The mighty GRAVE DIGGER return revitalised after the success of 2001's impressive "The Grave Digger" album and guess what? The manic German Metallers deliver yet another top quality piece of Heavy Metal. Not content to sit firmly in the Power Metal fold GRAVE DIGGER have moved the goal posts ever so slightly and gone a bit epic and BIG for us. They've added a bit of MANOWAR here and there and glimpses of German top dogs BLIND GUARDIAN with the technical aspects of say SAVATAGE to produce their most demanding and mature work.
Based on Wagner's "The Ring Cycle" "Rheingold" is at times the best work GRAVE DIGGER have ever recorded and builds on the solid success of "The Grave Digger". The title track is just truly classic Power Metal with a strong chorus built around the thundering riffing of Manni Schmidt (one of the best axe men out there) the pounding drumming of Stefan Arnold and the unique vocals of Chris Boltendahl, a man happy to set on both sides of the fence when it comes to singing. On one side he is a guttural roar and on the other a soft and emotive singer. Stick him in with the other musicians then you get an excellent chemistry.
"Rheingold" is a creative maelstrom of ideas rarely visited by the band before. The title track I have already mentioned but along side that match the tectonic power of "Valhalla" and the simple MANOWAR-style brilliance of "Dragon". However the trade mark fury and ferocity of the GRAVE DIGGER sound is still there. The colossal and intense Schmidt riffs beefed up with the tight, solid back line and fronted with the irrepressible Boltendahl. This is first class Metal from a band that have been around for more years than I care to remember and the beast that is Heavy Metal doesn't get better than this. Honestly. (Online July 19, 2003)