Grave Digger has been playing for 38 years, since 1980. Just think about it: 38 years! It’s a lot for a Heavy Metal band, but with their 20-th album (!) The Living Dead Germans proved one more time that they can put anyone to a grave, but aren’t going to lay there themselves.
The band’s line-up is also surprisingly stable: Chris Boltendahl (vocals), Axel Ritt (guitar), Jens Becker (bass), Stephan Arnold (drums) and Marcus Kniep (keyboards).
The Living Dead contains nine songs, bonus track “Glory Or Grave” and Heavy Metal Polka “Zombie Dance”, I’ll tell about it later (though, everybody already heard it, I guess). Unlike its predecessor Healed By Metal, the new album dedicated to zombies, walking dead and all this associated things, as it could be easily understood from the album’s name and cover with walking skeletons and little dead girl with bloodstained knife. Cliché? Yes. Trivial? A little. But, seriously, did you expect some other artwork from Grave Digger?
An album opens with great “Fear Of The Living Dead”, which has all that fans want to hear: melody and heavy sound. Wherein, the song is quite atmospheric, not only because of children music box sounds in intro. Later an atmosphere changed by pathos in “Blade Of The Immortal” and “Shadow Of The Warrior”. Also there is a Metal hymn “The Power Of Metal”, quite typical for a band, but somehow always sounds good, especially in live shows. “What War Left Behind” and ” When Death Passes By” are fast songs with technical solos, while “Fist In Your Face” goes to Rock’n’Roll (or rather what Lemmy meant by this concept). Here Grave Digger made a step out from their Heavy/Speed Metal; the song is rhythmical, jerky and a little dirty.
Well, the most outstanding song in an album is “Zombie Dance”, of course, which played with the band Russkaja. Frankly, such “symbiosis” was totally suddenness. But in a whole the brass section and double pedal sound good together. Chris tell about the song: “Polka and metal – is that fitting? With “Zombie Dance” we are opening the gate to hell for every incarnate, true metalhead and Grave Digger fan. But, to be honest… the symbiosis between metal and polka turns out to be perfect and calls on everyone to dance and headbang. You wanted party – you’ve got it”.
The Living Dead is one more solid album from Heavy Metal veterans. Yes, probably it’s not the best album in their long career, but it’s not their worse album, absolutely not! Grave Digger as is, nothing more, nothing less.
The Living Dead will be released on September, 14 via Napalm Records.