Devil's Review: Grave Digger – Clash of the Gods

Grave Digger‘s recent EP, Home at Last, left me a bit worried about what their upcoming album, Clash of the Gods, was going to sound like, as all three new tunes (only one on the album) were mid-paced rockers, and coming across as a bit uninspired.  Thankfully, what we get here is the Grave Digger I know and love.  This time they focus the lyrical content on Greek Mythology rather than more modern historical subjects.

The album opens with the 2 minute Charon, an acoustic intro with German lyrics.  After that, though, we are off to the races.  God of Terror is your typical up-tempo, double-bass filled, Power Metal riff driven Grave Digger song.  Chris Boltendahl hasn’t changed in years, and offers up his vocals in their ever-gravelly form.  Some weird keyboard stuff going on in the guitar solo break, but other than that, it’s a straight-ahead rocker with a big chorus, blistering guitar solo, and plenty of aggression to go around.  They follow that one up with Helldog, another up-tempo song with decent guitar leads and lots of double bass drumming going on.  The song Medusa is next, an acoustic opening, setting a creepy mood for the song, before launching into a mid-tempo headbanger.  There is a somewhat silly spoken part in the middle of an otherwise decent Grave Digger song.  The guitar solo on this one is absolutely shredding and the riffing is pretty cool.

The Middle Eastern inspired title track is slower paced, and sort of plods along.  The musical influences are interesting on this track, but the band would have done well to increase the pace of the song just a bit.  Nothing really outstanding about it though.  They fire up the engines once again on Death Angel and the Grave Digger, an up-tempo song with somewhat unique guitar work, especially for Grave Digger.  It’s a decent track, but again, not one of the more outstanding tracks on the album or in the band’s history.  Walls of Sorrow starts out aggressively enough, but seems to lose a bit during the verses and chorus.  The bridge, however, is a nice bit of work, albeit too short.  The guitar leads on this one are nicely done.

Call of the Sirens is the band’s ballad on this album.  Not great, not terrible, but definitely lends atmosphere to the work.  Next song Warriors Revenge kicks things back into gear with typical Power Metal riffing and more double bass.  It got my head moving, but ultimately is not that memorable of a song.  After the 48 second non-musical interlude With the Wind, Clash of the Gods concludes with the previously released Home at Last.  The song fits in much better here than on the eponymous EP released last month.  It is still a really good mid-paced Metal tune and seems to be a fitting closer to the album.

Here is the song, Home at Last:

Also the song God of Terror is below for your enjoyment.

Grave Digger are usually consistent in their output and Clash of the Gods is pretty good, although at times comes across as uninspired and with some filler tracks.  They are by no means awful, just more of the same sometimes.   The album isn’t hit-or-miss, more like hit-or-bunt – some really good songs and some that just fill the time.  All in all, a good album by Grave Digger, and for those that are fans of the genre or the band, a definite recommendation.

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

-Harley

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