German Teutonic power metal with double bass drums and heavy riffs, a formula Grave Digger have been using since..., I can't remember. Grave Digger is a statement in German metal. Since they started they have made a lot of albums and on every album they improve. The last 3 or 4 albums are about the same high quality and with 'Ballads of a Hangman (2009)' they even recorded their best album so far.
I was very surprised about this follow up 'The Clans Will Rise Again' being released so fast. Their 30th anniversary is the reason for that I guess. With 15 albums in 30 years they already have a big legacy. Chris Boltendahl returned lyrically back to the 'Tunes of War' period. Again Scottish war battles and stories are told in the songs. After the intro with the pipes of war of course, the first track 'Paid in Blood' starts at full speed. There isn't a single member from the beginning left in the band, except Chris of course, but musically it is still pure Grave Digger metal. Newest member Axel Ritt, who replaces both guitar players (Thilo Hermann and Manni Schmidt), handles the axe like he has been part of the band for the past 30 years. The guitar work is excellent and the songs are all of the same class. Because the songs are rather strong even Chris' accent doesn't irritate me anymore.
"Higland Farewell" starts with bagpipes and throughout several songs they use these pipes in a very natural way and that make it more interesting. During this track I have to think about SkyClad, this song leans closely to their style. Grave Digger is at its best in the faster tracks where heavy riffs dominate; the slower songs like "The Clans Will Rise Again", "Whom the Gods Love" and "When Rain Turns to Blood" are in my opinion the weaker ones.
All in all Grave Digger or should I say Chris Bolthendahl, can be very proud about the past 30 years and with this new album they prove that they still are relevant in the nowadays scene. We will certainly see them in the next 30 years......