Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grave Digger - Clash of the Gods

A classic heavy metal act, Grave Digger have been pumping out records in one form of another since the 1980s. Last summer they put out Clash of the Gods.

This is one of those albums I wish I'd heard last year, because despite the tough competition there's a solid chance it could have made the year-end list. Gritty and tough with sharp hooks, compelling melodies, gnarly vocals, and lyrics dripping in fantasy violence, this album had everything a good heavy metal release should have. In addition, it took no time at all to feel completely immersed. I initially plugged in the title track just to get a sample, and by the midpoint of that track, I was hooked.

The band brings in some really good background instrumentation and atmosphere, but it keeps the central emphasis on the crunchy riffs and the almost-too-harsh-to-be-traditional-heavy-metal vocals. For me, the overall blend was just right.

To be totally honest, while I'm familiar with them by name I don't really know much of the band's back catalog, so I can't comment on where this falls relative to their prior work. For good, recent, straight-up heavy metal, though, it's excellent. It made me want to start digging into their other work, and that's always a good sign from a record.

Grade: A-

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