• Improved sound and song writing - A review of Grave Digger's ''Healed by Metal''

    Grave Digger - Healed by Metal (2017)

    Healed by Metal offers another slice of Grave Digger's short traditional heavy metal tunes without any compromises, concepts or experiments. This release is still a step above the old-fashioned Return of the Reaper and the uninspired Exhumation (The Early Years) because of a more concise song writing than before, a few future live anthems that get to the point and the fact that Chris Boltendahl's English hasn't gotten worse over the past two years for once.

    The opening title track is obviously a stereotypical metal anthem with ridiculous lyrics and a simplistic song structure but it has an undeniable authentic charm and unforgettable chorus that will conquer those who are going to attend the band's next tour by storm. ''Lawbreaker'' doesn't only make you think of Judas Priest because of its title, it actually also sounds a lot like these British heavy metal legends but rather reminds me of their heavier Painkiller phase. Grave Digger offers an energizing and gripping track somewhere between heavy metal, thrash metal and speed metal. ''Free Forever'' is another catchy track with a great melodic guitar lead and an epic chorus supported by uplifting organ sounds. ''Ten Commandments of Metal" is another potential heavy metal anthem and even offers some food for thought in its lyrics about the perception of heavy metal by the masses and media. As you can see, freedom and heavy metal lifetsyle are the topics dominating this short but entertaining record.

    While the second half of the album is less poignant, the tracks are still average at least thanks to a surprisingly dominating bass guitar play, sharp heavy metal riffs, a precise rhythm section and fist-pumping anthemic choruses in concise tunes that are usually around three and a half minutes long. The organic and powerful production gives the album a vivid live feeling and makes this release much more enjoyable than its predecessors. A concert from the band's upcoming tour would be highly recommended for a future live release because this is how this type of music shall be enjoyed best.

    In the end, Grave Digger doesn't surprise anyone on here but the album offers a more concise song writing and a better production than the predecessors which makes this release one of the better traditional heavy metal outputs of the past couple of years. Grave Digger fans and fans of traditional heavy metal should definitely purchase this record including two solid bonus tracks that blend in very well and which are better than several tracks in the second half of this album. As long as bands like Grave Digger are still around, heavy metal will never die.

    Final rating: 75%

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