Archive for Grave Digger

Grave Digger – Exhumation The Early Years

Posted in Review with tags on 9th October 2015 by izaforestspirit

Grave Digger
Exhumation – The Early Years
Released 23rd October 2015
Heavy Metal/ Speed Metal
Released via Napalm Records

‘Exhumation – The Early Years’ is the new album from the German heavy metal band Grave Digger. Released only a year after their previous work ‘Return of the Reaper’, ‘Exhumation..’ features mostly re-recorded versions of old tracks from the band’s first three albums.

The clue is in the title ‘The Early Years’, and by early Grave Digger are referring to the their humble beginnings in early ’80s when their debut album ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’ was released. So if you are old enough to have followed the band’s career from the start, this doesn’t offer anything new other than a fancy CD cover art, booklet and possibly better production levels. In my case however, I only got into this band recently, so this release was a useful way to get to know some of the Grave Digger classics.

Witch Hunter caught my attention due to the catchy chorus, Chris Boltendahl’s coarse shouting “He’s a witch hunter, witch hunter witch hunter, witch hunter” and the ultra heavy and furious, speed metal style guitars. Similar things can be said about ‘Stand Up and Rock’ which is so catchy that it’s difficult not to head-bang and sing along to the chorus. Then there’s the heavy metal anthem Heavy Metal Breakdown with its furious barrage of thrashing guitar riffs and a chorus that’s likely to stay in your head for some time after the album has finished.

There’s some hints of both speed and thrash metal on here; particularly in the aggressive style of the guitars, audible in tracks such as Get Away and We Wanna Rock You. If you’re looking for some slower, power metal style ballads, you won’t find any on this album. It’s all about the aggressive, “in your face” heavy metal, the choice cuts picked out by the band for their fans.

In summary, I’ve really enjoyed this album. For someone who is only getting to know Grave Digger’s music, ‘Exhumation – The Early Years’ serves as a great introduction. If I ever get the chance to see them live I’ll know which songs to sing along to.


Iza Raittila

Helloween – Straight out of Hell

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 20th May 2013 by Paul

Straight out of Hell
Released January 16th, 2013
Power/Speed Metal
Released via Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

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Along with Blind Guardian and Grave Digger, Helloween are one of the longest running and most prolific bands of the German Power Metal scene. Their career is a textbook example of the journey that many metal bands go through. Their first album, Walls of Jericho was a highly acclaimed debut that shortly followed by the band’s masterpieces: The Keeper of the Seven Keys parts 1 and 2. In typical eighties Metal band style, the group entered their second decade of existence with an awkward experimental phase in the early nineties, recording Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon, to far less success and acclaim than their previous releases. After this, the band bounced back with The Time of the Oath and Better than Raw and have since settled into a more stable pattern of creating a decent album every few years for the last decade or so. This brings us to 2013 and Straight out of Hell.

What should listeners expect of this album? It’s a solid effort from a mostly solid band. Worth at least a listen or two, the record features a relatively diverse amount of songs that showcase Helloween’s great style. Fast songs, slower songs, the epic 7 minute opener, anthemic songs and a decent sprinkling of the band’s trademark eccentric humour for good measure make up this record. Some album highlights include Far From The Stars, Church Breaks Down, the title track Straight out of Hell, the gloriously cheesy Hold Me in Your Arms and the epic starter track Nabatea. This is a reliably good record that should sit comfortably in the collection of any Helloween fan, but also any fan of modern Power Metal. With typical Maideneque song writing that has so often defined the band, soaring choruses and epic, neoclassical elements, this album is proof that Helloween can still write some entertaining songs.


Paul Gibbins


Grave Digger – Home At Last [EP]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 3rd August 2012 by Pieni

Grave Digger
Home At Last [EP]
Released: 27th July 2012
Heavy Metal
via Napalm Records


Just as the UK had NWOBHM, Germany had its own metal movement a few years later, even though there’s no fancy name for it. It consisted of mixing speed metal with the traditional heavy metal, making it rawer, stronger, meaner. And that’s why the new songs in this EP are quite disappointing – they’re heavy metal alright, but they lack speed!

The guitars in “Home At Last” are old school heavy metal and there’s nothing wrong with that. But one would expect a rhythm section a bit more aggressive. The chorus has a few voices backing up Chris Boltendahl’s, making it pretty catchy and a candidate to the live setlist. Still some power is missing.

With “Rage Of The Savage Beast” happens more or less the same, and despite the message of “Metal Will Never Die”, whose one of the main riffs reminds me the beginning of Iron Maiden’s “From Here To Eternity”, I believe they could have made something better.

The best part is definitely the three live tracks, recorded in Wacken 2010 – “Ballad Of A Hangman”, “Exacalibur” and “Heavy Metal Breakdown”. Three classics that show the greatness of Grave Digger on stage. They sound heavier and faster live, which is no surprise, so maybe there’s some hope for the studio tracks here, if played live. Maybe.

On the other hand, this is an EP released barely a month before the album “Clash Of The Gods”, due in late August. And only “Home At Last” made it to the album. So I believe that both “Rage Of The Savage Beast” and “Metal Will Never Die” are that kind of song that bands compose a little differently, and despite being good, they’re not good enough. So they become B-sides.

As for “Home At Last”, it will be the last track of the album – maybe that’s the reason why is not as speedy. Coming to think of it, the title has a somewhat “ending” feeling to it, the “at last” giving the notion of something that’s been complete. Good for the final track. Just not sure about making an EP after it.


Renata “Pieni” Lino

Napalm news extravaganza!

Posted in News with tags , , , on 25th May 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet


Following their recent streak of success – “Demo of the Month” in Metal Hammer GER and winner of the Wacken Metal Battle 2011 – the Thrash combo Dust Bolt are finally unleashing their highly anticipated debut album! “Violent Demolition” which will be released at the end of July!

Vocalist and guitarist Lenny comments:
“The record deal for our debut album is an important step in our career. We are more than happy to cooperate with such a well-respected and established label. It was hard work to find a suitable label for our debut ‘Violent Demolition’, but now it’s gonna be unleashed! ‘Violent Demolition’ will bring you a serious whiplash! Come to our shows and get a dose of Toxic Thrash! Prepare for toxic attack!”

GRAVE DIGGER: Album Cover Competition

Name the title of the new Grave Digger album and win a Meet & Greet! The new Grave Digger album will be released at the end of August 2012! To ease the anticipatory wait, the band revolving around vocalist Chris Boltendahl will post 4 new pieces of the artwork and 4 new letters of the album title every week. The contest can be found on all Grave Digger channels.


The Dark Metallers release the clip to their new hit “Ich trinke Blut“! The video may be watched on Napalm’s YouTube channel. The new album “Dogma” is out now!

VAN CANTO: If I Die in Battle Clip

The epic fantasy clip to “If I Die in Battle” may be watched here.

LEAVES’ EYES: On Tour in Asia

Leaves’ Eyes have just announced three shows in Asia!


13.07.12 CN – Beijng / Star Live House
14.07.12 CN – Shang Hai / Mao Live House
15.07.12 TW – Taipei / KHS Hall