Grave Digger is not just a band, it is a trade mark. This is not much of a surprise for a band that has been going strong since the early 80s, of course. A name like that is also an obligation though, because when you get a Grave Digger album then your expectations are obviously higher than when you get to listen to a new band that has only just been founded. So, the big question is obviously the question as to whether “Healed By Metal” can live up to the promises implied by the name “Grave Digger”. To make it short: Yes, it can!
But let us jump right into the album and take a look at the first song, i.e. the title track. Yes, the title is obviously a bit cheesy, but so what? The lyrics describe pretty well why people love this particular Metal genre so much and either you understand the genre inherent logic, or you do not. There is no “in between” here. But the song is not just about the lyrics. It is also – naturally – about the music. Expect a powerful and groovy Old School Metal song here that is a lot about our shared love for Heavy Metal. Maybe one can also call it a love song? In a way this would not be far off. Metalfans tend to love their beloved genre a lot after all!
The title track is followed by “When Night Falls”. The song starts with an extremely fast riff that is supported by a powerful drum beat. Boltendahl’s vocals take out a lot of speed though, but not much. You also get a nice guitar solo and warrior themed lyrics that are a bit reminiscent of Manowar. In other words: You get a song that is like a kick in the proverbial butt! More of that, please!
The rest of the songs are all more or less midtempo songs which goes to show that heaviness does not necessarily mean high speed songs. Take the third song “Law Breaker”, for instance. It starts with the sound of a motorcycle and transits into a nice riff that starts yet another groovy, midtempo Metal song. So yes, in a way Grave Digger’s formula for this album is a bit simple, but why stray away from a good idea? Sometimes it is better to stick to what you are best at which is exactly what Grave Digger is doing throughout the entire album. midtempo, Old School Metal with Boltendahl’s deep vocals that make you wonder how his small frame is able to support such a massively deep voice, well placed guitar solos, driving drums, lyrics that make you want to bang your head, or raise your fist, you get it all!
Basically the only thing one can complain about is the comparatively short length of the album. A bit more than 36 minutes is not really much, but a short album is still better than a bunch of fillers just in order to kick up the length a bit. Last but not least, how good is the album in terms of devils? 9 out of 10!
- Healed by Metal
- When Night Falls
- Free Forever
- Call For War
- Ten Commandments of Heavy Metal
- The Hangman’s Eye
- Kill Ritual
- Laughing With The Dead
Playing time: 36:20
Release date: 13th January, 2017
Label: Napalm Records
Website: Grave Digger (Facebook)