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Grave Digger: 25 to Live (DVD/CD)

For their 25th anniversary, veteran German power metal band Grave Digger has recorded a live album in Brazil and it's available on both DVD and CD. The current lineup is strong and consists of singer Chris Boltenda, Manni from Rage and bassist Jens Becker from Running Wild. There's an assortment of tracks here, including a healthy representation from the band's Noise era ("Paradise", "Last Supper", "Valhalla", "The Grave Digger" and "Heavy Metal Breakdown") and newer concert classics like "Excalibur" and "The Battle of Bannockburn" and "Grave Dancer" (with a tasty solo). This isn't a paint-by-numbers "going through the motions" live album, it's heavy and energetic and features excellent playing by all the members, featuring the best material from their career. If you own at least one of their CDs in their catalog, you'll probably want to add this one to your collection. There's a choice between a 2CD package and a DVD package, but I'd have to recommend the DVD if it had to come down to a choice, which includes the entire concert and an eight-minute interview/documentary.


CD Track Listing
CD 1

  1. Passion (intro)
  2. 1 The Last Supper
  3. 1 Desert Rose
  4. The Grave Dancer
  5. 94 Shoot Her Down
  6. The Reaper
  7. Paradise
  8. Excalibur
  9. The House
  10. Circle Of Witches
  11. Valhalla
  12. Son Of Evil
  13. The Battle Of Bannockburn
  14. The Curse Of Jacques

CD 2
  1. Grave In No Man's Land
  2. Yesterday
  3. Morgane Lefay
  4. Symphony Of Death
  5. Witchhunter
  6. The Dark Of The Sun
  7. Kinghts Of The Cross
  8. Twilights Of The Gods
  9. The Grave Digger
  10. Rebellion
  11. Rheingold
  12. The Round Table
  13. Heavy Metal Breakdown

Added: July 17th 2006
Reviewer: John Larocque
Score:
Related Link: Grave Digger Website
Hits: 2247
Language: english

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Grave Digger: 25 to Live (DVD/CD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-17 19:02:18
My Score:

Grave Digger recently celebrated their 25th year as a Power Metal band by releasing both a live CD and DVD companion piece which was recorded during their trek to Sao Paulo Brazil in May of 2005. The recording finds the band in top form instead of some aging dinosaurs of Metal still barely chugging away. Since 1984, lead Singer Chris Boltendahl has led this Power Metal quintet into the record books as they release album after album of solid and true to form Heavy Metal. I have to admit that while I am a staunch supporter of the genre (especially the Traditional players) that I never really followed the career of Grave Digger. The lack of background outside of an album and song here and there made this release a pleasure to own and comment on for with the CD you get a whopping 26 songs. The sheer number of the tracks allowed the band to give the listener a truly career-encompassing release and it is sure to make the band some new fans on top of firming up the allegiance of their existing supporters. Manni Schmidt, Jens Becker, joins Chris and Stefan Arnold for the recording and the sounds across the board on this is very tight and energetic. There is some crowd noise but it does not overpower the Metal allowing the album to have an even mix and help make the listener feel as though he is at the show himself. The band has released 18 albums over the course of their career and that fact makes this live recording a perfect "Sampler" album to the neophyte listener. It is also a great item for their long time fans who are probably wondering where many of us had been all this time. I recommend this album as both a solid piece of Metal and a good retrospect to a massive scope of work and illustrious history. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some music to purchase.

Now for the DVD:
Released at the same time as the concert CD, the DVD release for Grave Digger's 25 To Live is really aimed at the completist since it is essentially the exact full concert that you have on the double CD release along with a small amount of bonus features. The concert itself was very good and you can tell from the video just how much the Brazilian fans were enjoying themselves. All through the show there was a massive response and interaction accompanied by chants of both "Digger" and "Ole". The only bonus feature you get is a short behind the scenes film and that is what made me concerned about releasing this as a separate piece. Perhaps it was a business decision of the bands to give their fans two separate things to enjoy but with this release in particular I felt it should have been one deluxe package. The diehards will most probably want this but the casual fan will simply choose one over the other and this cannot be good for sales at the end of the day. Let's face it, while Metal fans have been staunch in support of the bands they enjoy the money is just not there as much as it was years ago. People are being a lot more choosey when it comes down to it and especially when it comes to multiple things on their favorite artists. In 2005 we saw Anthrax release 4 unique CD and DVD packages and as a result with such an amount of releases far too many remained on the shelves. This live DVD is worth owning if you want to see a band of legendary proportions in the world of Power Metal, fan or not there is something for everyone on this concert film. The band is heavy, solid and rocks from beginning to end. If you collect live videos then please be sure to add this to your collection, and if the music is mainly your appeal then direct yourself to the CD release.








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