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GRAVE DIGGER
Heavy Metal Breakdown


Noise (1984)
Rating: 8/10


Heavy Metal Breakdown is a bloody good debut, giving this fan 80% of pleasurable music with a fixed smile on his face, as he found it quite easy to dismiss the poor 20%.

It’s also quite evident that Accept are the flavour for the moment – how long is always uncertain – respected by most and influencing lesser established acts in their respective musical field; there’s no mistaking the Udo Dirkschneider vocal passages, even though Chris Boltendahl’s octave level is somewhat lower. You’ll also find that a few of the band’s arrangements hint at the aforementioned.

Firstly, it never ceases to amaze (or aptly, amuse) me when metal acts waste their energy and vinyl space trying to write ballads. Whatever the initial stage, the end product is always abysmal (Glory Bells take note) and while they may have a good ear for immense metal tunes, ‘Headbanging Man’, ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’, ‘Back From The War’ etc, ballads are not within their reach; hence the unprofitable ‘Yesterday’. The other “pits” stop is ‘Heart Attack’, which while attacking in the fluent vein of the major material doesn’t really possess the characteristics shown by the others.

But as I said, these are non-events which are soon forgotten once the aural poundings of ‘Tyrant’, ‘We Wanna Rock You’ and ‘2000 Light Years From Home’ (a Rolling Stones cover) assault the nervous system, and where Grave Digger’s forte lies in sheer power and climatic enthusiasm, sacrificing any tell-tale signs of technical approach. And while it’s true that this style of heavy metal is derivative, it has to be pointed out that it isn’t the aim of the Grave Diggers of this world to find new avenues. Instead, they vie for the throne of “The Headbangers’ Delight”, a status much enjoyed by Metallica.

Lastly, I can say that this will be much appreciated by the “bang ’em hard” merchants who’ll lap it up by the spadeful.

Leroy Douglas

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 4 (1984)


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