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Geared Up - 62%

OzzyApu, December 29th, 2010

At this point, Grave Diggers comeback album, The Reaper, already had over half of its tracklist ready. Four songs from the previous demo plus three from here would have already cut it for a full-length. So for those that got a taste of this at the time, they were sure to not be disappointed by the band’s increased intensity – something that wasn’t absent from before, but not as refined as now.

For Promotion Only (!!) sees the return of half a line-up: Boltendahl and Lulis. Lulis didn’t get to play on any of the releases from the ‘80s, but after suffering through Digger and Hawaii with Boltendahl he got back to concentrated, passionate riffs and leads. Hell, the man would get his chance with Grave Digger by sticking around until the ‘90s were over. Anyway, the production on this is more akin to the final recordings on The Reaper. Everything’s a splice quieter, so imagine the crisp, loud, balanced production of The Reaper at a slightly lower volume. Clobbers dominate the drum kit, but it isn’t the same aggressiveness that Jörg Michael would accomplish on the following full-length.

With this recording, the band began to sound like Running Wild. I mean both Running Wild and Grave Digger changed their sound a bit as they went on, but here is where the two met the same spectrum of heavy / power / speed metal with lively performances, puncturing production, and wild riffs. Having members switching between the two bands was another convenient coincidence. Here is also where Chris unleashes his gruff wails, psychotic screams, and dynamic singing. He always had passion in his voice, but here is where it found itself fronting fully competent music.

Fans shouldn’t find this to be a hard release to get into. Time is better spent listening to The Reaper, but don’t look at this as a needless release in today’s world. It had a purpose, and hearing this now makes The Reaper feel more like a compilation than its own full-length. Anyway, that kind of thinking isn’t required; just enjoy these releases for the music.