GRAVE DIGGER - Digging Up Roots
By Martin Popoff

Classic German pre-power metallers Grave Digger have returned with the somewhat awkwardly "self-titled" album The Grave Digger, which churns and burns and returns to the grind that made their debut record Heavy Metal Breakdown an undisputed classic piece of Teutonic metal madness.

Further marking this turning point for the band is a live album and DVD to be released shortly, documenting the band's performance at last year's Wacken. But the main order of business is promoting The Grave Digger (touring with Brainstorm and Tierra Santa blankets Europe in February and March), and to that end, the spadesman himself, Chris Boltendahl, offers a few words on the follow-up to Excalibur, The Grave Digger also being the first with new guitarist Manni Schmidt, ex-of-Rage.

"I think these two records are very different because with Excalibur we ended the middle ages trilogy stuff about King Arthur and the Templars and Scottish history. For those records we were more into this epic metal stuff and I think with the new one we are back to our old roots or to the roots of heavy metal, meaning straight, rough and heavy. That's the most important difference. The new one is also much more evil, dark and mystical."

The Grave Digger is also roughly a concept album, featuring a look at the tales of American horror pioneer Edgar Allan Poe.

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