"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Grave Digger

Formed: 1980
From: Gladbeck, Germany
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Grave Digger News

Below is our complete Grave Digger news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Grave Digger Signs To Napalm Records

Napalm Records has announced the signing of legendary German metal band GRAVE DIGGER. The band, who has been releasing cult classics since the early eighties, signed a worldwide record deal with the Austrian label.

Currently, the band and frontman Chris Boltendahl are working on their new studio album "Ballads of a Hangman," which will hit the streets on January 9, 2009. A yet untitled MCD will be released as a preview on November 28, 2008. More details cannot be revealed at this point in time, but the band promises that the new recordings will consist of "120% Metal."

Chris Boltendahl comments: "Grave Digger look forward to working together with their new label NAPALM RECORDS. We have observed the excellent work of the label in the past few years."

"Napalm did see the writings on the wall and is one of the leading companies for example in Online Promotion and Marketing. They elevated older bands like Atrocity to new heights and established newcomers like Alestorm. Thus, we are convinced that Napalm will bring out the best in us, and in return we will deliver a masterpiece of German True Metal. A storm is coming, the sea is rough, the coxswains are the veterans, only the ship is new and manned by an excellent crew who know their craft."

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Grave Digger Frontman Checks In From The Studio

Grave Digger frontman Chris Boltendahl has posted the following studio report:

"Now its time. Since February '08 we composed and arranged the new songs. Incomplete we will record 13 songs including one cover version of a lost Metal classic from the eighties. Stefan (Arnold - drums) arrived yesterday and built up his drums. Before we entered the studio German punk legends DIE TOTEN HOSEN recorded their new album in the Principal Studios. We will smell a bit of their spirit. Stefan did drums soundcheck today. After he started to record the first four songs. He's in a very good shape and recordings are going really well. He always does a fantastic job in the studio.

"The song titles we will present you during the recordings so watch out for the studio diary. Manni (Schmidt - guitar) and I arrived this morning to guide Stefan during the drum recordings. It's cool to be here cause we are really motivated to create a new master piece of German True Metal. Now it's 10PM and Stefan starts with another track. He´s a real workaholic on the drums. A steelworker.

"Ok, I will speak to you tomorrow. Good night and Metal on."

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Grave Digger Guitarist Checks In

Grave Digger guitarist Manni Schmidt has checked in with the following update:

"It's a shame the holidays went by that fast. Not to mention the UEFA championship. But damn, the Bang Your Head!!! festival did smash twice to compensate! Brilliant sunshine from above, a Fame backline from behind and rocking out a great show to our fans in front meant big party for everyone involved!

"So, on to the forthcoming events: Right (after our South American tour) we're in the studios again to finally record the new GRAVE DIGGER album. We prepared ourselves for this some time now and let the songs go through our minds again during the holidays, but now we mean business! South America should get our adrenalin flowing to batter in the songs with plenty of live power. More...

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Grave Digger Announce European Tour Dates

German heavy metal band, Grave Digger, have announced a European tour with Alestorm and a special guest in January 2009. Dates are as follows:

01/15 – Halle - Easy Schorre
01/16 – Lichtenfels - Stadthalle
01/17 – Glauchau- Alte Spinnerei
01/18 – Berlin - Columbia Club
01/19 – Bochum - Zeche
01/20 – Aschaffenburg - Colosaal
01/21 – Ludwigsburg - Rockfabrik
01/22 – Saarbrücken - Garage
01/23 – Speyer - Halle 101
01/24 – Andernach - Juz Live Club
01/25 – Hamburg - Markthalle
01/26 – München - New Backstage
01/27 – CH - Pratteln- Z7

At the moment grave digger are writing new songs and will head into the studio for preproduction on June 20.

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Grave Digger Discuss Success in NYC

According to GRAVE DIGGER lead singer Chris Boltendhal, the promoter of Sunday's (March 2nd) BB King's show in NYC "was totally satisfied with the show and will do another, after the new album."

In conversation with BW&BK, Boltendahl confirmed that they have 8 songs written, but not recorded, after a writing session at a Dutch studio. The plan is to record in the fall, for a January '09 release.

Thematically, the album will be another concept album. The final part of the triology is set, chronologically, between Knights Of The Cross (Templar knights) and Tunes Of War (William Wallace led Scottish fight for independence), approx. the years 1100 to 1300.

