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Grave Digger - Return Of The Reaper

Published July 26 2014

=Staff's pick

Return Of The Reaper
Hell Funeral*
Tattooed Rider
Resurrection Day*
Season Of The Witch
Road Rage Killer
Satan's Host
Dia De Los Muertos
Death Smiles At All Of Us
Nothing To Believe

Genre Heavy Metal
Chris Boltendahl
Tracks 12
Axel Ritt
Running time 44 Min.
Label Napalm Records
Jens Becker
Release 11 July 2014
Stefan Arnold
Country Germany
HP Katzenburg
Producer Grave Digger
Similar artists ---

I believe a presentation of German heavy metal legends Grave Digger isn't necessary at any point. After three decades of this band's heavy metal, fans to this type of music must have heard of them before. When I at first listened to Return Of The Reaper, I found it a little lifeless and sort of dull, but after more intense periods of listening, to really set myself in a position to dig deeper into it, I've changed my mind and in fact I now like what I hear.

Grave Digger doesn't seem to put much effort into establishing completely new stuff. You totally know what you will get and on this record there's no need to worry about them creating any groundbreaking moments. The music hammers on, following its model, with massive heavy metal in different shapes and versions and it has rather jumped a few steps back in time, to a period and to songs reminiscent of older material.

Chris Boltendahl's voice isn't exactly what you would associate with perfect vocals, but fans to this band already know what they'll get on that matter and frankly it's actually not possible to ignore the fact that his characteristic voice somehow still fits the music that's backing it up. The riffs are as usual powerful and apposite and Axel Ritt is definitely the right man for the job, even though several riffs are tending to be some kind of replicas of before.

The overall sound feels a little blurry, yet forceful and direct, and it doesn't particularly overshadows the outcome. The only thing really negative I have to point out is the album's final track, Nothing To Believe, which is a lullaby ballad and with my words of Boltendahl's capacity earlier, you can all figure out what this piece sounds like, although the actual music is rather beautiful, I must say.

Anyway, although the first half of the record comes out much stronger than the second half, it's still massive and ripping heavy metal that fires at most stations. I think that they have once again proven that they are a force to be reckoned with, even if this album isn't one of the band's most excellent releases.

See also review of: Healed By Metal , Exhumation - The Early Years , Clash Of The Gods , Home At Last , Ballads Of A Hangman , Liberty Or Death , The Last Supper , Rheingold , The Grave Digger , 25 To Live








7 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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