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Return Of The Reaper Limited Edition

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The beginnings of Grave Digger date back to 1980. After various appearances at small festivals, the band, comprising Chris Boltendahl, Peter Masson, Willi Lackmann and Albert Eckardt, recorded a song for the compilation album “Rock from Hell” in 1983. A year later, Grave Digger released their debut album “Heavy Metal Breakdown”.

They released their second album ... Read more in Amazon's Grave Digger Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 July 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Return Of The Reaper
2. Hell Funeral
3. War God
4. Tattooed Rider
5. Resurrection Day
6. Season Of The Witch
7. Road Rage Killer
8. Grave Desecrator
9. Satanâ™s Host
10. Dia De Los Muertos
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Emperors Death (Bonus Track)
2. Rebel Of Damnation (Bonus Track)
3. The Roundtable (Acoustic)
4. The Dark Of The Sun (Acoustic)
5. The Curse Of Jaques (Acoustic)
6. The Ballad Of Mary (Acoustic)
7. The Last Supper (Acoustic)
8. Yesterday (Acoustic)
9. Rebellion (Acoustic)
10. Heavy Metal Breakdown (Acoustic)

Product Description

DELUXE EDITION : (2CD) 2014 album from long serving German Power-thrash metal band.Housed in a media-book with a 10-track bonus disc featuring 2 studio tracks + a live acoustic set!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Russell M. Hamilton on 18 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is what you come to expect from Grave Digger, but with a fresh twist on today's power metal scene. Return of the Reaper gives you all the classic sound of these pioneers of German power metal as well as showing the new guys how to do it. The break neck speed of the double kick drums, the thunderous bass line and the soaring guitars is everything you've come to love and expect from these heavy metal stalwarts. You won't be disappointed.
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By Mr M W Hapney on 20 Aug. 2014
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
A brilliant "tour de force" from Grave Digger! Please your ears, they will love it!
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By stephen wallis on 23 Aug. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Powerful power metal 7 Aug. 2014
By A. Stutheit - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Those who are not in the know and new to the band might mistake Germany's Grave Digger for being a Swedish death or black metal band. But that would be way off base -- way, way off. (And, FYI, they have absolutely no affiliation with monster trucks, either.) Indeed, these stalwarts are actually natives to two things: Gladbeck and power metal. And not only that, but they are easily one of the finest traditional/power metal bands to emerge from said city/country, and are so good at what they do that they actually round out "The Big Four" in the genre, right up there alongside Helloween, Blind Guardian, and Accept. They can shred the pants off just as well as just about anybody, and are also no strangers to strong vocals and excellent hooks.

But where Grave Digger stand out from the rest of the herd is in their lyrics. See, they are very well-known for crafting intelligently-worded and interesting concept albums. But their seventeenth full-length, 2014's "Return Of The Reaper," as it is the first G.D. record in recent memory not to be conceptual. Indeed, here, the band just let their musical abilities and obvious, copious instrumental talents do all the talking. This is not an stupid or ill-conceived notion for any band, just so long as they are capable of producing this vast amount of blistering, speed metal-lite riffage, fiery leads, and inspiring solos.

The record begins with a darkly melodic and ominous little intro piece in the title track before flowing into "Hell Funeral," which, with its consistently strong riffing, Dickinson-inspired clean singing, and really memorable choruses, almost sounds like it could be an Iron Maiden cover song. Almost. See, the tune distinguishes itself from anything that those Brits have ever recorded by the fact that it also features a memorably frenetic, careening, wah-wah-soaked guitar solo. The blistering "War God" comes next, and it is hands down one of the heaviest pieces of the set. It is a nimbly-fingered buzzsaw-riff and pounding, galloping double-bass-driven piece. And it all flows perfectly into unforgettably anthemic, chanted, Maiden-esque choruses.