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Grave Digger Confirmed For Screamfest

German power metallers GRAVE DIGGER have been confirmed for this year's Screamfest, set to take place November 7-8 on three different stages in Oslo, Norway. Eight more bands will be announced soon. Screamfest will also host the first-ever Norwegian Metal Awards. "On Saturday, November 8, we will celebrate our hard rock and metal musicians and show them respect and appreciation through an award given by both the people and a capable jury," the organizers write in a press release.

The Screamfest festival billing is shaping up as follows:

IMMORTAL
BORKNAGAR
KEEP OF KALESSIN
HATE
GRAVE DIGGER

Tickets go on sale on March 1.

GRAVE DIGGER's latest album, "Liberty or Death", entered the German Media Control chart in January 2007 at position No. 30. This is the second highest chart entry in GRAVE DIGGER's history.

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Grave Digger Begin Writing New Material

German power metallers GRAVE DIGGER have issued the following update:

"We are back from our first songwriting session from the Graveyard studios in Holland. The chemistry with Thilo was really cool and we were very creative that seven song structures have come out. METAL. Now we just have to file in these ideas before we go back to the Graveyard studio in April again."

"With the new album we will finish the concept of the 'Trilogy' which we started with 'Rheingold' and continued with 'Liberty or Death'."

"Next week we are visiting the U.S. for our promo shows in New York. As far we know, the advance sales are running very well and therefore we are planning to play in the 'wild west' as well."

"We are also on stage in South America and they will stretch from July 29, 2008 through August 4, 2008. Confirmed shows are up till now August 2 in Sao Paulo at Citibank Hall."

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Saxon Confirmed For Atarfe Rock Festival

UK metal legends SAXON - complete with their special Eagle Lights Set - are the latest act confirmed for Spain's Atarfe Vega Rock Festival which takes place March 7th - 8th, 2008 in the city of Atarfe (at 11 km from Granada, Andalusia).

Confirmed acts on the bill now include: ANGELUS APATRIDA, BELPHEGOR, DANGER DANGER, DESTRUCTION, EXCITER, GRAVE DIGGER, KATATONIA, KORPIKLAANI, KOTIPELTO, MAYHEM, MY DYING BRIDE, RATT, SAXON, SLAUGHTER, SYMPHONY X, TRIBAL, UNLEASHED, WITHIN TEMPTATION.

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Ratt Confirmed For Atarfe Vega Rock Festival

RATT has been confirmed to play at the ATARFE VEGA ROCK FESTIVAL, set to take place the 7th (Friday) and 8th of March (Saturday) 2008, in the city of ATARFE (at 11 km from Granada, Andalusia - SPAIN). By now, this is the billing after adding this new act: ANGELUS APATRIDA, BELPHEGOR, DANGER DANGER, DESTRUCTION, EXCITER, GRAVE DIGGER, KATATONIA, KORPIKLAANI, KOTIPELTO, MAYHEM, MY DYING BRIDE, RATT, SLAUGHTER, SYMPHONY X, TRIBAL, UNLEASHED and WITHIN TEMPTATION. More bands will be announced very soon.

This year the shows will be hold at “Coliseo Ciudad Atarfe”, a modern covered Bullring, with all the facilities, that a music festival like the Atarfe Vega Rock Festival requires.

First tickets can now be sold. The special price for the two day tickets is 45 Euros + issue expenses, this promotion will end the 30th December. Tickets can be bought in these stores and sites: Carrefour, Fnac, Tipo Stores and www.ticktackticket.com.

For more info about the festival, visit the official website www.brmusic.net.

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Slaughter Confirmed For Atarfe Rock Festival

Las Vegas-based hard rockers SLAUGHTER are the latest act confirmed for Spain's Atarfe Vega Rock Festival, which will take place March 7th/8th, 2008 in the city of Atarfe, Spain (11 km from Granada, Andalusia).

Confirmed acts on the bill now include: BELPHEGOR, DANGER DANGER, DESTRUCTION, EXCITER, GRAVE DIGGER, KATATONIA, KORPIKLAANI, KOTIPELTO, MAYHEM, MY DYING BRIDE, SLAUGHTER, SYMPHONY X, TRIBAL and UNLEASHED.

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Onslaught To Play Lagoa Burning Live Festival

The following message has been posted by Onslaught's official Myspace account:

"We are very proud to announce that we have just been confirmed to appear at the 'LAGOA BURNING LIVE FESTIVAL' At Estombar, Algarve in Portugal,on 27th July 2008 alongside our good friends Obituary..
also appearing at the festival will be:
Tankard
Grave Digger
Cruachan
Dark Moon
Dionysus
+ others tbc

Slaught guitarist Nige Rockett comments: We cant fuckin wait to return to
Portugal especially to such a great festival as this one..It really is gonna be awesome with the Obituary guys there too..
Our last visit was amazing and we met so many cool people, this one promises to be every bit as special......."

