F U L L . R E V I E W S



Grave Digger
Clash Of The Gods

Company: Napalm
Release: 2012
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • Dull and lifeless



  • I've going up a half point on my rating to a 2.5 from my familiar 2 rating on Grave Digger's last two albums. Let's face it this band was on the top of my list of "who's who" back in the mid 90s. With masterpieces like "Tunes Of War" and "Heart Of Darkness" these Germans could do no wrong, weighing in with exhibits of pure metal excellence on at least six albums of their extensive catalog. Now we are in stagnation, lack of innovation and another example of how Grave Digger has become complacent with yet another "phoned in" album that does absolutely nothing to progress the band's sound or even keep it original or a tad bit interesting. The problem? Well its the same nagging injury that plagues Overkill, Destruction, Megadeth, U.D.O and tons of other bands. That is simply too much too often. Saturation. Over exposure. We are hearing from you too damn much and the effort you are using is just downright lazy.

    Since 2000 this band has released seven albums, six EPs, two live records and three DVDs. That is a whole lot of over indulgence on media output. Sure, I don't have to listen to it and I don't even have to look at it but with that many riffs and songs coming out of Chris Boltendahl (he is the band by the way) there is no way this band can be original, interesting or fresh. "Clash Of The Gods" is the umpteenth band record, third for Napalm and follows the group's pre-cursor EP "Home At Last" (did you ever leave?) from earlier this year.

    Grave Digger has become Wacken's spotlight band, provoking them to record "Metal Will Never Die" in tribute to the monster mosh annual festival. That song can be found on "Home At Last" and sort of sets the tone for this new album. We get plenty more of this stuck-in-a-rut riffage through eleven tracks on the regular release and then...gulp...thirteen cuts on the limited edition.

    A spoken word intro called "Charon" starts the proceedings, a medieval narrative that should conjure pictures of a furry Liam Neeson. From there we here familiar ground on "God Of Terror", complete with Axel Ritt's pinch harmonics, galloping riffs and that huge epic chorus that seems to permeate EVERY 'Digger track these days. The same can be said for "Walls Of Sorrow" and "Helldog", both just spinning their wheels in double bass, galloping riffs and Boltendahl's same 'ole same 'ole vocal spews. I swear the band copies "The Dark Of The Sun" on "Call Of The Sirens" and damned if they don't combine two band names on "Death Angel & The Grave Digger", a cut which despite the bad name turns out to be the best of the bunch (thankfully for the fresh riffs, nice lead work and great lyric imagery). That song and the moody "Medusa" are the reasons this album gets the half point promotion. "Medusa" still copies from the band's older track "Circle Of Witches" but at this point who the Hell cares?

    Shame on you Boltendahl for lack of motivation and the inability to foresee your own demise. This is another dull and lifeless Grave Digger record and further evidence that this band was dead and buried long ago. Throw some more dirt on the casket and pray the Gods don't overthrow it.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: GRAVE DIGGER
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Ballads Of A HangmanGrave Digger
    2009
    Eric Compton1/13/2009
    Clash Of The GodsGrave Digger
    2012
    Eric Compton9/26/2012
    Healed by MetalGrave Digger
    2016
    Eric Compton12/21/2016
    Liberty or DeathGrave Digger
    2006
    Vinaya Saksena7/6/2007
    Return of the ReaperGrave Digger
    2014
    Eric Compton7/9/2014
    RheingoldGrave Digger
    2003
    Eric Compton6/27/2003
    The Clans Will Rise AgainGrave Digger
    2010
    Eric Compton3/10/2011
    The Last SupperGrave Digger
    2005
    Eric Compton3/4/2005


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: GRAVE DIGGER

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: GRAVE DIGGER
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Jens BeckerGrave DiggerEric Compton2/7/2003


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