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Grave Digger - 25 To Live

=Staff's pick

Passion (Intro)
The Last Supper
Desert Rose
The Grave Dance
Shoot Her Down*
The Reaper
The House
Circle Of Witches
Son Of Evil
The Battle Of Bannockburn*
The Curse Of Jacques
Grave In The No Man's Land
Morgane Lefay*
Symphony Of Death
The Dark Of The Sun
Knights Of The Cross*
Twilight Of The Gods
The Grave Digger
The Round Table
Heavy Metal Breakdown

Bonus material: A Journey To Brasil

Genre Heavy Metal
Chris Boltendahl
Tracks 27
Manni Schmidt
Runningtime 190 Min.
Label Nuclear Blast
Jens Becker
Release 14 Oct. 2005
Stefan Arnold
Country Germany
HP Katzenburg
Similar artists Rebellion

This year Grave Digger celebrate their 25th anniversary as a band and they decided to record a show in Sao Paulo, Brasil for this dvd release. For me, who has never had the previlege to see the band live, this is a very good opportunity to get a piece of what they have to offer on stage, and I have to say that it is better than what I had thought on beforehand.

There is not much of a show we get to see: no backdrop to talk about, not much movement or action on stage (bassist Jens Becker is extremely stillstanding in his corner), no pyro, and it looks a bit empty and desolate on such big stage with just a three piece in front and no decoration at all. Nevertheless the band manage to deliver beyond my expectations. Due to good sound and great tempo and flow throughout the concert, my interest is always on top and there are really no dead moments during this 27 song long cavalcade.

The tracklist is, with only a couple exceptions, well composed and arranged. There are a lot of hits from throughout the discography and they also squeeze in songs from their whole career including early bits like Shoot Her Down and Paradise. In the department of greediness, egoism and personal preferences, I would like to have seen a few more songs from Tunes Of War and different and better ones representing the album The Grave Digger. It is however understandable that the Tunes Of War songs have to stand back this time since they released the live effort Tunes Of Wacken a few years ago where the tracklist was based around this album.

A few points for the minus side, which is the main reason why the grade is not higher, lie on the production side. It may be that in any random japanese produced live video from 1987 it is understandable that they split the screen in two, are ending shots with a few seconds of slow motion, and have "spiced it up" with making the instruments and the musicians glow and radiate with digitally enhanced effects. That do not belong in a Grave Digger live dvd anno 2005, though. Luckily those abominations occur very seldom.

Having only one guitarist live is something that bands that have an otherwise fat and rich rhythm section can get away with. Unfortunatly, it sounds a bit thin on a few occasions during guitar solos in Grave Diggers case. It is nothing that affect the overall impression but enough for me to notice every now and then.

Despite these just mentioned remarks, this is a really good live concert which gives you good value for a relativly and honorably low price. On the plus side we find the good, heavy and sharp sound and also the genuine live feeling with a loud audience level. The interaction with the crowd is good and the sing along factor is high during this extensive dose of pure and old school heavy metal. Be sure to check it out!

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






8 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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