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Queensryche Confirmed For Bang Your Head Festival

QUEENSRŸCHE have been confirmed as one of the headlining acts for next year's instalment of the Bang Your Head!!! festival, set to take place on June 27-28, 2008 in Balingen, Germany. The band will deliver a very special three-hour performance with the full "Operation: Mindcrime" sets along with a huge stage production including stage actors, dialogue intermissions, video screens and other audio-visual effects.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

AGE OF EVIL
AGENT STEEL
BREAKER
CONTRACRASH
ENSIFERUM
FORBIDDEN
GRAVE DIGGER
GREAT WHITE
KORPIKLAANI
LIZZY BORDEN
OBITUARY
ONSLAUGHT
QUEENSRŸCHE
RAGE
SAXON
SECRECY
TANKARD
TRAMP'S WHITE LION
TYR

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Symphony X Confirmed For Artarfe Rock Festival

SYMPHONY X are the latest act confirmed for Spain's Atarfe Vega Rock Festival, which will take place March 7th/8th, 2008 in the city of Atarfe (at 11 km from Granada, Andalusia).

Confirmed acts on the bill now include: DESTRUCTION, EXCITER, GRAVE DIGGER, KATATONIA, KORPIKLAANI, KOTIPELTO, MAYHEM, MY DYING BRIDE, SYMPHONY X, TRIBAL and UNLEASHED.

For more info about the festival, visit the official website at www.brmusic.net.

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My Dying Bride Confirmed For Atarfe Vega Rock

Legendary UK doom outfit MY DYING BRIDE has been confirmed for the rescheduled Atarfe Vega Rock festival, which will now take place March 7-8, 2008 at Coliseo Ciudad Atarfe in Atarfe, Granada, Spain. The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

DESTRUCTION
EXCITER
GRAVE DIGGER
KATATONIA
KORPIKLAANI
MAYHEM
MY DYING BRIDE
TRIBAL
UNLEASHED

Two-day tickets cost 45 euros plus service charges. This promotional price will end on December 27.

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Helloween Bassist To Do Hard Rock Album

Frontiers Records will release the debut album from Markus Grosskopf's (HELLOWEEN) BASSINVADERS, entitled "Hellbassbeaters", on January 25, 2008.

BASSINVADERS was a creation of Markus' while sitting in a bar and enjoying a few drinks. It was there that he got inspired to produce a heavy rock record without any guitars at all. He presented this concept in early 2007 to Frontiers Records, which was intrigued by the idea and gave it a go.

According to a press release, "Hellbassbeaters" contains all the basic elements of a heavy rock record "and so much more. You got the strong vocals, rhythmic bass, intoxicating drums and even bass and twin bass solo parts. What you hear is what you get: 100% genuine heavy rock record with absolutely no discordant guitar note on it at all." To guarantee a great variety of different influences, Markus invited some well-known singing bass players from the German metal scene to join the band, including DESTRUCTION's Schmier, SODOM's frontman Tom Angelripper and RAGE's Peavy. He also managed to get a few of his bass heroes to lay down solos on some of the tracks, including Billy Sheehan, Rudy Sarzo and DD Verni.

Guest musicians include:

Bass:

Billy Sheehan (STEVE VAI, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH)
Rudy Sarzo (DIO, OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT)
Lee Rocker (STRAY CATS)
Marco Mendoza (THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE, TED NUGENT)
DD Verni (OVERKILL)
Wyzard (MOTHER'S FINEST)
Dirk Schlächter (GAMMA RAY)
Joey Vera (ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING, ANTHRAX)
Stig Pedersen (D.A.D)
Nibbs (SAXON)
Tobias Exxel (EDGUY)
Jens Becker (GRAVE DIGGER, RUNNING WILD)
Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69)
Peter Baltes (ACCEPT)
Jan S. Eckert (MASTERPLAN)
Michael Müller (JADED HEART)

Vocals:

Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND, TIME REQUIEM, EVIL MASQUERADE, MAJESTIC)
Jesper Binzer (D-A-D)

Drums:

André Hilgers (RAGE, AXXIS, SILENT FORCE)
Stefan Arnold (GRAVE DIGGER)

