 5:22


Front Cover Photo Of RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album


RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album  front cover

 Note: The photos on this page are taken from albums in my personal collection. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Photo Of The Back Cover RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album


RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album  back cover

First Photo Of Custom Inner Sleeve RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album

Photo of the "Running Wild" band on the original custom inner sleeve

Photo of the "Running Wild" band on the original custom inner sleeve

Second Photo Of Custom Inner Sleeve RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album

Lyrics of all the songs on the album "Gates To Purgatory" printed on the original custom inner sleeve

Lyrics of all the songs on the album "Gates To Purgatory" printed on the original custom inner sleeve

Close up of Side One record's label RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album

"Gates to Purgatory " Record Label Details: Noise N 0012

"Gates to Purgatory " Record Label Details: Noise N 0012

Side Two Close up of record's label RUNNING WILD - Gates To Purgatory incl OIS 12" Vinyl LP Album

Record Label Details: Noise N 0012

Record Label Details: Noise N 0012

Riding the Waves of Heavy Metal: Exploring Running Wild's Epic Vinyl Discography

Running Wild Band Information:

Running Wild is a heavy metal band that originated in Hamburg, Germany, in 1976. The band is known for its unique sound, which combines elements of traditional heavy metal with pirate-themed lyrics and imagery. Over the course of their career, Running Wild has released 16 studio albums, several live albums, and numerous EPs and singles, making them one of the most prolific and enduring bands in the heavy metal genre.

The founding members of Running Wild were guitarist and vocalist Rolf Kasparek, bassist Stephan Boriss, and drummer Wolfgang Hagemann. The band's early sound was heavily influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which was popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, it wasn't until the release of their third album, "Under Jolly Roger," in 1987, that the band fully embraced their pirate theme and began to gain widespread recognition.

"Under Jolly Roger" marked a turning point for Running Wild, both musically and lyrically. The album featured catchy, anthemic choruses, blistering guitar solos, and lyrics that celebrated the freedom and rebellion of pirates. The band's signature "yarr" chant, which is still a staple of their live shows, was first introduced on this album. The album was a commercial success in Europe and helped to establish Running Wild as one of the leading bands in the German heavy metal scene.

Following the success of "Under Jolly Roger," Running Wild continued to release a string of successful albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s. These albums included "Port Royal" (1988), "Death or Glory" (1989), "Blazon Stone" (1991), and "Pile of Skulls" (1992). Each album featured a mix of fast, aggressive tracks and slower, more epic songs, with lyrics that often revolved around historical events or legends. The band's live shows were known for their energetic performances, which often included stage props and pyrotechnics.

In the early 2000s, Running Wild experienced a decline in popularity, as the heavy metal genre fell out of favor with the mainstream music industry. The band's 2002 album, "The Brotherhood," was criticized for its lack of originality and failure to capture the energy of their earlier work. Despite this, Running Wild continued to release albums throughout the decade, including "Rogues en Vogue" (2005), "Shadowmaker" (2012), and "Resilient" (2013).

In 2009, Rolf Kasparek announced that Running Wild would be going on an indefinite hiatus, citing personal reasons. However, the band reunited in 2011 for a series of live shows and subsequently released new material. In 2020, the band released their sixteenth studio album, "Blood on Blood," which was well-received by fans and critics alike.

Running Wild's influence on the heavy metal genre cannot be overstated. Their unique blend of heavy metal and pirate themes has inspired countless bands, both in Europe and around the world. The band's commitment to their image and their high-energy live performances have made them a favorite among metal fans. Despite their ups and downs over the years, Running Wild has remained true to their roots, and their legacy as one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time is secure.