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Grave Digger Raises The Dead In London With Burning Witches

Photo of Grave Digger

Band Photo: Grave Digger (?)

With all the many sub genres and styles in metal today, sometimes the old guard gets shuffled away or forgotten about. Those still paying attention however will discover many groups still performing the classic heavy metal sound, both old and new. Tonight was a mixture of both, as German metal stalwarts Grave Digger came to the Tufnell Park Dome, bringing with them Swiss up and comers Burning Witches.

The Dome is a fine little venue, with a stage big enough to accommodate some props and smoke, which definitely helps at a show like this. It may be a little uncommon, but the venue began filling up quite early, due to the buzz and excitement of seeing Burning Witches perform in the United Kingdom for the first time. The hype was something well worth believing in, as the five women from Brugg put on one hell of a show. Lead singer Seraina Telli has been referred to several times as "the female Rob Halford" and she's very deserving of this comparison, boasting a voice which soars like an eagle and pierces like a bullet.

With two albums already under their belt, Burning Witches have some excellent material to draw upon, with the fifty minute set split almost evenly between their self-titled debut and the superb sophomore, "Hexenhammer." Newer songs like the anti racism anthem "Open Your Mind" and the pummeling single, "Executed" went down a treat, as did such tracks as "Burning Witches," "Save Me" and the absolute stormer, "Black Widow" from their debut. A stunning first impression to leave on the British crowd and they've assured that they'll be welcomed back with open arms the next time they visit Britain.

Now for the main event. Hailing from Gladbeck, Grave Digger might not have achieved the fame and legacies of such German contemporaries as Accept and Doro, but they do have an amazing catalogue of material which any fan of classic metal would urge everyone to listen to. With a new album, "The Living Dead" to promote, it was no surprise to hear three songs from the record brought out including set opener, "Fear The Living Dead," as well as "Zombie Dance" and "Blade Of The Immortal."

Grave Digger's set was a varied one however. Running at over an hour and a half, quite a few albums got a fair representation, with "Healed By Metal," "Tunes Of War" and "Return Of The Reaper" each getting three songs to advertise them. With decorations and illness to share the stage with, Grave Digger were still able to put on an excellent heavy metal show, with vocalist Chris Boltendahl, the only remaining original member, still sounding excellent. More favourites such as "The Clans Will Rise Again" and "Circle Of Witches" invaded the ears of fans, before the veterans finished their performance with the title track from their 1984 debut, "Heavy Metal Breakdown." All in all, it was a night of denim, leather and great tunes. Hopefully Grave Digger won't leave it too long before putting on a show in the United Kingdom again.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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