01. Awakening the Bass Machine
02. We Live
03. Armageddon
04. Romance In Black
05. Godless Gods
06. Empty Memories (Breaking Free)
07. Boiling Blood
08. Far Too Late
09. The Asshole Song
10. Dead From the Eyes Down
11. Razorblade Romance
12. Voices
13. Eagles Fly Free (HELLOWEEN cover)
14. To Hell And Back (bonus track for Europe)

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"20 Years Of Nuclear Blast" Trailer Posted Online

A three-minute trailer for the forthcoming "20 Years of Nuclear Blast" two-DVD set can be viewed below. Due on November 30 via Nuclear Blast, the collection — as the title implies — celebrates the 20th anniversary of the German metal label, featuring two DVDs with almost six hours' worth of footage, including 70 promotional clips and a four-part history of the label hosted by DESTRUCTION bassist/vocalist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer.

The following clips can be found on the "20 Years of Nuclear Blast" two-DVD set:

01. DIMMU BORGIR - Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
02. IMMORTAL - One By One
03. HYPOCRISY - Scrutinized
04. GOREFEST - The Glorious Dead
05. KATAKLYSM - Manipulator Of Souls
06. BENEDICTION - I Bow To None
07. PUNGENT STENCH - Shrunken And Mumified Bitch
08. BELPHEGOR - Sanctus Perversum
09. NILE - The Language Of The Shadows
10. DEATH - Scavenger Of Human Sorrow
11. MALEVOLENT CREATION - Assasin Squad
12. DESTRUCTION - The Butcher Strikes Back
13. DEW SCENTED - Cities Of The Dead
14. ANTHRAX - What Doesn’t Die
15. EXODUS - Riot Act
16. DEATH ANGEL - The Devil Incarnate
17. I - Warriors
18. SONIC SYNDICATE - Psychic Suicide
19. CLAWFINGER - The Price We Pay
20. CHIMAIRA - Worthless
21. IN FLAMES - Only For The Weak
22. MESHUGGAH - Future Breed Machine
23. SOILWORK - Exile
24. THE DESTINY PROGRAM - Project Hoax
25. SCAR SYMMETRY - The Illusionist
26. THREAT SIGNAL - Counterbalance
27. MNEMIC - Ghost
28. EKTOMORF - Destroy
29. AGNOSTIC FRONT - Warriors
30. ALL SHALL PERISH - Eradication
31. BLEED THE SKY - God In The Frame
32. DARKANE - Solitary Confinement
33. THE DUSKFALL - Trust Is Overrated
34. ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET - So Grim, So True, So Real
35. WINTERSUN - Winter Madness
36. HAMMERFALL - Hammerfall
37. RIDE THE SKY - New Protection
38. EDGUY - King Of Fools
39. BLIND GUARDIAN - The New Order
40. SONATA ARCTICA - Caleb
41. GOTTHARD - Master Of Illusion
42. RAGE - Full Moon
43. GRAVE DIGGER - Valhalla
44. HELLOWEEN - Immortal
45. STRATOVARIUS - Why Are We Here
46. TAROT - Before The Skies Comes Down
47. THUNDERSTONE - Face In The Mirror
48. COMMUNIC - Conspiracy In Mind
49. THRESHOLD - Slipstream
50. CANDLEMASS - Of Stars And Smoke
51. CATHEDRAL - Corpsecycle
52. NIGHTWISH - Eva
53. AFTER FOREVER - Transitory
54. EPICA - Never Enough
55. ECHOES OF ETERNITY - Voices In A Dream
56. SIRENIA - The Other Side
57. DEATHSTARS - Greatest Fight On Earth
58. SAMAEL - Valkyrie’s New Ride
59. THE KOVENANT - In The Name Of The Future
60. AMORPHIS - The White Swan
61. THERION - Der Mitternachtslöwe
62. CREMATORY - Revolution
63. FARMER BOYS - For The World To Sing
64. PYOGENESIS - Addiction Pole
65. LIQUIDO - Ordinary Life
66. CHROME DIVISION - Serial Killer
67. DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER - Riders On The Storm
68. SUBWAY TO SALLY - Meine Seele Brennt
69. KNORKATOR - Wir werden alle sterben
70. SUCH A SURGE - Mission Erfüllt More...

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Grave Digger Check In From Rehearsal

GRAVE DIGGER have checked in from rehearsals with new second guitarist Thilo Herrmann (ex-RUNNING WILD):

"Yeah, that rocked!

"We had an unbelieveable rehearsel last weekend."

