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Grave Digger - The Clans Are Still Marching

Label: Napalm
Format: CD/DVD
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10

The live 30th anniversary party at Wacken 2010 is now available in both CD and DVD packages. Instead of a career retrospective (which honestly is what most Grave Digger shows are), Chris Boltendahl decided to present "Tunes Of War", in its entirety, in costume and with a couple of notable guests. The stage fills with an authentic, Tartan wearing bagpipe/drum brigade to introduce the evening, then it’s eleven "War" tunes in a row, followed by the title track from their most recent full-length ("Ballad Of A Hangman") and two fan favorites, ‘Excalibur’ and the ubiquitous/requisite ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’ finale.


Along the way, the band is backed by a cappella metal outfit Van Canto, as a choir, while Doro Pesch shows up on a heartfelt ‘Ballad Of Mary’ duet and Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kursch mugs to the crowd on ‘Rebellion’. Both are also available, in studio versions on a co-issued EP. Not sure if there was something else planned (which didn’t materialize), but it’s half way through the show before the first "surprise". Throughout the evening, Boltendahl drifts in and out of German/English talking to the enormous crowd. A lively, sing-along celebration is what’s on tap here. Maybe not the perfect Digger repertoire, but certainly one people will remember.

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