Label: Napalm Records Playing Time 37 Minutes Release: 13th January 2017
Grave Digger have released a couple of classics in their 36 years and 18 albums history. Classics like “Heavy Metal Breakdown” and “Tunes of War” can be found in every head banger’s collection worldwide. I guess that there is no one who does not know this German band.
After a period of 3 years, Chris Boltendahl and his sidekicks deliver their 19th album. And, to make it short, it cannot match their own classics at any point of time. There are many reasons for this. First of all, many of the choruses do not appeal as much as they should. There are just a few positive exceptions, e.g. ‘Call for War’ and ‘Kill Ritual’. In contrast there are some tracks that seem to be written for effect (the title track and ‘Ten Commandments of Metal’), and furthermore, the sound is too one-dimensional. It is real old school punch in your face, which is nice in general, but it lacks variation. Only ‘Free Forever’ and the final ‘Laughing with the Dead’ come with some acoustic guitars which gives these songs a nice colour, but it is not enough for the whole album as such. Finally, some of the songs seem to be only fillers, e.g. ‘Lawbreaker’, ‘The Hangman’s Eye’ and ‘Hallelujah’.
To me, “Healed by Metal” is only business as usual, but not a new classic. Fans of those guys will certainly find some songs to love. But people who still want to become fans should stick to the albums mentioned above, or “Excalibur” and “Ballads of a Hangman”.