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Getting Back In The Game - 54%

OzzyApu, December 29th, 2010

After their stint as Digger failed horribly, Boltendahl realized that he wasn’t going to go down in history as being commercially successful. Once that got through to him, he was back to kicking ass with above average heavy / power metal. This release was probably for the band to get the band back in the rotation of the music business, as they were inactive for a couple years before this. The ‘80s came and went, yet the band didn’t really solidify themselves. Grave Digger’s cousin, Running Wild, would hit glory both during the ‘80s and ‘90s, but the ‘90s would be when Grave Digger really took off.

For a returning demo, this is focused and alive; production is clear and ripping with vibrant tones. All four of these tracks would make it onto The Reaper, but the production isn’t exactly the same. There’s fuzz, as expected with a cassette this old, and I’m certain that the mixing is a little different. They’d fix this issue with the full-length version, but these tracks, while identical in length, are flatter and contain metallic drums. The shredded tone of the guitar partners with the precise rumble of the bass, but the swift pounding is undermined by the weedy kit sound.

It’s a sad bet that I shouldn’t get riled up about, but this could have been another interesting demo. The songs are essentially the final compositions, but the slight graininess and feeble drums bring this back to the quality of the second demo. This isn’t as lopsided with the mixing, but it doesn’t have the general vigor of the past full-lengths. All of these tracks are melodic, fun, and distinct; vicious for speed metal and boisterous for heavy metal. They’re a good indication of the melodic sound the band had before, but better as teasers for the hefty heavy metal to come. Chris yells and sings coarsely as he would on any of the full-lengths to follow.

While a release that holds its own historically, I’ll tell you to just go hear The Reaper. It’s a complete product that includes all four of the tracks on this demo with a better production job. The band would be done with demos after this point (if you count the following release as an EP), and that’s for the better since they didn’t need anything else to stay alive.