GRAVE DIGGER – Home at Last EP
The appeal of an EP in today’s marketplace is limited to ardent collectors and curiosity seekers who wish to dip their toes into new unchartered waters. Germany’s Grave Digger consistently release EP’s prior to full length albums, and at least offer exclusive tracks to make the package more enticing to purchase. “Home At Last” will appear on the album, but two other studio tracks will not- as well as the three live cuts that conclude this EP (“Ballad Of A Hangman”, “Excalibur”, and “Heavy Metal Breakdown”).
Those who believe Grave Digger are shifting their sound to a more modern mode, exit now. “Home At Last” has a mid-tempo march arrangement with Chris’ coarse, mythical delivery at the heart of the song. “Rage Of The Savage Beast” uses an old Accept meets Judas Priest riff movement, the guitars panning back and forth with a gang chorus driving the melody in your brain. And “Metal Will Never Die” has a “Standing In The Shadows”/ Dokken main chord sequence before the distortion kicks into gear and the lyrics regarding the genre we love and cherish take over.
When the band plays live, they aren’t afraid to add in the orchestral elements even if in keyboard form to fill out the sound, most evident on “Ballad Of A Hangman”. Chris’ voice is much like Udo- he will never be in the running for the clearest or spot on, in key power vocalist, but his personality and enthusiasm make up for any weaknesses.
In the end, you get 29 minutes of music- most of which will not appear on the upcoming album. Grave Digger delivers what the fans want- anthems to clap, cheer and scream along with- so “Home At Last” succeeds in its premise.