Grave Digger is back for 2017 with their newest release since 2014. I first heard of Grave Digger when I did the review for their 2015 release Exhumation – The Early Years.
Starting back in 1980 as part of the German heavy metal scene, their first album was released in 1983. On January 13th, 2017 with Napalm Records, Grave Digger‘s 18th studio album Healed By Metal will be released.
The band consists of only one original member Chris Boltendahl on vocals. On drums is Stefan Arnold (1996), Jens Becker on bass (1997), Axel Ritt on guitar (2009) and newest member Marcus Kniep on keyboards (2014).
I was able to see Grave Digger live in 2015 opening for Blind Guardian. Check out the review for the Toronto show. Grave Digger Toronto
Starting off the album is the title track, “Healed By Metal”. Amazing guitar riffs with the distinctive voice of Boltendahl gives the first single the pure heavy metal style Grave Digger is known for.
“When Night Falls” reminds me of Judas Priest meets Accept. The next track “Lawbreaker” continues with Arnold pounding hard on the drums and Ritt laying down the heavy guitar riffs keeping to their style of the 80’s. I didn’t start enjoying this style of heavy metal till Judas Priest released Painkiller. “Lawbreaker” has the volume control getting closer to 10.
“Ten Commandments Of Metal” is letting us know to stay true, metal will always rule!!
“The Hangman’s Eye” brings us back to the roots of Grave Digger. Fast guitars, drums roaring and Boltendahl‘s vocals right where they need to be. This will have metal heads banging their heads from start to finish.
“Kill Ritual” is a top contender on the new release as my favorite track. Great riffs, flowing melodic chorus and a fast heavy guitar solo giving this track and A+ for creativity.
“Hallelujah” may talk about God, the devil, sins and crucifixion, but this is not your typical song about giving praise. For me, it is praising metal and life!! Once again Grave Digger no mater what they write, their music is powerful and keeping true to Metal!
Grave Digger slows the pace down with one of my top picks on this release “Laughing With The dead“. This is not a ballad but a slower heavier track that has the listener hypnotized, singing along during the chorus and listening carefully to the story.
Grave Digger has not missed their goal with this album. I look forward to getting my hard copy of the CD in the mail. If you are new to Grave Digger, then think of bands like Motorhead, Helloween, Accept, Primal Fear and with some Judas Priest. More heavy metal than thrash metal. I think you get the picture.
Look for Grave Digger on tour throughout Europe in January and February 2017. Also, they will be on the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise in February. Summer 2017 will see the band playing festivals including Sweden Rock Festival. I am looking forward to going back to Sweden Rock Festival for the second year and able to catch Grave Digger perform.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin