“Liberty Or Death” by Grave Digger

Artist: Grave Digger
Title: “Liberty Or Death”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 1/30/2007
>Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

It has been over two decades now since Grave Digger had begun to dole out the brand of Heavy Metal that is still quite pure and true to its original roots. Keeping it this way allows the fans of the “Old School” or “Traditional” format to remain interested and not lost in the very confusing outlets that have launched from this original formula. “Liberty Or Death”, the bands newest studio release after their killer and all-encompassing “25 To Live” release offers the listener a premise that is all related to battle and on every song we find the band charging into the fray like heroic warriors certain of victory against staggering odds. You feel the spirit of the battles in the Scottish lands on “Highland Tears”, with its powerful riffs and skillfully placed bagpipes. Vocalist Chris Boltendahl has a very memorable tone to his singing and is not much the high-pitched performer but instead uses a gravely register that works well against the crunching guitars. It is safe to say that Grave Digger plays Heavy Metal that a lot of us grew up with and while regions like Sweden and Norway are masters of certain genre classifications it seems that Germany is the master of the Power realm.

The guitar work by Manni Schmidt is great while the rhythm section of Jens Becker and Stefan Arnold (bass and drums respectively) keep this rolling along with a steady chugging like some Heavy Metal freight train. Keyboards are delivered deftly by H.P. Katzenburg. The lyrics of the piece cover many generations of epic battles and as result give the listener a “journey across the history of human race”. This is definitely the case here for one moment you are sailing on an “Ocean Of Blood” which talks of high seas battles and then are swept off to the sands of the Middle East for “Masada”. The closing number, which sings of the epic battle on the Judean mountain that bears the same name. Other personal favorites for me were “The Terrible One” and “Shadowland” based on the overall feel and groove. While there is nothing outrageously new here this is still a solid release and very consistent and remains interesting. On “Liberty Or Death” you will find your blood pumping with the drumming and the guitar riffs shall be handing out the air guitars as the listener joins the band in glorious combat.

Track Listing:
1. Liberty Or Death
2. Ocean Of Blood
3. Highland Tears
4. The Terrible One
5. Until The Last King Died
6. March Of The Innocent
7. Silent Revolution
8. Shadowland
9. Forecourt To Hell
10. Masada

Official Website: www.grave-digger.de

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