Grave Digger - 'Clash Of The Gods' (Napalm) 5/5
OK I have always been of the opinion that what German metal does best is the big epic power metal type of thing, and in my mind Grave Digger, a band I've been a fan of ever since I first heard their album War Games way back in nineteen eighty something, have always been in my mind one of the acts that sums up that form of Teutonic sub thrash epic metal best, and this album is in my mind could well be their finest hour yet. Eleven tracks each one a vast sounding head bang frenzy that grabs hold of your brain stem and forces your head to ossilate violently to the music until your a happy sweaty mess on the carpet.
Blending their pirate / power metal musical style with lyrics that draw heavily from Greek history and mythology, these guys have cooked up real gem of an album. Kicking off with a rather salty sounding shanty by the name of Charon, that soon explodes into the power metal thrash out of God Of Terror, this album just kills. Other gems include the razor riffed and turbo fueled Helldog, the huge anthem of Walls Of Sorrow with its references to the seige of Troy, the dark and doomy grind of Call of The Sirens and the 'Iron Maiden on steroids' work out of the closer Home At Last.
Vocalist Chris "Reaper" Boltendah, has the perfect voice for this kind of metal, deep gruff and growling, yet at the same time more than powerful enough to deliver those huge air punching man-rock choruses that is the hallmark of power metal. High praise as well to axe swinger Axel "Ironfinger" Ritt, whos riffs smash into your ears like a unit of very angry hopolites and whose solos stike you down like the bolts of Zeus himself. And for the record, the rest of the band; Stefan Arnold (Drums), Jens Becker (Bass) and HP Katzenburg (Keyboards) are no slouches either and do thier part in delivering the Grave Digger sound to the masses in fine style.
All in all this could well be the best slice of power metal I've heard since Powerwolfs 'Blood Of The Saints' from back last summer, and whether your rowing a longship to Vinland, sailing the Spanish Maine on the prowl for English merchentmen or going off to Troy in your Tireem to deliver a wooden horse to Helen, this album makes for the perfect sound track. Of course us lesser mortals will more likely play this one in the car on the way to work or crashed out on the bed / couch with a cold one, but believe me it's just as good for that as well.
For fans of... Powerwolf, Primal Fear, Royal Hunt, Viking Skull, Ex Deo... etc