Grave Digger – Return of the Reaper – Napalm Records– Out Now

Grave Digger – Return of the Reaper – Napalm Records– Out Now

Does a band like Grave Digger really need an introduction? Part of the German heavy metal attack in the 80s this band has made quite a name for themselves. Fast-paced heavy metal with Boltendahl’s ‘love it or hate it’ raspy vocals. Unfortunately they sought to reinvent themselves to gain more popularity under the name Digger, which had them crash and burn. After a short stint by Boltendahl with Hawaii he reformed the band into Grave Digger once more and the band hit back hard with “The Reaper” in 1993. Now, 21 years later we get confronted with the Return.

Grave Digger is:

Chris Boltendahl – Vocals
Axel Ritt – Guitars
Jens Becker – Bass
Stefan Arnold – Drums
H.P. Katzenburg – Keyboards

Return of the Reaper
Referencing the name of their 1993 classic album would make you think that this album would be pure old school heavy metal. And you would totally be right, but don’t confuse that with it being old hat. Without changing too much Grave Digger have stayed true to their sound whilst sounding fresh and powerful. The sound is crispy clear with a nice chainsaw sound to the guitar which I miss too often with modern releases. While Boltendahl doesn’t come close to the days of yore he still manages to spew forth some great raspy vocals, befitting of the music.

From beginning to the end this album is filled with sing-along tracks. While there is space for the slower tracks “Season of the Witch” and the soft album-finisher “Nothing to Believe”, most tracks keep up a healthy pace, fit for some good highway driving, like the aptly named “Road Rage Killer” and the rubber-burning “Satan’s Host”. For a band that’s been around for over thirty years Grave Digger still manage to sound fresh and energetic.

Fair is fair, Grave Digger hasn’t brought anything new to the table, but why would they? This album is German ‘Gründlichkeit’ through and through. They know what they do best and that’s giving their fans a healthy dose of vitamin Heavy Metal. All the songs are designed to stick in your mind and you’ll find yourself humming the tunes long after the album has done its spins.

Track list:

  1. Return of the Reaper
  2. Hell Funeral
  3. Wargod
  4. Tattoed Rider
  5. Resurrection Day
  6. Season of the With
  7. Road Rage Killer
  8. Grave Desecrator
  9. Satan’s Host
  10. Dia De Los Muertos
  11. Death Smiles At All of Us
  12. Nothing to Believe

Score: 4.2 out of 5

Text by: Robert Popovic

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