Whether they are singing about the occult or pirates, these German metallers have been kicking asses with their music since the outset. Even when the band shifted their direction during the second half of the 80s, they always remained loyal to their basics, and with a fair reason, gained a privileged place in the German power metal scene. Their debut EP “Victims of State Power” represented the first step on their long road. Formed in 1976 under the Granite Hearts name, Running Wild grew up during the years in which the NWOBHM was beginning a short path in the metal scene, Accept started a very successful career, Judas Priest hypnotized us all with their killing riffs and Venom created black metal. One way or another, all these bands contributed to this final product, which ended up being a very raw musical offer but with astonishing songwriting ideas barely exploited at that time, for instance, incorporating melodic Priest-stylized guitar solos and passages in speed metal numbers.
In that fashion, “Victims of State Power” kicks in with the very menacing title number and its intro riff, which is reminiscent of those used by Priest to give a nice open to at least a couple of their songs, namely “Freewheel Burning” and “Rapid Fire”. Then, things are led to the frantic speed metal number which mixes the thrashy style from Venom with the aforementioned songs, “Fast as a Shark” and all that good stuff. The NWOBHM-inspired closing number “Satan” is not as fast as the opening; it contrasts the outrageous speed of the title-track, but still, it is an amazing speed metal juggernaut with a good thrash break featured throughout the same.
Sandwiched in between these numbers, the forceful Maiden meets Diamond Head and Judas Priest number “Walpurgis Night” results to be the main attraction of this EP. It is a bestial number with remarkable NWOBHM influences, and then, it closes with a very astonishing riff that leads to the main question here: were they thinking on switching things to piracy? Who knows, but whether this is the case or not becomes irrelevant. The closing riff is one of the most memorable moments the band has ever delivered. This EP is definitely a jewel which is too difficult to find, but for the benefit of the band’s fanatics, the opening track is featured as the opening track of the band’s debut album while the other two songs are featured as bonus tracks in reissues of the debut release, though certain recording issues appeared in these bonus tracks.
Special thanks to Gerald “Preacher” Warnecke.
Release date: 1984
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