Label: ROAR Playing Time: 50 Min Release: 26.08.2022
The Gladbeck based band Grave Digger have released their 21st album these days, in their 42nd (!) year of existence. These impressive numbers reflect the relevance of the band in the Heavy Metal scene, not only the German one. A closer look at their album and song repertoire reveals several immortal classics. But a part of the truth is also that most of those classics are already several years old. Nevertheless, every new album has to compete with those.
“Symbol of Eternity” kicks of with the strong ‘Battle Cry’. The powerful riffs and the catchy chorus are the biggest pros of this track which does not need to fear a comparison with the band’s classics. However, no more songs of this excellence will follow. The next tracks do have their strong moments, but cannot match this high level of the opener or the classics. And it gets worse in the second half of the album, run-of-the-mill song arrangements, only a few powerful riffs and catchy choruses. The fact that Grave Digger have been using only one guitar for some time turns out as another weakness, because it limits the possibilities way too dramatically. One last point I want to make is the sound. If you like 80s old school, you might be fine with it. But I am not. If it’s not well balanced and lacking clarity, that’s nothing I can fall for.
All in all, the album has the charm of an 80s demo but does not live up to a release of veteran band in 2022. Neither the songwriting, nor the sound match my expectations or even the band’s own back catalogue. What a pity! I’ve expected more…