Tag Archives: chris boltendahl

Blind Guardian/Grave Digger Announce 2nd Leg North American Run Summer 2016

Hey there readers, it looks like the tour dates and bands that are coming our way here in the states are really amping up before the summer even begins. I say that because we just received the press email about the return of Blind Guardian and Grave Digger which is absolutely awesome. We caught them late last year and it was a crushing display of Power Metal that needs to be seen to be believed. Take a look at the new poster and the press copy, tour dates and then I will return with more thoughts. See you soon.

Tour - Blind Guardian - NA 2016

The Press Release:
Holiday treats are arriving early this year as BLIND GUARDIAN has announced they are returning to North America this fall for the second leg of the Beyond The Red Mirror tour! Before they start the tour, they will make a stop at Prog Power Festival for a special performance on Thursday, September 9th. The following day they will kick-off their highly anticipated 19-date tour at The Orpheum in Tampa, Florida with none other than German metallers GRAVE DIGGER. Their trek will include one Canadian date as well as stops in Worcester, Milwaukee, and conclude on October 5th at The Fillmore in San Francisco!

BLIND GUARDIAN will be touring in support of their tenth album Beyond The Red Mirror which was the highest first-week U.S. sales numbers for the band. It debuted at #132 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and #6 on the Top Hard Music chart. In Canada, BLIND GUARDIAN nearly doubled their first-week numbers from 2010, resulting in Beyond The Red Mirror debuts at #49 on the Top 200 and #4 on the Top Hard Music charts.
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Blind Guardian Announce “Beyond The Red Mirror” Tour 2015

Logo - Blind Guardian

Spring has finally started to feel like it’s expected self and with this a healthy heaping of Heavy Metal concert tours are being announced. We recently heard about the Soulfy/Soilwork one and now its clear to me that one of the hottest tours for this Metal Year 2015 will hit us in the Fall as Blind Guardian returns to our shores with support from the one and only Grave Digger for a tour they are calling “Beyond The Red Mirror” Tour. Check out the poster and official press release about the tour below and then we can discuss a little more.

Tour - Blind Guardian - BTRM 2015

Press Release:
Triumphantly returning to North American shores in support of their Billboard-charting new album Beyond The Red Mirror, Germany’s favorite sons BLIND GUARDIAN are pleased to announce the western hemisphere’s portion of the 2015 World Tour, commencing on October 27th in Baltimore, Maryland and concluding November 28th in Orlando, Florida with special guests Grave Digger. Tickets for all of the shows go on sale on Friday, May 8th
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“The Last Supper” by Grave Digger

Artist: Grave Digger
Title: “The Last Supper”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 01/17/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

For over twenty years Grave Digger has been giving the world interesting traditional sounding Heavy Metal and doing it by presenting each album as a particular focus. For instance with “Tales Of War” they focused on the history of battle from past to present and with “Knights Of The Cross” they delivered epics based upon the mysteries of the Knights Templar. With “The Last Supper” they continue the process and while there are a number of songs based around the life of Jesus Christ, the band maintains that this is not a concept album at all. Given the subject matter one might envision something along the lines of Stryper where the band is offering up praise with each and every lyric but instead Chris Boltendahl and company deliver more tales from the time as opposed to preachy messages and subtext. The album opens with the flourish of “Passion” before it hits you with a fist to the air track in “The Last Supper”, where Jesus is dealing with his betrayal by Judas. “Desert Rose” hits you like a train that cannot find the brakes and thunders steadily with the double bass drumming of Stefan Arnold and “Grave In The No Man’s Land” brings the pace down to a steady head banging crunch and each of these deal with topics outside of the main theme but there is a slight reference to faith and redemption tossed in. Musically this album shows itself to be strong as soon as it begins and Grave Digger are surely one of the best at keeping the sound of Metal true to its roots and many “Old School” fans will easily find that appealing in today’s rapidly shifting musical terrain. Melody and substance are the main focus with Grave Digger it seems and while everyone shows that they can play, there is no show boating or blistering speed duals going on as opposed to the delivery of a solid and memorable Metal tune. Chris’ voice is one of the more interesting in the genre because he is a bit of a gravelly voiced musician and does not hit soaring high notes, and yes with the riffing of guitarist Manni Schmidt (formerly of Rage) it seems to work out rather well. Fans of bands like Iron Maiden, Accept and old Judas Priest would definitely enjoy the output from Grave Digger.
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Grave Digger @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/2/2008)

Legendary German Metal icons Grave Digger were finally doing a NYC show. This would be it if you wanted to see them, as it was a one stop kind of thing and no expansive run of dates. We made sure to be on point for the gig and interested readers can click the logo below to be brought to our article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.

Logo - Grave Digger

Artist: Grave Digger
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Arctic Flame
Date: 3/2/2008
Label: Locomotive Records

Grave Digger is one of those Metal bands who’ve been at the game for almost thirty years now and yet despite this there are regions of the globe that they just don’t get to as often as they would like for performances and to meet with their fans. Musically, they have a very pure Old School Power Metal feel to them and their style would appeal the demographic that leans primarily in that direction. For instance if you like old Accept and vintage Judas Priest, you would definitely be someone who got into the sounds and tunes of the guys in Grave Digger. When the band announced their first-ever New York show I went in expecting quite a bit of a crowd based on this being a rather historic appearance. To my knowledge they had never even been to the States in a true touring fashion and had only appeared at an event that was held by the folks over at BWBK magazine several years ago. The guys would present their wares at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, a venue that some Metal fans know very well based on the amount of such shows they present, and they would bring with them some of the local boys in the as yet unsigned Arctic Flame. I would miss the opener tonight but I had seen them perform on a number of other opening slots and for tonight I was primarily interested in checking out Grave Digger for the very first time. I had to admit that while owning a few releases from their catalog, they remain a bit of a mystery to me in terms of total absorption of their stuff.
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“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.
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