"Tattooed Rider" is a more mid-tempo and involved venture, playing like a restrained cruncher of a song with industrial-strength chug/churn guitar leads and blazing melodic solos; but the ensuing "Resurrection Day" again puts the listener back in thrash-oriented territory. It is a ripper that is simply brimming with tasty guitar crunch, twiddly soloing, and huge choruses. As good as it is, though, it is almost -- if not QUITE -- overshadowed by what comes next: "Season Of The Witch," the record's five-plus-minute long epic centerpiece featuring gruff and extra-flinty-sounding vocals that strongly evoke Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmeister.

Said song does end on a surprisingly melodic note, as it does adopt a sudden, ominously melodic guitar and spoken-word vocal-aided breakdown; but the aptly-named "Road Rage Killer" proceeds to promptly again launch you back into blustery, speed metal-like aggression, with crunchy, grooving guitar riffing and wild, shred-happy, wah-obsessed soloing. But then "Return Of The Reaper" delves back into more restrained and subdued territory, as "Dia De Los Muertos" is a meaty, steady chugger that might have plenty of banging tom-tom drums, but is actually mostly highlighted by some more terrific, air-guitar-worthy shredding, though, including jazzy melodic leads. And a blazing, shredding solo comes ripping through the mix like a serrated knife, too.

"Satan's Host" bears a very, heavy Motorhead-esque influence, from its Lemmy-like bass intro right down to its abundant use of adherent grooves, hooky licks, and motoring, speed-punk-inspired double bass drumming. Next up, the very fiery riffing, anthemic vocal patterns, and huge choruses of "Grave Desecrator" set the stage perfectly for the portentously-entitled "Death Smiles At All Of Us," which might begin with a proggy little melodic guitar intro, sure. But it is just a matter of time before it slams into blistering, ripping thrash/speed metal-dom.

But things all then wind down for the concluding "Nothing To Believe," the set's sole anomaly, as it is a placid, docile, and very touching bit of piano-driven power balladry. It might be a surprising move by the band to end the album this way, but at the same time, it also somehow seems very fitting. (After all, every great power metal record needs to have at least one ballad, am I riiiight?)

True, "Return Of The Reaper" is not exactly a genre-redefining release. But even if it breaks very little new ground, and does not move the world of heavy metal music forward at all, it is still, nonetheless, an extremely solid and very satisfying record, and one that is well-done and entertaining enough to warrant being a must-hear for all serious enthusiasts of the traditional heavy/power metal genres currently occupying ever last corner of this toilet earth.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent return by one of the legendary metal bands 20 July 2014
By SnowDog3000 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Album sounds great. Chris B. (vocalist) sounds fine. Heavy album. Deluxe version is the one to get. The two studio bonus tracks are very good. The album as a whole grows on you on repeat listens. Actually, aside from guitarists, the bassist and drummer have been with the band for quite a while now. The deluxe version also has some live acoustic tracks (the first four of which are good) that sound similar to the acoustic stuff Gamma Ray has done. So in other progressive acoustic metal basically. Some quibbles: Satan's Host has one risque lyric that is a little too Motorhead (of course it's easy enough to edit it out) but those kind of lines really aren't Grave Digger's thing. There are a few instances of religious language. Some of the guitar solos are too high in the mix. Overall a damn solid album, their most solid album in quite a while in fact. Of course fans of Grave Digger should also check out the band Rebellion's recent albums (originally formed by Tomi and Uwe, two past members of GD and sounds alot like GD). Oh yeah, cool album cover!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Stronger Than Ever! 8 Aug. 2014
By Draconian - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Before I review the songs on this album, there are a few things I'd like to say about the band itself.

