Sonntag, 21. Dezember 2014

GRAVE DIGGER - "RETURN OF THE REAPER" ("The reaper has returned, a lesson they should learn. From darkness he will rise, he kills all the silent cries.")

("NAPALM RECORDS"; Limited Double CD Digi-Book packaging)
(Running time - of the album: 12 songs in 43:33 minutes.)
(Note: I have and do my review on the limited version that includes the regular album and also a bonus CD with two new additional bonus tracks and a live recorded acoustic set/concert, and this double CD package comes in a phenomenal and just beautiful digi-book artwork and style, a real eye-candy.)
Review: And now, yes, let the inofficial Metal Days continue: Oh man, how long it's been now, since the last GRAVE DIGGER album made it into the ranks of my record collection, hm, and how long it's now since the last GRAVE DIGGER album really convinced me?!? I don't know exactly, but over an decade, something like 15 years or so, hm, but wait... yes, excactly 15 years, the last GRAVE DIGGER album I bought was the "EXCALIBUR" album from back then in 1999, hm, and the so called Middle Ages Trilogy were so far the last convincing GRAVE DIGGER albums, even they never had been their best works, none album of the three, but they had anyhow anyway always been really good and strong albums (and are it still today), but since then not much of a certain or decent quality happened and so more and more GRAVE DIGGER then finally more and more dissappeared from my radar screen (even I always celebrated their glory days). And then 2014 came (and now-a-days already nearly went) and with it the "RETURN OF THE REAPER" (btw, for all what I - think to - know it's not the first GRAVE DIGGER release of that name, I think there was once a demo with that title, maybe before their almighty groundbreaker "SYMPHONY OF DEATH" back then in 1993 was released), and right from the start the fantastic Old School Heavy Metal artwork totally caught and grabbed me, and after I saw the limited version that looked even more fantastic and was pretty cheap to buy and features even a bonus disc I suddenly felt like: "Mine!!!" - maybe also because I somehow had too much money to spend that day back then or so, but anyhow, I'm fucking glad'n'happy that I did spend the money back then that day some time this late summer or early autumn, because "RETURN OF THE REAPER" is simply the very best GRAVE DIGGER album since their almighty masterpiece "HEART OF DARKNESS" from back then in 1995. This is just pure and through and through real Heavy Metal of that specific teutonic kind with that unique GRAVE DIGGER character in sound and style. The total trademark of the music is without a doubt the totally stand-alone and charismatic hard as nails and rough'n'tough really harsh yet damn catchy and anyhow really sung lead singing voice that really marks the songs heavily - in every positive way. Then there are the bright shining guitars, that are just phenomenal done, period. No matter if we take the riffs and the rhythm playing or if we take the leads and the solo playing, it's just all damn amazing stuff, at the same time totally heavy and really brutal yet fucking melodic and catchy and with a really strong and also dirty rocking vibe to it all, and all enriching with a great ever-growing anthemic spirit to it all. The incredible and great forceful and just sheer full power rhythm section finally gives it all the right and beefed and bulked up massive strong back bone, straight, tight, precise, and played to the point as well as nicely varying and diverse and this all at the same time, it's just damn perfect. And this is to say about the whole album, it's as near to be perfect as it only can be. It comes also with a cool 1980's Hard Rock and Heavy Metal vibe as a cultivation of/to it all, but without being or becoming a stale and lame cheap retro crap affair, instead of this it's sticking out and shining bright as a totally up-to-date relevant and important and damn fresh and exciting, grapping and interesting, life-breathing and alive/lively-being fantastic (new) Heavy Metal album, and as one of a kind. That this guys are very skilled musicians should be clear and should so need no further explanation anyhow anyway. And their songwriting skills are even higher, better, greater. This is anthemic, rocking, heavy, harsh, and catchy as fuck fresh Old School Teutonic Heavy Metal of today and without a single doubt one of the very best albums of 2014, and it's really just a total killer. And so there really are no fillers to be found on it, but if you want my total favorites to start your journey through the album with then start with the totally almighty "TATTOOED RIDER", as well as with "SEASON" OF THE WITCH", "GRAVE DESECRATOR", "DIA DE LOS MUERTOS", "WAR GOD", "SATAN'S HOST", and "RESURRECTION DAY" as well as with the two totally killer bonus songs "THE EMPERORS DEATH" and "REBEL OF DAMNATION" on the second CD (the live acoustic set/concert is a nice bonus anyhow, even in no way really that "necessary" - if you know what I want to say - but still a nice and sympathic bonus goody) and you will right from the start know how fantastic this album simply and clearly is, point and fact. To compare GRAVE DIGGER with any other bands would make no sense after all and so I will spare it me and you and instead of this I will now close this review with saying that the cool lyrics, the bombing production sound as well as the (already mentioned ) awesome artwork also totally rule and also with pointing out that this is one hell of an album that you simply desperately need to have if you are a fan of real Heavy Metal that will chop your head off your body, and so go and get it, period. /// Andy
(Rating: 10 of 10 points)
(Band site: - Don't ask me why Blogger still refuses to post the links as direct links but anyhow you know what to do now, and if not then let me tell you to just copy the link into the headline of a new browser tab and then just go there, that's it, yes, that simple is it.)

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