GRAVE DIGGER - The Living Dead
September 15, 2018, 10 months ago
By this, his twentieth album, one should know what to expect from Chris Boltendahl, yet there are a few unexpected (positive) twists to this tale. Kicking off with a child's music box, it's into "Fear Of The Living Dead" a mid-tempo number that's closer to a kitschy Lordi track than usual Digger fare. Can hear Axel Ritt's searing guitar work though. Big chorus of backing vocals on sing-along "Blade Of The Immortal" anthem, but it's really not until "When Death Passes By" that we get anything approaching speed. "Shadow Of The Warrior" begins as if it will be a ballad, but quickly jumps to a lively rhythm.
As the name portents, "The Power Of Metal" is a classic slice of Teutonic metal. 60% of the ten tracks fail to eclipse four minutes. "Hymn Of The Damned" rocks on Ritt's guitar, avoiding the stereotypical lyrical matter too. Same with "What War Left Behind", one that I'd like to see be slotted into the live set. Staccato "Fist In Your Fist" has a bit of a modern edge to it. Speaking of newer sounds, check out the electrified start to 3:00 "Insane Pain", but "Zombie Dance" is the one most people will be talking about, because of the collaboration with Austrian band Russkaja. Together they've concocted a humppa traditional Russian folk song. Bonus cut "Glory Or Grave" is the balls out cut missing elsewhere on the disc. They're not dead yet!