First and foremost is that I think Grave Digger have to be the most criminally underrated metal bands of all time. Sure Germans, Power Metal fans and true Grave Digger fans know how great this band is, but they seem to be largely ignored by the greater metal community, as evidenced by the paltry number of reviews this album has on this site. I find it a real shame because, in my opinion, this is the best metal release of 2014 surpassing both 'Redeemer of Souls' and 'White Devil Armory'

Secondly, I will comment on two of the band members in particular, starting with Axel “Iron Finger” Ritt. When Manni Schmidt left the band after 'Ballads of a Hangman' I was somewhat worried about what would happen with the mighty Grave Digger. Enter Ritt and the extremely solid 'The Clans Will Rise Again'. All well and good, but I still wasn't totally convinced. Then, to my great surprise and relief they release what is, in my opinion, the best album of their storied career in 'Clash of the Gods'. My fears were definitely allayed as Ritt proved he could be every bit the 'Riff Monster' that Schmidt was. The performance he turns in on this album is every bit as good. Welcome to the family Mr. Ritt.

The other member of the band I want to talk about is Chris Boltendahl. Most people would say that Chris always sounds the same, as his vocals haven't changed a whole deal since probably 'Knights of the Cross' or perhaps 'Excalibur', when he started to drop the higher pitched stuff from his singing. However, personally, I think he delivers the best performance of his career on this album. I have noticed ever since 'The Clans Will Rise Again' just how good his vocals are sounding as he gets older. Much like Rob Halford has settled into his mid-range nicely, Boltendahl seems to have found a nice groove which sits about halfway between his old-school gruff timbre and his clean vocals. His gruffness no longer sounds quite as forced as it once did. Listen to 'Knight of the Cross' and then this album back to back for a good example of the difference.

Anyway, onto the album. I will say that upon the first few listens to this album I thought it was a solid release but nothing special. I probably only really liked about half the songs on it for the first few listens. Having now listened to it a dozen times or more, I will say it has grown on me massively. In fact, the majority of the songs on here are so good that I now rate this album in my top three Grave Digger albums, only behind 'Clash of the Gods' at number one and 'Rheingold' at number two.

The production on this album is heavy as heck and it just sounds massive. The one small gripe is that I prefer the sound of the drums on 'Clash of the Gods' over this album, but this album trumps its predecessor in the guitar department with Ritt sounding upfront and glorious!! The bass also sounds great on this album, particularly in 'War God' and 'Grave Desecrater'. Grave Digger really are one of the better sounding self produced bands around.

Oh, and one last thing before I move onto the songs. The album cover is pretty f'n sweet!

I purchased the 2 disc version of this album so I will also review the two studio bonus tracks. Bare in mind I don't get too technical with the song reviews, as I am not that musically gifted myself! These are just my personal opinions on them.

Return of the Reaper – Katzenburg leads the funeral march. It's an intro, it is what it is.

Hell Funeral – Kick you in the teeth speed metal that harkens back to the days of 'The Reaper' album, which is presumably why they titled the album as they have. Great catchy chorus as is almost the norm from the Digger. Perfect way to open the album. 8.5/10

War God - Great, heavy track that'll melt your face off! Probably the heaviest song on the album. Wicked solo from Ritt and Stefan is slaying it in this one. It is a testament to the quality of this album that this song is only my fourth favourite track on the album. 9.2/10

Tattooed Rider – My second favourite song on the album. The first part of the song, especially when the drums first kick in, sound as if we are listening to Priest's 'Turbo Lover' before kicking back into Grave Digger mode. The gang vocal chorus is probably the catchiest Grave Digger chorus since 'Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)'. Well, okay, that might be stretching it a tad but it is damn catchy! 9.5/10

Resurrection Day – Another speed metal battery, with a sweet chorus and solo and some nice change-ups throughout. Once again the chorus is great. My fifth favourite track on the album. Which is insane, when you think about it, because it is a damn good track. Once again, a testament to how good this album is overall. 9/10

Season of the Witch – One of only two real noticeable changes in tempo on the album. This one is a slow chugger and definitely the most 'epic' sounding track on the album. It is also the longest, clocking in at just over five minutes. Could have easily appeared on 'The Grave Digger' or 'Clash of the Gods'...or any post – 'The Reaper' albums really. 7/10

