Review: Grave Digger – The Living Dead

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Grave Digger is as Grave Digger does.

Grave Digger is one of those bands that you always hear in passing, but seldom do you go any further than looking up the band’s Wikipedia page. Despite this, I’ve somehow seen them open twice for Blind Guardian and have a few of their songs on my media player. With the band releasing their new album, The Living Dead, I decided to take a listen and see what this album is about.

The album opener “Fear of The Living Dead” drops in with an overused creepy lullaby sample before rushing headlong into an infectious guitar riff. Aside from that riff, this song’s other strength is its chorus which begs you to sing along to it. This track demonstrates what Grave Digger does best, catchy guitar riffs and choruses that demand audience participation. Following this is “Blade of the Immortal”, a rather nondescript affair except for the fact that could be easily mistaken for a Saxon song.

Track three is “When Death Passes By”, a song which sees the band really embrace its speed metal heritage. While you won’t confuse this song for a Helloween song, its definitely got an old school speed metal vibe which is rather refreshing. “Shadow of the Warrior” which follows starts out with a soft intro before giving way into the band’s usual sound. At The Living Dead‘s midway point, we are given the power of cheese.. err I mean “The Power of Metal”.  If this song was an attempt to give the album another anthemic track, it has failed in my opinion, I’ve got no urge sing along to it at all. However, this failing is reprieved immediately by “Hymn of the Damned”, which is much more successful in achieving an anthemic might.

Somewhat contrary to its title, “What War Left Behind” is hardly a ballad about the devastation of war; instead the song sees the band tap back into its speed metal past. Overall its a rather forgettable song. Surprisingly, the song that follows it up “Fist in Your face” is not an aggressive, speed metal track. Instead this song has a slower pace which reminds of both Accept and AC/DC. The album closer “Zombie Dance” features Russkaja, and I can confidently say that a mix of metal and polka was not something I expected, nor wanted. With that being said, its an okay track, but I still cannot figure out why it exists.

Grave Digger’s The Living Dead is an unremarkable album. I don’t dislike this album but I won’t find myself coming back to it in future. Unlike other Gave Digger albums in the past, there isn’t a track that I can say is a definitive live anthem for the band. There were a few sing along songs but nothing like “Highland Farewell” or “Excalibur” from the past. The Russkaja collaboration while not terrible just wasn’t that remarkable, at least compared with their previous endeavor with Van Canto.

The Living Dead scores 3 out of 5 flaming Toilets ov Hell.


 

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