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In the studio: Grave Digger

- Grave Digger - 1996 - Senden (D) -

Grave Digger's production of Tunes Of War

It was time for a new chapter, a new album in the career of Grave Digger. And so I wanted to use the chance to visit the four undertakers at the Principal Studios in Senden which is a small town in the middle of nowhere. There founder Chris Boltendahl, guitarist Uwe Lulis, bassist Tomi Göttlich and latest member drummer Stefan Arnold (ex-Capricorn) reside for the recordings.

First I should say that the new songs from Grave Digger are full of clichés, but that is something Chris 'Reaper' Boltendahl said long before they entered the studio. Is metal dead? Hahaha! The answer is "No!" With this album - named Tunes Of War - traditional metal will have a rebirth. They proof this with e.g. Culledon which has a drum solo in the middle of the song! Pure cliché and cult from the beginning. A drum solo at a studio album? Hey ho! And the rest of the material? Well... Just great! The sound is powerful and raw. You never have the feeling that this is a clean, polished studio production. The band spend at least 2 days to find the right sound. Uwe Lulis stated that the band worked completely without trigger sounds. You might ask: "Why haven't they recorded the old way? Live?" Drummer Stefan explained that it was impossible, coz mainman Chris was on holidays when they did the first parts. If you compare Tunes Of War with Heart Of Darkness then you will recognize changes. This output is catchier and comes to live through the different atmospheres. The vocal lines are well-arranged and better then ever.
The concept deals with the Scottish history from 1018 A.D. to 1746 A.D.. A powerful and clear sounding production make this album a pleasure to listen to. The concept presents the songs in a chronological way, so the track list can't be changed, coz that would interrupt the context. The following track list is not the same as on the album! What we can expect? We can expect 13 true metal tracks which last for almost one hour.

Scotland United: This is the album opener and remind me a bit of the Overkill hymn In Union We Stand. The song has a pregnant and catchy chorus and Chris' high screams mark this one.

Dark Of The Sun: Perhaps this is the ultimate follow-up of H.M. Breakdown... Anyway, the song has a Judas Priest-like guitar riffing, a great refrain and a great guitar solo of Uwe Lulis in the middle part.

Killing Time: A simple sing-along track which really grooves!

Rebellion: A typical Grave Digger up-tempo track which sounds a little bit like Armored Saint, but with an unusual bagpipe part.

Culledon: A straight ahead rocker with a drum solo part which later speeds up and becomes a real speed metal track.

The Truth: A mid-tempo track with Accept-like guitar riffing.

Cry For Freedom: A Motörhead kinda rock'n'roller. Great!

And after the summer the Grave Digger is around again. Listen to the album and catch them live!

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


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