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On stage: Grave Digger

- Running Wild & Grave Digger - June 1994 - Dortmund (D) -
- Grave Digger, Tierra Santa & Brainstorm - Jan. 2002 - Bochum (D) -
- W.O.A. - Aug. 2004 - Wacken (D) -
- RockHard Festival - May 2007 - Gelsenkirchen (D) -
- Bang-Your-Head - June 2008 - Balingen (D) -
- Christmas Metal Meeting - Dec. 2009 - Bad Arolsen (D) -

- Christmas Metal Meeting: Grave Digger, Destruction, Krypteria, Today Forever & Mordeen -
- December 18th 2009 - Bad Arolsen (D), Outback -

Today Forever





Right in time for the Christmas Metal Meeting winter had arrived in Northern Hessia which made to ride difficult, coz there were still people on their way with summer tires. And so it dawned me that the weather conditions will prevent quite a few people from going to the show.

I can't tell anything about Mordeen which got added to the bill on short notice, coz at that time I was sitting in the warmth of the nightliner doing an interview with Destruction.
So first band I got to see were melodic hardcore youngsters Today Forever from Kassel. Today Forever presented mainly songs from their current album Profound Measures with a lot enthusiasm and self-confidence. If you like hardcore with melodic parts, you should check them out! They remind me a bit of In Flames...
The first highlight of the night was Krypteria and it was obvious that quite a lot of their fans who braved the elements to see Ji-In Cho and her pals. And Krypteria paid off with a powerful performance, great light show and fantastic songs, even if they just arrived before the show due to other drivers with summer tires. Not for a single moment they showed the stresses and strains they just been though and when they finished their set with My Fatal Kiss their fans were satisfied.
Schmier and his mates opened the gates of hell in front of a small, but enthusiastic audience. And the attending really enjoyed the bonfire of thrash songs. A awesome mix of classics and new songs which incl. Curse The Gods, Unconscious Ruins, Mad Butcher and Bestial Invasion and their younger history was represented by Nailed To The Cross, Thrash 'Til Death, The Butcher Strikes Back and D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.! With entertaining song introductions and the great performance time was flying. Schmier and Mike switched sides all the time and it almost seemed like a quintet was on stage.... After Total Disaster Destruction left the stage and it was quite obvious that thrash metal is still alive and kickin'! And the oldsters still know to thrash!
Grave Digger is also living legend and they surely know how to present their traditional heavy metal. Around for 29 years they have more then enough songs to choose from - a best-of set guaranteed. Chris Boltendahl and his band offered everything from the title track of their 1984 debut album Heavy Metal Breakdown to killer tunes like Knights Of The Cross, Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching) and Excalibur which represented the 90's. Songs like Valhalla, The Last Supper and Silent Revolution stand for the new millennium and showed that Grave Digger still rock, even if 2010 marks their 30th anniversary. And after such a performance one can only hope they stay around for a few more years.

Resume: A great night full of heavy music with enthusiastic bands in a nice club and with a great crew. So the fans got a great package compensating their exhausting ride through this cold winters night.

Leif Lohne
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


Grave Digger, Brainstorm & Tierra Santa - Jan., 14th 2002 - Bochum (D), Zeche

Opener on this tour were the Spanish Tierra Santa and it seems that some fans came to see especially them! But for most of the audience they were just a name, not knowing what to expect. The Spanish quintet play about 30 min. and tried to make more friends. The band couldn't communicate with the audience, coz they almost speak no English and so they often didn't introduced the songs. Unfortunately I don't know them very well, so I can't tell much about them. The Iron Maiden fans presented a decent set, even if they should work on their stage performance! And probably think about English lyrics in future, coz many fans seem to have problems with the Spanish words....
After a break the German power metal quintet Brainstorm entered the stage. They were out to promote their latest release Metus Mortis and so the setlist offered mainly songs from the latest release. The band of guitarist Thorsten 'Todde' Ihlenfeld also played a few older tracks incl. Maharaja Palace, Crush Depth and Tear Down The Walls. The five-piece really rocked the house and proofed that they are one of the best live acts in Germany!
Then it was time for the German heavy metal maniacs of Grave Digger! They opened their set with Son Of Evil and took the fans on a journey through the last releases incl. Scotland United, Dark Of The Sun, Knights Of The Cross, Excalibur and The Grave Digger. New guitarist Manni Schmidt act like he is in the band for ages. A tight line-up as the backbone of Grave Digger and to support main­man Chris Boltendahl. The fans screamed and shouted, banged and rocked. They sang along and a choir of about 900 fans supported Grave Digger. After more than 90 min. the band finished their show with an very old track... Heavy Metal Breakdown!
For me as well as some of the old fans the setlist could have had more old tunes from the early days, but they have too much material to choose from and the majority was satisfied by the chosen ones. Perhaps next time they will offer some more old ones.... Who knows...

Claudia Ehrhardt

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