Road Rage Killer – Flat out speed metal, one of the shortest songs on the album. I don't really like the lyrics on this one though. The music is good however. 6.5/10

Grave Desecrater – Great track. My third favourite on the album. Chorus comes close to rivaling 'Tattooed Rider' for best chorus on the album. Love the riffs in this track, lyrics wise this song would fit right in on their self titled album. 9.4/10

Satan's Host – Sounds a lot like Motörhead to me. I didn't like this track at all initially, however after a dozen or so listens it has grown on me. Another nice solo from Ritt here. 7.5/10

Dia De Los Muertos – Sounds like someone took 'The Grave Dancer' and 'Demon's Day' from 'Heart of Darkness', mixed in a bit of 'The Grave Digger' vibe and a cowbell, threw it all in a blender and hit the go button. Unfortunately, it came out of the blender a tad bland. My least favourite track on the album. 6/10

Death Smiles At All Of Us – I must admit that I didn't like this song much on first listen. Can't explain why, because it now sits as my favourite track on the album. Nice lead in by Mr. Katzenburg before we get pummeled by Ritt's riff and Stefan's drumming. Nice pre-chorus leads into yet another epic chorus. Sweet solo by Ritt that starts out with a Middle-Eastern/Egyptian vibe before switching to a bumble-bee sounding solo! Great track. 10/10

Nothing to Believe – A Katzenburg led ballad. Nice and emotional. We all know Boltendahl can sing cleanly, but I really believe these songs are the ones that really showcase just how good his gruff vocals really are and just how suited to the music they are. Sits well alongside 'Silence', 'Dolphin's Cry' and 'Always And Eternally'. In fact, I think this track has overtaken 'Silence' as my favourite Grave Digger ballad. A nice way to finish off the regular album. 9/10

The Emperors Death – Sounds like it could be a song that never made it onto 'Clash of the Gods', although it is about the Romans not the Greeks so I could be wrong. Sounds pretty much how you'd expect a slow chug-a-thon from Grave Digger to sound, with a little acoustic interlude thrown in for good measure in place of the usual solo's and a Katzenburg outro. Solid if unspectacular. 7/10

Rebel of Damnation – Stick-it-to-the-man Grave Digger style. Wouldn't be out of place on 'The Reaper' or, in particular, the 'Symphony of Death' EP. They even throw in a tribute to Judas Priest with the lyrics in the first verse, and a short tribute to Black Sabbath towards the end of the song with the 'Paranoid' riff. Another great sing-along chorus here too. Grave Digger keep up their track record of having excellent bonus tracks with this one. 9/10

Overall, as I have said, this a great album and my pick for metal Album of the Year thus far in 2014. I highly recommend that any self-respecting metal fan buys this album!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Brian - Published on
This is an excellent release, with superb production! If you liked the last 2 Grave Digger releases you will like this! It is a bit more aggressive, which is okay with me, as I prefer thrash/melodic death. My favorite Grave Digger releases ever were "Heart of Darkness", "The Reaper" and "The Grave Digger". This release would be next. Well worth the money! I hope this review was helpful! Anyone who likes Grave Digger should definitely enjoy Rebellion as well! I purchased the deluxe version with 2 bonus tracks.
Deluxe 2 CD Edition 29 July 2014
By Razr Maxx - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Classic Old School Digger.

Well, I've only sampled my disc, and the regular album songs sound pretty good. Got an old school Digger sound to them with some cool guitar effects throwwn in for good measure. But I'm only really writing this review for one reason. What's up with the "Live Acoustic Set' recording on the 2nd disc? OK, first of all, the first two songs are Bonus Tracks for the regular album, and they sound fine. But the recording fdr the Acoustic set is all screwed up. None of the tracks, except the first one will rip to my PC because they are full of static. Is everybody's like this?
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