Pile of Skulls is the seventh studio album by Running Wild, released in 1992. It is their last album with guitarist Axel Morgan. It is the first album almost completely dominated by songwriting from band leader Rolf Kasparek but remains a fan favourite. The album has sold over 350,000 copies worldwide.

Pile of Skulls
Running wild pile of skulls.jpg
Studio album by
Released21 October 1992
RecordedJune - August 1992
GenreHeavy metal, power metal
ProducerRolf Kasparek
Running Wild chronology
The First Years of Piracy
Pile of Skulls
Black Hand Inn
Singles from Pile of Skulls
  1. "Lead or Gold"
    Released: 7 September 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [1]
Rock Hard9.0/10[2]

The song "Jennings' Revenge" tells about the exploits of pirate Henry Jennings.

The lyrics of "Treasure Island" are based on the book of the same title by 19th century author Robert Louis Stevenson.

Critical receptionEdit

Pile of Skulls was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. Steve Huey of All Music Guide called it one of Running Wild's strongest efforts. While calling it too ambitious, he thought Pile of Skulls combined the group's trademark pirate subject matter with a unifying concept about corruption and abuse of power throughout history.

In a 2013 interview, Rolf Kasparek spoke about the song "Bloody Island" from the 2013 album Resilient and explained that the demo version of the song would've been a great fit on the album.

Track listingEdit

Music and lyrics written by Rolf Kasparek and Axel Morgan except where noted

Side A
2."Sinister Eyes"5:06
3."Black Wings of Death"5:17
4."Fistful of Dynamite"4:06
5."Roaring Thunder"5:56
Side B
6."Pile of Skulls"4:39
7."Lead or Gold"5:06
8."Jennings' Revenge"4:17
9."Treasure Island"11:14
Total length:50:35
The 2017 Remastered version contains a second disc, featuring the following songs
1."Beggars' Night" (1992 Alternate version)5:01
2."Hanged, Drawn and Quartered" (From the Lead or Gold EP)4:38
3."Win or Be Drowned" (From the Lead or Gold EP)4:17
4."Uaschitschum '92" (1992 Updated version)4:53
5."Whirlwind" (2003 Re-recorded version)4:54
6."Treasure Island" (2003 Re-recorded version)11:16


Additional Musician
  • Jan Němec – Engineering, Mixing
  • Thomas Körge – Engineering
  • Karl-U. Walterbach – Executive producer
  • Rock 'n' Rolf – Producer
  • Andreas Marschall – Cover art


Chart (1992) Peak
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[3] 54


  1. ^ Pile of Skulls at AllMusic
  2. ^ Kühnemund, Götz (1992). "Review Album: Running Wild - Pile of Skulls review". Rock Hard (in German). No. 66. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  3. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Running Wild – Pile of Skulls" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2017-04-10.