"Thilo fits so perfect to our style and music that we can't believe it. The rehearsel was POWER, ENERGY and A LOT FUN, too. This guy rocks. Manni and Thilo prepared all the songs perfectly and Manni did a great job to arrange all the guitar parts for two guitars. The band is tight like never before."

"Come and see the new super hero guitar twins in Metal from Wednesday on ... Bochum, Saarbrücken and Speyer. Also at the November 10th in Ancona, Italy."
More...

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More Bands Confirmed For Bang Your Head Festival

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE and FORBIDDEN are the latest acts confirmed for the 2008 edition of Germany's Bang Your Head!!! festival which is scheduled for June 27th - 28th at Messegelände in Balingen, Germany.

Confirmed acts now include: AGENT STEEL, AGE OF EVIL, BREAKER, CONTRACRASH, ENSIFERUM, FORBIDDEN, GRAVE DIGGER, GREAT WHITE, KORPIKLAANI, LIZZY BORDEN, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE, ONSLAUGHT, RAGE, SAXON, TANKARD, TYR and WHITE LION.

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Artarfe Vega Rock Festival Postponed

The organizers of the Atarfe Vega Rock festival — which was scheduled to take place December 1, 2007 at Coliseo Ciudad Atarfe in Atarfe, Granada, Spain and feature appearances by such artists as JOEY BELLADONNA, EXCITER, GRAVE DIGGER, KATATONIA, LACRIMOSA, LIZZY BORDEN, MAYHEM, MY DYING BRIDE and VENOM — have issued the following update:

"As some of you will know due to official statements that can be red in the websites of some of the bands confirmed for the Atarfe Vega Rock Festival 2007, we sadly have to announce that the festival must be postponed until March of 2008, as a result of the damages caused by the floods that the city of Atarfe suffered, and about them all media from Spain informed.

"The '200 litres / m2' heavy downpour has meant 20 euro millions worth damages. These damages, as well as the duties of the engineers of the insurance companies, don't let us celebrate the Atarfe Vega Rock Festival the coming 1st of December in the Bullring and its area, as it was announced.

"We've had a meeting with the Mayor and the local authorities to show them how worried we were about it, and to get a reply about this situation. They've always told us that the festival can take place as expected, and we have to respect it, to ensure the security of people who attend to the festival, bands and staff of the festival.

"We've looked for an alternative location, but once again due to security reasons it's been impossible to find another place in Atarfe. We've even tried to celebrate the festival in another city, but there was no suitable location available, where the festival could take place and we could work in the production required for this festival, taking in account that we didn't have much time.

"After searching without success an alternative location, and once we've reached an agreement with the City Hall and the confirmed bands, we've decided to postpone the festival until March of 2008.

"Except due to date difficulties, we count on all the confirmed bands, as well as with other groups which will be also in the billing.

"With regard to people who have bought their tickets, they'll get their money back in the same stores, where they bought them. We really thank you for your support and loyalty. Besides, we want to compensate those people who have bought a flight ticket to attend to the festival. For this reason they'll get in for free in March, and they'll get free drinks. It's required that they send us an e-mail with the receipt of the flight ticket to verify it.

"We're very sorry about this postponement and the problems that it can mean to you, but no one expected that such a natural disaster could take place in Atarfe. We beg you for comprehension.

"As well as you, this postponement affects us too, because we had booked some bands, which fortunately have understood this setback and have agreed to play in March.

"In the same manner we've bought many international flight tickets for the bands, and now we'll have to buy more to let the groups come and play in March.

"Once again we beg you for understanding what it has happened, because this extraordinary situation is out of our control."

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Grave Digger Announce New Guitarist

GRAVE DIGGER guitarist Manni Schmidt has issued the following update:

"The secret's out: the new GRAVE DIGGER guitarist is my old friend Thilo Herrmann (ex-RISK, FAITHFUL BREATH, HOLY MOSES, RUNNING WILD). The first show with Thilo will take place on October 31 in Der Zeche in Bochum, Germany.

"Last week I spent a few days with Thilo to rehearse the songs.

"Folks, this is gonna rock! We have arranged all songs for two guitars which will turn it into a great show!

"Can't await the upcoming gigs!"

As previously reported, GRAVE DIGGER has scheduled a one-off North American on March 2, 2008 at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.

The band's new album, "Liberty or Death", entered the German Media Control chart in January 2007 at position No. 30. This is the second highest chart entry in GRAVE DIGGER's history.

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