Grave Digger – The Clans will Rise Again (Napalm Records)

Dudes put on your kilts! Grave Digger is back to Scotland!

Back in 1996 Grave Digger ‘resurrected’ to metallic cult when they released their album Tunes of War. If my memory isn’t tricking me this album was a huge success for an old-school traditional band. (Yes they were already considered old school in 1996). They seemed to be obsessed by Scotland,  a weird think considering they are Germans.  Rebellion was the ultimate (if not the only) ‘Scottish’  hymn amongst headbangers.
But they never repeated such success. Their next albums were good and real metal, but not enough to generate memorable songs as they did in Tunes of War.  But the drought is over because The Clans Will Rise Again brings Chris Boltendahl and his troupe back to Highlands again!
The intro Days Of Revenge brings the foreseeable bagpipes, only to delay the metallic storm of the actual song Paid In Blood. The riff is pure Grave Digger (any other reference? There’s no references when we’re talking about Grave Digger dude) but pay attention to one detail: this time the band counts with Axel "Ironfinger" Ritt on six-strings (from the power metal band Domain)and he is the ONLY guitarist here! He’s 50% accountable for the KILLER sound of this CD. The same old voice of Boltendahl comes thundering only to flow into a great refrain: The trick that the band uses to catch my eardrums throughout  the CD. Hammer of the Scots carries out what the name promises: hammering metal for hammering minds.
Highland Farewell: If the other songs are good, this one is better. This time with bagpipes intermingled with heavy guitars, just to turn again into a consistent heavy metal with strong vocals! In this song one starts to perceive one thing: We are before a colossal release. And although Heavy Metal (and other heavy minerals) are our favorite kind of music, we know that it doesn’t occur so often in the recent history of music.
The strong tune The Clans will Rise again slows the pace a little, just to congragate the Scots (I mean the headbangers, sorry!) to another gigantic and violent fight named Rebels. Over again, the riffage announces that a epic battle is ahead and the drums of doom of Stefan Arnold comes trampling everything in sight. Boltendahl releases verse after verse in a glorious sequence that will make even the dead bang their heads. If you don’t perceive anything special in this music, please, go to the shrink because you’re seriously ill.
Okay after so many glorious tunes, now it’s time to act like a normal band and play a non-inspired music, right? WRONG! Valley of Tears is another mega hit of the crude Germanic Heavy Metal. I’m trying so hard to not use the word ‘epic’ again, I’m trying...
Execution is not  creative or different from the other tracks. Neither are Whom The Gods Love Die Young and Spider, but I’ve said the album is being excellent so far, haven’t I? Why the hell I would change my oppinion now?
Now an intermission: The Piper Mcleod annouces the refrain of the next and BEST song of the The Clains Will Rise Again: Coming Home. Consider this song the Rebellion (from Tunes of War) part II. Splendid! Wonderful!
When Rain Turns to Blood is the romantic portion of the album. I’m not so keen to sentimental moments but even this ‘epilogue’ makes all sense in the context of the CD.
One of the definitions of the word ‘classic’ in dictionary is ‘timeless’. I don’t know if this album will be more succesful than Tunes of War. But it’s better. It’s heavier. And it is TIMELESS! After all, who better than the guys of Grave Digger to create a classic?

Grave Digger’s The Clans Will Rise Again is out now on Napalm Records.