Grave Digger – Clash Of The Gods
Grave Digger – Clash Of The Gods (2012)
Reviewed by Mark Nagy
So maybe the “AC/DC of _____ Metal” thing is a bit played out, and as far as German speed metal goes, I have yet to find a band that can really separate itself from that AC/DC-invoking repetitiveness (Yarr Rolf Kasparek). I’m going to go ahead and set aside the bitchfest that practically writes itself about this band releasing the same sounding material over, and over, and over again, in hopes that you, precious reader, are smart enough to know that Grave Digger isn’t breaking any new boundaries on Clash of the Gods (or ever).
So I’ll waste no more time getting you directly to what really matters about a Grave Digger album. Is Chris Boltendahl delivering an album worth listening to, or has the magic died after all these years? I can’t profess a knowledge of the entire Grave Digger discography, or even a good chunk of it, but I know enough that the band loses most of its effectiveness when it drops the tempo, and as their previous effort, the Clans Will Rise Again showed, they perhaps have a tendency to do this more than they should [Editor’s note: Heresy!]. As such, the first test that I would put any Grave Digger album through is the tempo test. I’m happy to inform that Clash Of The Gods is positively blazing from start to finish.
As far as memorability is concerned, this is a more nuanced issue. There’s nothing on Clash Of The Gods that sticks with me like “Rebellion”, but the first real song, “God of Terror” is blisteringly heavy, and for straightforward speed metal, fits the bill perfectly. Also, “Death Angel And The Grave Digger” is not a song that I’ll easily forget. Part of it is the riff, which is crushing, and part of it is just how completely cheesy the shouted chorus sounds. Additionally, the introduction track, titled “Charon”, is an interesting chapter for me, as I usually am not a fan of introduction tracks that last much past 40 seconds or so. “Charon” however, is so distinct that I find myself really enjoying it, and really glad the band decided to include it.
The weaknesses will speak for themselves. On the whole, this is probably the Grave Digger album you’ve heard at least 4 times, but it’s also, if you’re a fan, the Grave Digger album you’ve LOVED at least 4 times. For the fanbase especially, I can’t imagine this being a disappointment.
3.5 // 5