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Grave Digger - Healed By Metal

Grave Digger
Healed By Metal
by Harel Golstein at 13 March 2017, 9:53 AM

Before delving into a GRAVE DIGGER record, it’s best to know what you’re up against. Not that there’s anything new or exquisitely fresh about this release, and that’s pretty much the point. GRAVE DIGGER, led by mastermind Chris Boltendhal, is unable to disappoint its fans or traditional Metal seekers because there’s not much envelope pushing or praise for formula changes in the bands’ DNA. So as a starting point, that should be well known. There’s nothing that’ll knock you off your feet on this release, definitely not out of surprise, but if explosive riffs and an in-your-face-metal attitude works for you, there’s no reason “Healed By Metal,” GRAVE DIGGER’s 18th full length album, shouldn’t satisfy both genre purists and occasional listeners.

The sound is sharp but still gritty enough to throw you back into an 80’s vibe, and these newest GRAVE DIGGER compositions that made their way into “Healed By Metal” are overall ok and fun to listen to. Great grooves, catchy sing-along harmonies and choruses, good riffing and explosive guitar solos in a very traditional fashion. The rhythm section, unsurprisingly enough, takes the lead as the pace of your headbanging will be set accordingly to the rising intensity of this release. I do have to mention, one part I specifically didn’t like was the repetitive chorus for the title track of the album, with the phrase “Healed By Metal” repeating over and over. I’m a great fan of sing along verses and catch phrases, just as much the next guy, that is, but some parts of this material just seem to be rehashed and overused. Some riffs are truly terrific though. The musician ship is outstanding as expected and Chris’s vocals are as strong as ever.

In an interview I was lucky enough to conduct with Chris just a couple of days before the album was released, he mentioned to me his love for the traditional stuff, the classics etc. But the thought that it’s a real shame that GRAVE DIGGER’s discocgraphy doesn’t get a breath of fresh air every now and then doesn’t leave me. Bear in mind, I’m not suggesting that GRAVE DIGGER should change its’ approach or style, I just think that after so many similar releases, it might be time to add some more flavor or twists.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Healed By Metal
2. When Night Falls
3. Lawbreaker
4. Free Forever
5. Call For War
6. The Commandments Of Metal
7. The Hangman’s Eye
8. Kill Ritual
9. Hallelujah
10.Laughing With The Dead
11. Kingdom Of The Night
12. Bucket List
Lineup:
Chris Boltendahl – Vocals
Axel Ritt - Guitar
Stefan Arnold – Drums
Jens Becker – Bass
Marcus Kniep - Keyboards
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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