Founded in 1980, the band Grave Digger been around for almost 40-years released nothing but solid, intense metal albums, they’ve grown significantly darker in sound over the decades. Even many subgenres exist in the world of metal, it doesn’t faze this long-standing band, never compromising the style or sound as they released their latest creation on September 14, 2018 from Napalm Records, still true German heavy metal. One of the key aspects of the band, the constant embrace of the reaper on multiple album’s artwork, which this time definitely embraces a horror feel to the music.

One key element that all metal fans know very well is the long held belief that metal is dead, well that has yet to officially occur, while it did take a hiatus in the late 80s/early 90s, other more extreme forms rose up, but the European bands held strong and kept delivering serious metal albums. In a time when digital music, often pirated, and a world instant gratification proves hard for a new band to gain a foothold, but the giants hold true to form evolving slightly but the core of their fans back them thoroughly.

The album ‘The Living Dead’ contains 11 tracks (with the last one as a bonus track), although a 12th track existed on a limited edition version of 500 CDs, it’s the only place to date that this track called “Nightmare” existed. The opening song “ Fear of the Living Dead” contains great hooks to the listeners and clearly shows the band improved on their previous album ‘Healed by Metal’. By the second song, “Blade of the Immortal” the phenomenal guitar blazes a new path, this theme resurfaces many times on the album. A weaker song, but presented as an anthem is “The Power of Metal” which is exactly how it sounds, the insane driven riffs  resurrect once more with “Insane Pain”. “Hymn of the Damned” contains an atmospheric beginning, similar to the opening track, once more with the drumming taking over, but more of a delivery intensity to flourish. Song of the lyrics work, though a few moments appear corny, but this works for the most with fans of metal and horror films.  One of the tracks that grows oneself, is called “Zombie Dance” (a cool video too) presents with a pirate metal meets polka dance-off and a metal overlay covers the basis, which features the band Russkaja; needless to say, this song caused quite a bit of controversy, but metal doesn’t always need to be so damn serious. Axel Ritt steals many moments with his performance on guitars while Stefan Arnold  makes sure the drums sell the intensity while working closely with bass player Jens Becker.

Track List:

Fear of the Living Dead
Blade of the Immortal
When Death Passes By
Shadow of the Warrior
The Power of Metal
Hymn of the Damned
What War Left Behind
Fist in Your Face
Insane Pain
Zombie Dance

Glory or Grave (Bonus Track)
Nightmare (HIGHLY LIMITED Bonus Track)


Chris Boltendahl / Vocals
Stefan Arnold / Drums
Jens Becker / Bass
Axel Ritt / Guitars
Marcus Kniep / Keyboards

Throughout their career, Grave Digger delivers consistent metal albums, with some classic songs, this time around there’s a hint of fun scattered among the songs and lyrics, for the long-standing fans; it might not bring in new fans. They continue to survive the changes to the industry and landscape of the metal genre, a few line-up changes have occurred, but the sound never changes and makes them a testament to their endurance they are The Living Dead.

Baron’s Rating: 4.0/5

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