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Grave Digger - Return Of The Reaper

Grave Digger
Return Of The Reaper
by Danny Sanderson at 21 June 2014, 5:45 PM

As far as Power / Heavy Metal goes, Germany are the masters of the genre. This nation is a Mecca for Metallers of all kinds the world over, boasting massive musical festivals such as Wacken Open Air, which attracts tens of thousands of fans the world over to a little village in the North of the country. This country has given us such exalted acts as HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, BLIND GUARDIAN and ACCEPT. And 2014 is seeing many of these bands return with new records which are every bit as good as their classics. The latest of these is GRAVE DIGGER; their newest effort, "Return of the Reaper", might just be one of the best Power/Heavy Metal records to come out this year.

The album opens with a keyboard rendition of Chopin's "Funeral March", which gradually builds into a crescendo and is accompanied by the same riff on guitar. And the album bursts into life with Hell's Funeral", which is an awesome title for an awesome track. "Season of the Witch" is, to put it simply, a good old-fashioned, fist-pumping Heavy Metal anthem. This song is bound to remain in their live show for years to come, and I think it will grow to be a favourite among their fans. There are, however, also plenty of fairly standard Power and Heavy Metal tracks on this record, like "War God", "Tattooed Rider" and "Satan's Host" which, despite being decent songs in their own right, are not exactly unique or of any serious note. This isn't an album that tries to make an statements or tries to push the envelope and innovate the way people view the genre. They've already done that with their previous albums. The closing track on the album, "Nothing to Believe" is the standard "ballad track" that you get on most Power Metal records, and actually excels where some similar songs from other Power Metal bands fail; it is actually quite good. I don't think there is much that can be said in regards to this albums weaknesses. It's got everything you would expect from a Power Metal album; catchy riffs, anthemic tunes and heart-felt ballads.

Is this album original? No. Is it a good album? Definitely. But above all, this album is a great album from a great band. I think it will please their old school fans, and it may just attract some new ones. It's definitely made a fan out of me.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Return of the Reaper
2. Hell Funeral
3. War God
4. Tattooed Rider
5. Resurrection Day
6. Season of the Witch
7. Road Rage Killer
8. Dia de los Muertos
9. Satan's Host
10. Grave Desecrator
11. Death Smiles at All of Us
12. Nothing to Believe
Lineup:
Chris Boltendahl- Bass, Vocals
Stefan Arnold- Drums
H. P. Katzenburg- Keyboards
Jens Becker- Bass
Axel "Ironfinger" Ritt- Guitars
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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