|ojotigre||Fecha: Viernes, 2015-10-23, 1:17 PM | Mensaje # 1|
|Grave Digger - Exhumation - The Early Years (2015)|
Grave Digger is a German heavy metal band formed in November 1980. They were part of the German
heavy/speed/power metal scene to emerge in the early to mid-1980s.
After various appearances at small festivals, the band recorded two
songs for the compilation album Rock from Hell in 1983. A year later,
Grave Digger, now comprising Chris Boltendahl (vocals), Peter Masson
(guitar), Willi Lackmann (bass) and Albert Eckardt (drums), released
their debut album Heavy Metal Breakdown.
In 1985, with Lackmann having left the band, they recorded and released
their second album Witch Hunter. Only after the album was completed, a
replacement on bass was found in the form of C.F. Brank. Further
festival appearances followed, a tour with Helloween as special guest
and, finally, their third album War Games in January 1986. To promote
this album, a triple headline tour with Celtic Frost and Helloween
followed. Thereafter, Peter Masson gave way to Uwe Lulis; in 1987 the
band's name was changed to Digger, the name under which they released
the album Stronger Than Ever. This album hardly had anything in common
with the earlier music of Grave Digger. It was more an attempt to reach
the masses with mainstream rock like that of Bon Jovi or Van Halen. The
album flopped, as it was not accepted by fans or the masses. As a
result, Boltendahl declared, at the end of 1987, the breakup of the
In 1991, the band was partially reformed. Boltendahl and Lulis, along
with two newcomers, Tomi Göttlich and Jörg Michael, who had been the
drummer for Rage and Running Wild, released a comeback record called The
Reaper in 1993. This album was a return to the true roots of Grave
Digger. In the same year, the album The Best of the Eighties was
released. It represented a quasi Best-of-Album of their earlier songs.
An EP titled Symphony of Death followed in 1994. In the interim, Grave
Digger, now with a new drummer, Frank Ullrich, toured Germany, playing
as the warm-up act for Manowar. In 1995, the album Heart of Darkness
appeared. It was a very dark album with many influences from the early
works of Annihilator.
In 1996, Stefan Arnold became the band's new drummer. This year also
marked the release of the concept album Tunes of War, which dealt with
the history of Scotland. This album was the first part of the Middle
Ages Trilogy. The second album, Knights of the Cross, with Jens Becker
as bass guitarist, was released in 1998 and was about the rise and fall
of the Knights Templar. The final part of the trilogy finished in 1999
with Excalibur. This album explored the legend of King Arthur and the
Knights of the Round Table. Shortly after, a tour soon followed through
with keyboardist Hans-Peter Katzenburg, who later became a permanent
In 2000, Grave Digger celebrated their 20th anniversary. To mark the
occasion, they performed at a sell-out concert at the Zeche in Bochum.
Many of the band's most popular songs were played alongside other less
well-known ones. There were also a number of different supporting acts
appearing with Grave Digger. This concert also marked a defining chapter
in the band's history, as Uwe Lulis left a short while before the
concert because of personal and business reasons. Lulis finally called
his new band Rebellion.
A replacement, in the form of the ex-Rage guitarist, Manni Schmidt, was
found. Along with him and the new record label Nuclear Blast, the album
The Grave Digger, appeared in 2001. The works of Edgar Allan Poe served
as an inspiration for the lyrics of the new album. Their first live
album, Tunes of Wacken, appeared in 2002. This was coupled with the
release of their first DVD, Wacken Open Air. In 2003, a further concept
album, Rheingold, appeared, which centered on the opera Der Ring des
Nibelungen by Richard Wagner.
After the successful Rheingold-Tour, the band recorded another album,
The Last Supper, which was released on January 17, 2005. However, unlike
their previous albums, The Last Supper was not a concept album, despite
several songs about the last days of Jesus. A few journalists described
the album as the best since Tunes of War or Heavy Metal Breakdown. Less
than a month later, the band began a tour with Stormhammer and Astral
Doors in Andernach, the birthplace of Manni Schmidt.
October 2005 saw the release of a live DVD of the Last Supper Tour and
the São Paulo concert titled, 25 to Live, which commemorated the band's
Grave Digger released a follow-up, Liberty or Death on January 12, 2007.
A Double-Headline Tour together with Therion followed, beginning
January 17, 2007 in Essen.
In mid August 2008, the band entered Principal studios with additional
guitarist Thilo Hermann to record their 13th studio album entitled
Ballads of a Hangman, which was released on January 9, 2009. It was
their first album with twin guitars.
In February 2009, the band parted ways with Thilo Hermann. In October of
that year, Manni Schmidt left the band due to ongoing disagreements
with Boltendahl. An old friend of the band, guitarist Axel Ritt from the
band (Domain), was chosen as a temporary replacement for Schmidt to
play out the remaining tour dates. On January 12, 2010, it was
officially announced that Axel Ritt is now an official full-time member
of Grave Digger.
From mid-May to mid-July 2010, the band finished recording their new
album The Clans Will Rise Again, which was released in Europe on October
1, 2010 via Napalm Records with a North American release following soon
after. The album is a loose sequel of the Tunes of War album, but this
time it is not a concept album about the Scottish history. It's more of a
work about Scotland, its mysticism and its people. On September 11,
2010, Grave Digger released a video for "Highland Farewell", the fourth
track appearing on The Clans Will Rise Again.
On July 27, 2012, the band released a new EP entitled Home At Last with
their new album Clash of the Gods following on August 31 under Napalm
Records. They went on to play a handful of shows in the UK and Europe
from early to late 2012 before and after the album's release and then
went all out the year of 2013 in Europe and played a few shows in Brazil
in support of the album.
On 20 March 2014, the band revealed the artwork for their new studio
album titled Return of the Reaper which was released on 11 July via
their current label Napalm Records.
Chris Boltendahl – vocals (1980-present); bass guitar (1980-1983)
Axel Ritt - guitar (2010–present); live (2009)
Jens Becker – bass guitar (1997 – present)
Stefan Arnold – drums (1996 – present)
Hans Peter "H.P." Katzenburg – keyboards (1999 – present)
01. Headbanging Man
02. Fire In Your Eyes
03. Witch Hunter
04. Shoot Her Down
05. Stand Up And Rock
06. Heavy Metal Breakdown
07. Enola Gay - Drop The Bomb
08. Get Away
09. We Wanna Rock You
10. Playing Fools
11. Here I Stand
14. My Private Morning Hell
15. Young And Dangerous
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