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This is one of my oddest reviews, mainly because this is considered to be an EP. Yet it's 24 minutes long. So, it's hard to call this album, but I want to because it's supurb. So here we go, Grave Digger's "Symphony of Death."
There's a quick intro that leads right into the title track "Symphony of Death." This song is one of my favorites of all time. The riffs, the lyrics, the performance, everything is flawless. It's one of the catchiest tracks I've ever heard. The overall feel of this song is power and blood pumping. An anthem for sure. "Back to the Roots" is a song about Grave Digger themselves, when Chirs Boltendahl changed the band name to Digger and altered there sound to make more money. This song itself rules. Great vocals from Chris Boltendahl once again pumping power to the entire atmosphere. Uwe Lulis does a fantastic job on guitar throughout the entire album. His playing has it's own feel to it and he really imposes his will here. "Shout it Out" highlights Jorg Michael's drum performance, it's spectacular on this track. One of the fastest Grave Digger songs ever created. Sure, none of the writing is original, but it's reasonable and easy to ignore. "World of Fools" is the more melodic track, but don't think it isn't superb as well, because it is. One of the more lyrically powerful Grave DIgger songs. It's much different than the rest of the album, which gives it an edge in my opinion. "House of Horror" is catchy, once again I can't say it enough. This album drills itself in your brain and it doesn't let go. "Symphony of Death" ends with "Wild and Dangerous." Sure it's a little cheesy, but who doesn't like cheese? Good song to end a near perfect EP.
The line up here, is one of Grave Digger's best, if not the best. Chirs Boltendahl's vocals are as great as ever, and you'll respect the uniqueness of it. The production is good, spotty here and there, but overall positive. It's about 24 minutes. Long for an EP, short for an album. So you could consider it a negative, but I don't. Drags down the potential for filler, which nobody wants I'm sure.
This is one of the greatest EP's I've ever heard. Fast, catchy, powerful, everything you'd want in German speed metal. Check it out for sure if you a fan of the genre, if your just getting into Grave Digger this is the best place to start. Amazing piece of music.
Here is an odd little release from veteran German speed metal ensemble of Grave Digger. It’s an E.P. with songs never released on any other album and with all the trappings of a full-length. The lack of reviews certainly suggests an anonymity among the metal populace that is probably not due this musical work.
Nope, this is quality early Grave Digger material, though armed with a schizophrenic personality. Looking at the whole discography, “Symphony of Death” is sandwiched between The Reaper and Heart of Darkness—cozy company that provides indications of the musical direction here. Yet, at the same time the songs within represent a certain anomaly, combining nostalgia for the even more distant past and a glimmer of future greatness.
The E.P. opens with an intro that leads into the title track and a riff peculiar in its departure from the hyper single-note riffage signature of German speed metal. In fact, this cut is not too dissimilar to the ideas perfected on their next album. Further adumbration in the middle section where choirs rise up in eerie melody and one can’t help but see the future of Grave Digger writ large.
It should be said that while none of the material is slow on this album, speed doesn’t characterize the material. It’s their, but it no longer seems the end, only the means. A subtle difference, but it produces a tremendous difference and elevates Grave Digger to the next tier.
“Back to the Roots” follows the title track with a furious ode to their return to heavy metal after the failed experiment of Digger. And then they keep hitting us with amazing cut after amazing cut, that while not truly exceptional or original mark a drastic departure with their past in terms of quality—the riffage is stronger, the choruses catchier, the solos more engaging and more ambitious songwriting. No longer populating Grave Digger’s work are nearly indistinguishable speed metal cuts. They experiment here (Check out “World of Fools”) and with great success that will reach its ultimate payout on the next album.
One flaw saddles “Symphony of Death,” however; one that continually plagues this band: considerably inane choruses. Not musically that is, but lyrically. Unfortunately, Chris Boltendahl latches onto the nasty habit of repeating the song title for his chorus.
P.S. I think this is the most appropriate place to mention a few miscellaneous songs strewed among various early releases. Tears of Blood, Don’t Kill the Children, Girls of Rock and Roll and Shoot Her Down fit snugly with anything off their first three albums and are maybe slightly better. The track that is thoroughly worth tracking down (it’s not even mentioned on this site) is the song No Quarter. It sounds completely awkward for any era of Grave Digger, but especially young Grave Digger. It combines some truly emotional riffs, odd experimentation and peculiar production into a gem worth digging up. For that matter, it might have fit well on this album.