Tag Archives: grave digger

“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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“Yesterday” (EP) by Grave Digger

Artist: Grave Digger
Title: “Yesterday” – EP
Label: Locomotive Music
Release Date: 10/10/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3/5

Germany’s Grave Digger has returned hot on the heels of their Live DVD “25 To Live” which was a great way for Metal fans to enjoy the best songs from across their career. This time around the return finds the band delivering their favorite ballad of all time “Yesterday” that has been modified slightly and now bears the (2006) in its title. A second version with an Orchestra is provided for the listener to enjoy a different take on their classic tune and given the ballad nature I am leaning toward this version in particular. A Grave Diggerized version of the Led Zeppelin classic “No Quarter” is a nice touch but I would have preferred it be done a little more traditionally throughout than changed to a little heavier than the original. Why change what works in my opinion. There is also a standard Heavy Metal song “The Reapers Dance” which is ok at best and more along the lines of what the listener is expecting from Grave Digger. The entire piece runs at about 20 minutes and is aimed more for the die hard fan than the casual listener; still it was an enjoyable chance to listen to three Digger songs. The EP comes with a free DVD recorded in 2001 but since one was not provided for me in the promotional release I cannot comment on its worth or lack thereof.
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“25 To Live” by Grave Digger

Artist: Grave Digger
Title: “25 To Live”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 5/9/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Grave Digger recently celebrated their 25th year as a Power Metal band by releasing both a live CD and DVD companion piece which was recorded during their trek to Sao Paulo Brazil in May of 2005. The recording finds the band in top form instead of some aging dinosaurs of Metal still barely chugging away. Since 1984, lead Singer Chris Boltendahl has led this Power Metal quintet into the record books as they release album after album of solid and true to form Heavy Metal. I have to admit that while I am a staunch supporter of the genre (especially the Traditional players) that I never really followed the career of Grave Digger. The lack of background outside of an album and song here and there made this release a pleasure to own and comment on for with the CD you get a whopping 26 songs. The sheer number of the tracks allowed the band to give the listener a truly career-encompassing release and it is sure to make the band some new fans on top of firming up the allegiance of their existing supporters. Manni Schmidt, Jens Becker, joins Chris and Stefan Arnold for the recording and the sounds across the board on this is very tight and energetic. There is some crowd noise but it does not overpower the Metal allowing the album to have an even mix and help make the listener feel as though he is at the show himself.
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