For a German band, choosing to write songs about North Britain may seem like an unusual choice of subject matter. It probably is. Grave Digger haven’t only ambitiously handpicked their topic, but have also tapped a little further into their power metal potential with this release.
Heavy metal-heads of the 1980s may well remember their classic pioneering sound. But despite being forerunners in an influential movement, present-day Grave Digger show no desire to clasp onto old glory.
The Clans Will Rise Again has renewed them with a more modern sound and removed them from the retro soaked regurgitation that has marred many.
One thing that has been a constant for Grave Digger is the raspy, gruff voice of Chris Boltendahl. Like some monstrous half-breed of Rob Halford and Eric Adams on a serious dosage of steroids, he pounds through Paid In Blood to prove those vocal chords need no oiling.
Sound the bagpipes in introduction track Days Of Revenge and you might as well be up north in bonny Scotland. However, more subtle touches of the pipes in Highland Farewell, alongside an incredibly catchy chorus herald the song as an album standout.
On the epic scale, a song like When Rain Turns To Blood proudly stands as the ultimate tune to top off an impressive album. They may have clocked up a lot of miles, but they’re not simply dragging themselves along. Grave Digger are built on building – and what better formula is there to have than that?