Grave Digger

The Clans Will Rise Again

Written by: PP on 06/01/2011 14:29:49

You all remember my power/heavy metal rant around Christmas and New Years, where I called for originality and innovation in a genre where over saturation of generic automatically suffocates almost any band attempting to do so? Well, here's a long running unit who have been releasing albums since 1980. Grave Digger have managed to impress me year on year with original and thoroughly impressive content that avoids almost all clichés that riddle the genre. That is also the case on "The Clans Will Rise Again", their fifteenth studio album overall, where the band continues where they left off with "Ballads Of A Hangman" a year and a half ago, except improving on all aspects of their sound to produce a much more convincing album overall.

Anyone else love bagpipes? Their usage in the introductory track "Days Of Revenge" gets the listener pumped up for what is to come, and here's the trick Grave Digger employ to make their heavy/power combo sound interesting: their colossal soundscape is spiced with extra amounts of epic and tales of warriors. It's not war metal by any means, though everything about their songs screams warrior, honor and glory from the celtic times. A track like "Highland Farewell", for instance, sounds like what I'd imagine Dropkick Murphys to sound like had they gone heavy metal: heavy on bagpipes, a drunkenly sung chorus, and awesome riffing all around. It's almost anthemic in nature, despite the rough and semi-aggressive vocal delivery that also distinguishes Grave Digger from your average heavy metal bunch. It's also very convincing, leading some of my fellow review-corpse dubbing it as "epic Scottish war metal" in reviews of this album, a term fitting to the theme and sound, for sure.

The combination of folk instruments, a distinctly heavy metal instrumentation, and the impressive pipes of vocalist Boltendah is what continues to lift Grave Digger above most in the tired and clichéd field. The album contains a handful of songs which genuinely fit underneath the "heavy metal anthem" term, one reserved only for the very best in the field. Have a listen for "Rebels", "Valley Of Tears", or "Paid In Blood" for instance, and experience one of the last bastions left in the world of quality power/heavy metal.

7

Download: Paid In Blood, Highland Farewell, Rebels
For the fans of: Running Wild, Rebellion, Saxon
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.10.2010
Napalm Records

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