New Music Review: GRAVE DIGGER ‘The Forgotten Years’

GRAVE DIGGER 'The Forgotten Years' - Cover Photo

Rating: 8.5 / 10 Stars

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

GRAVE DIGGER is: Chris Boltendahl (vocals/guitar), Uwe Lullis (guitar), Tomi Göttlich (bass), Lutz Schmelzer (drums), Peter Masson (guitar), Philip Seibel (drums), Martin Gerlitzki (bass), Willi Lackman (bass), Albert Eckardt (drums), C.F. Frank (bass), Peter Breitenbach (drums)

REVIEW – ‘The Forgotten Years’ by GRAVE DIGGER is a compelling journey through the band’s lesser-known era, reflecting their raw and unfiltered sound. The compilation begins with the dynamic “Ride On” from the 1992 EP ‘For Promotion Only!!’, a track that encapsulates the essence of traditional heavy metal with its driving riffs and high energy.

“Shadows of a Moonless Night” and “Spy of Mason,” also from the same EP, display the band’s versatility, combining pounding drums and dark, moody atmospheres with aggressive, relentless metal rhythms. These tracks exemplify the band’s skill in creating a powerful and immersive listening experience.

However, the compilation’s repetition, especially evident in multiple versions of “Fight the Fight” across different demos and EPs, might be seen as overkill. While each rendition has its own flavor, their cumulative effect could be seen as somewhat monotonous to the casual listener.

The ‘Return of the Reaper’ demo from 1991 introduces more variety with tracks like “Ruler Mr. H.” and the slightly experimental “And the Devil Plays Piano.” These songs show a different side of GRAVE DIGGER, blending their classic heavy metal style with a raw, garage-band energy that adds a refreshing twist to the compilation.

The ‘Hawaii – Bottles and Four Coconuts’ demo from 1989 further delves into the band’s roots. Songs like “Shout It Out,” “Back to the Roots,” and “Play Your Game” are bursting with classic metal elements – screaming guitars, tight drumming, and powerful vocals. They bring a sense of nostalgia, capturing the essence of the band’s early sound.

Despite its strengths, ‘The Forgotten Years’ might not cater to all tastes. Its dedication to traditional heavy metal, without much deviation into more complex or varied styles, might come across as somewhat one-dimensional. However, for fans of GRAVE DIGGER and collectors of heavy metal memorabilia, this compilation is a valuable addition, offering a rare glimpse into the band’s formative years.

In summary, while ‘The Forgotten Years’ is a raw and energetic compilation that celebrates GRAVE DIGGER‘s early sound, its appeal may be limited to die-hard fans and collectors. The compilation is a testament to the band’s enduring legacy in the heavy metal genre, but its repetitive nature and singular focus on a traditional metal style might not resonate with a broader audience.

Listen on Apple Music

For more information on GRAVE DIGGER, visit: