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Grave Digger
Exhumation-The Early Years
November 2015
Released: 2015, Napalm Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

To celebrate their 35th anniversary the band churned, quite quickly I may add, an albums of re-recordings. Normally they put out an album every two years or so but this comes hot on the heels of the superb RETURN OF THE REAPER.

EXHUMATION features another stunning album cover art following the graveyard theme of the last album, starring the band mascot ‘the reaper’, and it has a clever twist on the famous ancient Hellenic statue, ‘Atlas’, (est. 129 BC) an image that has been used on album covers by Van Halen, Anvil and more.

EXHUMATION basically is a re-recording of 13 songs from the first four Grave Digger albums on Noise records with the current line-up. They also add two new studio songs as bonus tracks, which is a good value. They even go back to the infamous ‘Digger’ album STRONGER THAN EVER with one song, ‘Stand Up And Rock’ making the cut. As expected the sound is way more clear and powerful with the modern production techniques. A good song is a good song and while these may not have the rough charm of the originals they sure do sound more striking and confident on CD than on my 30-year old cassettes! They don't mess with the songs, they just redo them keeping much of the fire alive they have for their entire career. The track-list is not all that innovative, they play the predictable favourites and it is very similar set to the Noise compilation album from 1994 called THE BEST OF THE EIGHTIES. However, it's a fun, collectible album for the true fans like me.

I’m a big Grave Digger fan, I own every single album they have every done, however unless you (the reader) are a big Grave Digger fan I can’t really succumb to temptation and over-exaggerate the value of a standard re-recording album. I personally love EXHUMATION-THE EARLY YEARS but I have to temper my bias with some realism in my ranking, and say this is great but not essential for the causal Grave Digger fan.
Track Listing

1. Headbanging Man
2. Fire in Your Eyes
3. Witch Hunter
4. Shoot Her Down
5. Stand Up and Rock
6. Heavy Metal Breakdown
7. Enola Gay - Drop the Bomb
8. Get Away
9. We Wanna Rock You
10. Playing Fools
11. Here I Stand
12. Tyrant
13. Paradise
14. My Private Morning Hell
15. Young and Dangerous


Chris Boltendahl Vocals
Axel Ritt Guitar
Jens Becker Bass
Stefan Arnold Drums



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