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Grave Digger – Exhumation

Label: Napalm
Format: CD download
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8/ 10


“Exhumation” is a collection of songs from Grave Digger’s 80s albums “Heavy Metal Breakdown”, “Witch Hunter”, “War Games”, and Digger “Stronger Than Ever”. Initially released on Noise Records and only available as import in North America (even still), this is a great opportunity for American metalheads to hear these classics if they missed em first time around.

 

Grave Digger were part of the German wave of bands following the success of Scorpions and Accept, along with Helloween, Running Wild, and Rage. These re-recordings retain the original arrangements, now just with beefed up guitars, bass, and drums, with founding member/singer Chris Boltendahl’s unique coarse voice less screechy like a crazed chicken (haha). ‘Headbanging Man’, ‘We Wanna Rock You’ (love how the beginning ramps up), ‘Tyrant’, and (single) ‘Shoot Her Down’ from the debut/song “Heavy Metal Breakdown” (1984) are early speed metal classics. “Witch Hunter” (1985) is represented by the title track, ‘Get Away’, and ‘Here I Stand’ again show Grave Digger’s ability to write a catchy riff as the base with a fist pounding chorus. On to “War Games”, ‘Enola Gay) Drop the Bomb’ and ‘Fire in Your Eyes’ keep with the heavier/speed metal roots, while ‘Paradise’ and ‘Playing Fools’ pulls in a little more melody for the arrangement and chorus. Consequently, the following album, “Stronger Than Ever”, under the name Digger, was a failed attempt at cashing in on the LA hard rock and glam metal sound with watered down guitars and cheesy keyboards. Still, did have a few good tunes, but not ‘Stand Up And Rock’? I think ‘Wanna get Close, ‘Listen To The Music’, and the title track would have been better choices./p>

Digi pack includes two new songs.

 
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