Grave Digger - The Grave Digger

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Nuclear Blast
Catalog Number: 66752
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:04:00

Grave Digger, whilst having a hell of a history, have always released discs that have been hard to find (particularly due to the number of label changes they've had). With a new label (again) and a new disc, the time for Grave Digger to reign supreme is here again.

The time between this release and Excalibur has been spent well, with the band focusing heavily on the music and the melodies (something that power metal is noted for). Chris Boltendahl (the only original member) sounds like Cookie Monster in a power metal band. But that's a melodious Cookie Monster. The rough nature of his vocals is as soothing as it is brutal. If you are used to Chris' powerful voice already, then you'll be more than pleased with the outcome. If you haven't heard GD before, then it might take you a while to come around. Joining Chris is ex-Rage guitarist Manni Schmidt. Whilst Rage went with a pseudo-progressive sound, GD have remained true-to-form which is why Manni fits in perfectly within the sound structure of the band. Either that or Manni's inflection has brought about a positive vibe within the band. Whatever the reason, his inclusion was a masterstroke.

GD have remained impervious to current heavy metal trends and their songs more than hit the mark. This is raw, rough, melodic, and dark. It's not pretty but it's not meant to be. It's all here and it's all loud. The group choruses give it an immense, larger-than-life feel to it that is both haunting and powerful and full of theatrics. In fact, it's probably the most amazing thing about this disc. They finish the disc with a charming ballad that doesn't really fit the style of the disc but fits the mood of the disc. The bonus track, "Black Cat" doesn't add much to an album that is full of hits.

If you like ball-tearing, intense, German power metal - not the happy kind - then there is so much to love on this disc. With so much happy metal around it's great that bands like Running Wild, Rage, and Grave Digger and still standing tall and proud.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Son Of Evil (5:04) / The Grave Digger (5:05) / Raven (4:33) / Scythe Of Time (5:14) / Spirits Of The Dead (3:55) / The House (5:41) / King Pest (4:08) / Sacred Fire (4:11) / Funeral Procession (5:45) / Haunted Palace (4:13) / Silence (7:15)

Chris Boltendahl - vocals
Manni Schmidt - guitar
Jens Becker - bass
Stefan Arnold - drums
H.P. Katzenburg ? keys

Heavy Metal Breakdown (1984)
Shoot Her Down (ep) (1984)
Witch Hunter (1985)
War Games (1986)
Stranger Than Ever (1987)
The Reaper (1993)
The Best Of The Eighties (1993)
Symphony Of Death (1994)
Heart Of Darkness (1995)
Tunes Of War (1996)
In The Dark Of The Sun (ep) (1997)
Knights Of The Cross (1998)
Excalibur (2000)
The Grave Digger (2001)
Tunes Of Wacken - Live (2002)
Die Definitive Biografie (2002)
The Middle Ages Trilogy (2002)
The History - Part One (2002)
Masterpieces - Best Of Album (2002)
Rheingold (2003)
Lost Tunes From The Vault (2003)
The Last Supper (2005)
25 To Live (2005)
Yesterday (ep) (2006)
Liberty Or Death (2007)
Pray (ep) (2008)
Ballads Of A Hangman (2009)
The Clans Will Rise Again (2010)
The Clans Are Still Marching (2011)
Clash Of The Gods (2012)
Return Of The Reaper (2014)
Exhumation - The Early Years (2015)
Healed By Metal (2017)
The Living Dead (2018)

Tunes Of Wacken (DVD) (2002)
25 To Live (DVD) (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: December 19th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1287
Language: english


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