GRAVE DIGGER - "THE GRAVE DIGGER" (NUCLEAR BLAST)
Grave Digger is one of the more recognisable bands to come out of Germany, if primarily because of Chris Boltendahl's, um, typical vocals. A little while ago they released the concept album "The Grave Digger". I managed to find a cool digipak version with bonus track "Black Cat".
Every time you listen to a Grave Digger album you have to get used to the low-down, kindof dirty-sounding vocals (in Dutch the adjective would be "smerig", but straight English translations like "dirty", "squalid" or "messy" completely miss the point). The music is heavy and bombastic, easy on ears used to metal, right from the opening track "Son of Evil". Drummer Stefan Arnold's pulse next takes you onward to the title track, which is cool too. "Scythe of Time" is heavier and slower, as are "The House" and "Sacred Fire". Grave Digger know how to write heavy, thumping songs! "The House" as such is a track almost epic in scope, including strings (or keyboards) used to good effect. Here, in particular, Boltendahl sounds like he smokes 20 packets of cigarettes a day. "Haunted Palace" is a track that sounds as if recorded by a totally different band, very melodic, sing-along almost. Not bad, but just not typical. The regular album ends with "Silence", which is a ballad complete with synth chords and acoustic guitar. Unfortunately the vocals sometimes go toe-cramlingly high, which is something the singer should perhaps rather not have done.
"The Grave Digger" is a good album, however it's not as good as its predecessor ("Excalibur", 1999). A fine album, still, though.
Written December 2001
Go to the Official Grave Digger site
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