Label: Napalm Records
Release date: August 7, 2012
German heavy metal band Grave Digger has returned to the metal scene with a brand new EP recorded through Napalm Records called Home at Last. The 6-track EP is a teaser to their new album, Clash of the Gods, coming out on September 4th. The new EP has three new songs, and three classics recorded live from Wacken in 2010. The 2010 Wacken performance from Grave Digger reassured me that this band can still kill it, especially when Van Canto and Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) came on stage and sang “Rebellion” with the band, one of Grave Digger’s biggest songs. It’s absolutely breathtaking, and I’m glad they put some of those live tracks on EP.
Grave Digger comes from an era in metal that many of us wish would return, the 1980’s heavy/power metal scene. It seems so many of those bands have modernized their sound so much it’s unrecognizable, or some of them can’t play their old stuff, so fans rarely get to hear it live. I respect Grave Digger undeniably, even if vocalist Chris Boltendahl is the only one original member in the band. They can still nail their classics like it was 25 years ago. But enough about the classics! Let’s talk about the future!
The new EP opens up with the title track, “Home at Last” which has amazing driving drums, that classic crunchy guitar and bass tone, and the hard-hitting vocal style of Boltendahl that I swear will never age. This is the only song on the EP that will be released on the new album, and it’s such a tease to what the new album will hold. The chorus especially is such a great representation of their music all around. It’s catchy, and has great vocal layering and melody that just makes me want to sing along.
What’s a metal band’s new EP release without a metal anthem? “Metal Will Never Die” is a fucking awesome metal anthem that I am a complete sucker for. It’s a perfect song for a long-lasting heavy metal band such as Grave Digger. They make me feel like I’m standing in the first row, raising my fist, screaming at my idols! Dozens of other bands out there can say “Metal will never die!” but how many out there can actually prove it? The three live tracks include one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Excalibur”. The recording on it is spot on and you can hear a great mix of the band and the crowd that really makes me feel like I’m there. It would be a dream come true!
All in all, the EP is a great release to add to their massive discography. I wish the new songs had more of a connection or a theme, because they are each telling their own original story and don’t really work together in any way. But for a teaser EP, it’s great, and the live tracks are a great touch! This band kicks ass on record AND live. And again, they can prove it!
Chris Boltendahl -Vocals
Stefan Arnold -Drums
Jens Becker – Bass
H.P. Katzenburg – Keyboards
Axel “Ironfinger” Ritt -Guitars