Power metal band Grave Digger hit two important milestone this year. The band released its 20th new album — Fields of Blood — May 29. The 12-song record was released through Napalm Records as the band marks its 40th anniversary. The album’s overarching lyrical themes form its foundation. They will be discussed shortly. The musical arrangements that make up the body of the 51-minute record strengthen that foundation, giving audiences even more reason to take in the album. They will be discussed a little later. The record’s production and mixing round out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of Fields of Blood. All things considered, they make Fields of Blood a great way for Grave Digger to celebrate its 40th anniversary and an equal enjoyable gift to its fans as it celebrates both milestones.
Grave Digger’s latest album Fields of Blood is a positive new addition to this year’s field of new power metal offerings. It is a fitting way for the band to celebrate its 40th anniversary with its fans, too. That is proven in part through the record’s lyrical themes. The band returns to Scotland once more in this album, continuing a trend that it started with 1996’s Tunes of War and 2010’s The Clans Will Rise Again. Much as with those albums, this record’s lyrical themes delve into the military history of Scotland. From the nation’s battles with the Vikings in ‘Lions of the Sea’ to the Jacobite rising of 1745 in ‘My Final Fight’ and ‘Barbarian’ to the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the album gives audiences another deep dive into the history of Scotland’s military history. There are also works that pay tribute to Scottish hero William Wallace in the album’s closer/title track and ‘The Heart of Scotland’ to make the experience even more engaging and entertaining for audiences. Between these songs and the album’s other works, the whole of the album’s lyrical themes continue a long tradition for the band in terms of producing concept albums. From creating an album about Jesus’ last supper in The Last Supper to an album about the Knight’s Templar in Knights of the Cross to the other noted albums and more, the band’s approach here is nothing new, but is still an approach that longtime fans will appreciate just as much as those who are less familiar with the band’s catalog. It’s just one way in which the album proves appealing for listeners. The record’s collective musical arrangements play into its appeal, too.
The musical arrangements featured throughout this album are everything that longtime fans have come to expect from Grave Digger. The driving power metal guitar riffs and the powerhouse vocals from Axel Ritt and Chris Boltendahl respectively give the album its own punch. One could argue, as a matter of fact, that Boltendahl’s vocal delivery style and sound is comparable to that of the late great Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister. Given, Motorhead is and was not a power metal band, but the similarity is there, regardless. Drummer Marcus Kniep’s time keeping adds to that impact along with bassist Jens Becker. The group’s collective work from one song to the next makes the album’s works appealing to fans of Judas Priest, Firewind, and especially Sabaton. The inclusion of the bagpipes in ‘The Clansman’s Journey’ and the brief cover of Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue in D. Minor in ‘All For The Kingdom’ will also appeal to fans of Trans Siberian Orchestra and to a lesser extent, Exmortus. The heavy, plodding drums, bass and guitar in ‘The Heart of Scotland’ is another notable addition to the album in examining the record’s musical arrangements. The whole of those elements along with the choral element and bagpipes makes it even more engaging and entertaining. When all of this is taken into consideration along with the rest of the album’s musical arrangements, the whole of the album’s musical content does just as much as the album’s overall lyrical content to keep listeners engaged and entertained. It is not the last of the album’s most important elements, either. The album’s production and mixing round out its most important elements.
The production and mixing that went into the final presentation that is Fields of Blood is important to note because it was the work put into balancing each song’s multiple elements both during and post that led to the album that is available now. A lot of attention to detail had to take place in production and post (mixing) with this record, too. As noted, bagpipes are balanced multiples times with guitars, bass, drums and vocals. At other times, the quartet’s own parts sans bagpipes were combined, each being powerful in its own right throughout. That means a lot of time and painstaking effort had to be taken to make sure not one part of each song’s instrumentation overpowered the others. As a result of that painstaking effort, each song is expertly balanced and produces an effect on listeners that will resonate long after the album reaches its end. Keeping this in mind along with the importance of the album’s musical and lyrical content, all three elements combine to make Fields of Blood an applause-worthy new offering from Grave Digger that audiences will celebrate while celebrating Grave Digger’s 40th anniversary.
Grave Digger’s 20th album Fields of Blood is another positive offering from the veteran power metal band that audiences will applaud just as much as the band’s past albums. That is due in part to the album’s lyrical content, which makes the album another concept album of sorts from the band. They make the album another work that is immediately comparable to works from Sabaton in that avenue. The album’s musical arrangements are once again pure power metal, which is something that fans have come to expect from the band. The same can be said of the band’s stylistic approach to each arrangement throughout the album. Each composition is everything in itself that fans have come to expect from the band, too. The work put into the record’s production and mixing put the final touch to the album, ensuring once more, audiences’ engagement and entertainment. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of Fields of Blood. All things considered, they make the album a solid way for Grave Digger and its fans to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. Fields of Blood is available now through Napalm Records. More information on the album is available along with all of Grave Digger’s latest news at:
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