Grave Digger - The last supper 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-18-05


1. Passion
2. The last supper
3. Desert rose
4. Grave in the no manís land
5. Hell to pay
6. Soul savior
7. Crucified
8. Divided cross
9. The night before
10. Black widows
11. Hundred days
12. Always and eternally
13. Sleepless (bonus track)
14. Jeepers creepers (bonus track)

Welcome to the world of the Grave Digger, a place where razor-sharp production helps relay a dazzling array of mid-paced crunchy riffs; rough raw vocals that always still convey melody; huge anthemic choruses that are some of the best in the business, and a place where keyboards are relegated to nothing more than ambiance, as this is the place of pure, pure heavy metal. This is classic Accept taken up a notch simultaneously on scales of darkness, epic feeling, and emotion, and about 14 notches lyrically, with compelling tales of history and mythology woven together. So, if you already are familiar with this band, you know what to expect, and if not, hopefully that introduction helps.

Grave Digger, in addition to having carved out a spot very much compatible with the power metal of their continental brethren, but at the same time, quite different in its darkness, mood, and slower tempo, has also managed to stick with their style (always admirable), but unlike some of the bands that do so, has managed to do so without getting stale, and for a while, their releases kept getting better and better. While, just with the law of diminishing returns you can't say this CD does so, it still is a very worthy follow-up to their greatest CDs, and a solid and magnificent slab of the work that they do. Manni Schmidt's (ex-Rage) delivery for the band is perfect. The combination of skill, production, feeling, etc., is just what this band needed for this CD.

Not much has really changed, the title track, the first real song opens up with a crushingly powerful sound, telling of course the tale of Jesus' last earthly dine (no mention of pushing the mulled wine, however), and although the CD has a couple more tracks on this subject, it is not overall a concept album; "Desert rose" continues with a slightly faster temple but just as powerful chorus and story, as does "Grave in no man's land", while "Hell to pay" drives the tempo up even faster, slicing with tight and devastating riffs and basswork. For my money, the gem of the CD, taking up the position with "best chorus" claimed on previous CDs in "Rebellion", "Baphomet", "Lancelot", etc. is "Crucified", with the epic anthem of the CD that will get stuck in your head the first time you listen to it. Dependable, reliable, and great! The digipack includes 2 bonus tracks, "Sleepless" and "Jeepers creepers", the latter especially is worth hearing and one of the more enjoyable songs on the CD.




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