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Generally I abstain from reviewing EPs and singles, but I got awfully caught up in Grave Digger’s little 3 track (plus a few live tracks) EP Home At Last. The last time we left our favorite ghoulishly heavy metal Germans, they were fully embracing their love for Scot history and imagery with The Clans Will Rise Again. Now, they appear to be taking a path into the territory of Greek mythology, an area that, to my knowledge, has not yet been unearthed by the Grave Digger.
Since no one is here for the live tracks, I’ll concentrate upon the three brand new ones. The titular song is a strong, mid-paced roaring track that you’ll swear you’ve heard many times before, until wave upon wave of the song’s title hits home during the chorus (At which point you’ll realize “Why no, this hasn’t been beaten into my head before!”). Catchy, familiar, and headbangable, it’s just what you expect from the band after all these years. The other two songs, “Rage Of The Savage Beast” and “Metal Will Never Die” are fairly self-explanatory. The slow churning riff of the former, along with snarling sound effects, makes for a passing Grave Digger tune, but really not much more. There’s a bit more energy in “Metal Will Never Die”, which is a good thing, because one of a million songs about metal (and by a band that’s done more than their share of them) had better have some energy to it. I don’t know if it’ll ever be a concert staple, but it’s all right, no more.
So we come out with two acceptable tracks and one pretty good song which we know will be on the upcoming album Clash Of The Gods (I don’t believe that either of the non-title tracks will be). Based on what we’ve got here, Grave Digger fans can feel free to pre-order the upcoming album, but I wouldn’t advise picking this up (though springing for a digital download of “Home At Last” would definitely be forgivable).
And no, I didn’t just review this EP because the cover art is awesome, would I do a thing like that?
Original review written for Black Wind Metal
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 there is only one original member in the band, Chris Boltendahl, 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’ that has an 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!
[Originally written for metalholic.com]