Grave Digger, undoubtedly heavy metal legends and timeless badasses release their new album ‘Healed By Metal’ and thus prove that they not only alive, but still full of energy and forces. I guess there’s no need to tell who are Grave Digger, so I will only mention the band’s current line-up: founder Chris Boltendahl (vocals), Axel Ritt (guitar), Jens Becker (bass), Marcus Kniep (keybords) and Stefan Arnold (drums).
18-th album ‘Healed By Metal’ contains ten songs of purest heavy metal in all its beauty and diversity. Here is everything that fans want to hear: powerful and fast riffs in “When Night Falls” and “The Hangman’s Eye” for example (the last one sounds like a tribute to a Judas Priest), heavy rhythm-section and technical solos. There are also catchy choruses, that will be heard live perfectly, especially when lots of fans will chant «Healed By Metal» (“Healed By Metal”) or «Keep the faith, stay true!» (“Ten Commandments Of Metal”). However, it needs to say that the band exists for 36 years (36, think about it!) and Chris Boltendahl knows what he do.
There is also some pathos in an album, more inherent to Manowar (“Call For War”, “Free Forever”) and some kind of heavy metal badass song “Lawbreaker” with a sound of bike’s engine in intro. And of course there is gloomy humor in a songs like “Kill Ritual” and “Hallelujah”, that does not negate the powerful sound and catchy choruses from which headbanging happens quite spontaneously.
Surely Grave Digger can’t do an album without heavy-anthems that glorify metal. These are aforementioned “Healed By Metal” and “Ten Commandments Of Metal”. With this I want to notice that on the background of 2015 cartoon video “Heavy Metal Breakdown” where the band shown first in a nursing home and then in a graveyard, playing for dead, these songs are some kind of (self)irony. Well, anyway, who cares?
‘Healed By Metal’ is ending with gloomy “Laughing With The Dead”, that contains bass and guitar solos. It reminds an opening “Healed By Metal” a little, so the album is looped.
I already said, that the band exist for more than 30 years. But judging from this album, there are no “aging” signs for the band at all: music is powerful, vocals are raw and heavy. And this is good news, especially given the fact that rock and metal heroes, alas, are beginning to leave us. But not Grave Digger. Not here, not now.
With this album «veterans» said that they can dig a grave for anybody, but they themselves are not going to lay there.
‘Healed By Metal’ is out on January, 13-th by Napalm records. 2017 starts great!