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grave digger


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grave digger




Almost two decades ago the group surrounding frontman Chris Boltendahl were already busy writing rock history: with cult albums like their "Heavy Metal Breakdown" (1984) as well as "Witchhunter" (1985) and "Wargames" (1986), Grave Digger, alongside Running Wild, Helloween and Sinner, helped to establish, at least on our shores, what we now know under the name of Teutonic metal as a trademark synonymous with high-quality, melodious heavy rock with an individual touch that can easily hold a candle to the established Anglo-American acts.

The legendary myth of the early days didn't even incur much damage after the band's temporary split at the beginning of 1987. The logical consequence: in August 1993 the songwriting team consisting of Chris Boltendahl (v) and Uwe Lulis (g) got together again at the Karo Studios in Hamburg to cut their comeback "The Reaper", an album that easily had as much power, energy, quality and accessibility as the releases of the first hour.

After the 1994 mini album "Symphony Of Death" the duo - assisted by bassist Tomi Gttlich and drummer Frank Ulrich - delivered another masterpiece a year later called "Heart Of Darkness", on which the band impressed with more technically accentuated material and more complex arrangements, underlining that they were not prepared to be satisfied with the standards set by their back catalogue. In 1996 the foursome - now completed by former Caprikorn drummer Stefan Arnold - once again excelled with "Tunes Of War": this album was to mark the beginning of a medieval trilogy that imparts history in a lively manner - authentic as well as precise and factually incontestable.

Thus the quartet did not only stand out among the mostly half-baked fantasy concepts of other European bands but on an international level ranked next to super acts like Pink Floyd and Queensryche, who with their concept albums like "The Wall", "Operation:Mindcrime" respectively, have set undisputed standards to this day. The trilogy was continued in 1998 with "Knights Of The Cross", which told the story of the Knights Templar, one of the most powerful and equally mysterious organizations of the Middle Ages, and now finds its worthy conclusion in the shape of "Excalibur". Unlike its two predecessors, however, this offering consists more of a blend of historic facts and old legends - the early history of Britain and the legend of King Arthur and his round table, to be precise.

After the world tour 2000 and the twenty years birthday party in Bochum/Zeche Grave Digger and Uwe Lulis split up. November 2000 ex Rage guitar Player Manni Schmidt joined the band and they started beginning of the year 2001 the songwriting for the new record. Febuary 2001 they played the first festival in Spain with the new line up followed by a couple of big festivals over the summer like Sweden Rock Festival, Derrame Rock Festival (Spain), Rockmachina Festival (Spain), Wacken Open Air and Metal Days Pratteln (Switzerland). They entered the Principal Studios in May and recorded and mixed their new masterpiece titled : "The Grave Digger". They left the middelages concept to a more dark and evil concept; the lyrics are more dark and evil and they are inspired by Edgar Allen Poe.

"The Grave Digger" shows the band in a different way...... With new guitar player Manni Schmidt the sound of the band grown up to be more heavier and mature. But they don`t lose the typical trademarks like the screaming voice of Chris, the straight and powerfull composition and the choruses, you will remember after the first listening. On "The Grave Digger" they don`t denie their roots like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin or Ozzy and they integrate them to the typical Grave Digger music. The unbelievable sound was created by the Resetti Brother in the Principal Studios. With this piece of Heavy Rock Metal, Grave Digger will climb the stairs to the Metal Heaven as "Fast as a shark".

"The Grave Digger" will be released by Grave Digger`s new record company Nuclear Blast at 22cd of October worldwide.


GRAVE DIGGER-Book! December 04th, 2001

GRAVE DIGGER are proud to announce that they signed a book deal with Hannibal Publishing about the one and only GRAVE DIGGER biography.

Chris and Holger Koch are in writing process by now and about to collect all facts and rare material. The book will be released in Germany during April/May. The first release will be only in German language. We hope to come up with an english version as well and that as soon as possible. The biography will not be a sort of revenge on older members or record companies, it will be a description of the funny experiences during the last 21 years band history. Holger Koch writes all the stuff from the not-menber-view and Chris will comment that.

The book will be easy to read and you will laugh a lot.... !!!

If you had also funny experiences with the band please feel free to write to Chris:

GRAVE DIGGER and LED ZEP: rumble on! November 28th, 2001
GRAVE DIGGER will enter the studio again next weekend (not what you think... we don`t start with the new record) :) !!! GRAVE DIGGER will participate on a Led Zeppelin-Tribute album from Locomotive Music that is gonna be released in spring!

Actually we decided not to participate on any tribute album again, cause the tributes to Accept and Dio were a complete desaster (shitty production and arrangements).
But after the recordings of "Running Free" for the Maiden Tribute we felt that we are able to create cover songs the way we want: with all trademarks of THE GRAVE DIGGER-sound.

Anyway: we choose the song "NO QUARTER" - very evil and mystical. It`s a 6:30 min opus and when we finish the song it will sound a little bit like "The House" on THE GRAVE DIGGER. So watch out for NO QUARTER in spring 2002 !!!

Chris Boltendahl

GRAVE DIGGER goes USA... November 23rd, 2001