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Music / Grave Digger

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That psychopomp plays some mean violin, I tell ya.

"Metal invasion that's all what we need
Metal dominion that's all what we want"
Heavy Metal Breakdown

Grave Digger is a Heavy Metal/Power Metal band from Germany. Formed in 1980, they are one of the first bands, along with Accept, Running Wild, Helloween, Sinner, Cutty Sark and Rage on the German metal scene.

They are characterized by their singer Chris Boltendahl's singing style, which ranges from a polarizing screech to surprisingly clean.

Their early work emphasized on typical metal imagery of constant rocking and gritty reality. In 1987 the band changed their name to Digger and changed their sound to appeal the mainstream. This didn't work out, so the band disbanded. In the early 90's, the band was put back together and it took a darker approach and never looked back since.

Not to be confused with Gravediggaz, a Horrorcore rap group based in the U.S.


Full-length albums:

  • Heavy Metal Breakdown (1984)
  • Witch Hunter (1985)
  • War Games (1986)
  • Stronger Than Ever (1987, released under the name Digger.)
  • The Reaper (1993)
  • Heart of Darkness (1995)
  • Tunes of War (1996)
  • Knigths of the Cross (1998)
  • Excalibur (1999)
  • The Grave Digger (2001)
  • Rheingold (2003)
  • The Last Supper (2005)
  • Liberty or Death (2007)
  • Ballads of a Hangman (2009)
  • The Clans Will Rise Again (2010)
  • Clash of the Gods (2012)
  • Return of the Reaper (2014)
  • Healed by Metal (2017)

Singles and extended plays:

  • Shoot Her Down (1984)
  • Symphony of Death (1994)
  • Rebellion (1996)
  • The Dark of the Sun (1997)
  • The Battle of Bannockburn (1998)
  • The Round Table (Forever) (1999)
  • Silent Revolution (2006)
  • Yesterday (2006)
  • Pray (2008)
  • Ballad of Mary (2011)
  • Home at Last (2012)

Associated Tropes:

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: "Divided Cross" from The Last Supper.
  • Ax-Crazy: "Here I Stand" from Witch Hunter is about a man who causes chaos just to "leave his name in history".
  • Badass Boast: "Shadowmaker", "The Grave Dancer" (both from Heart of Darkness), "The Bruce (The Lion King)" (Tunes of War), "Morgana Le Fay", "Mordred's Song" (both from Excalibur) and the "The Terrible One" (Liberty or Death).
  • Ballad of X: "The Ballad of Mary (Queen of Scotts)" (Tunes of War) and "Ballad of a Hangman" from its namesake album.
  • The Grim Reaper: Their mascot since the reformation in the 90's.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: On the background of "The Madness Continues", the outro of The Reaper.
  • Heavy Meta: "Headbanging Man", "Heavy Metal Breakdown", "We Wanna Rock You", "Get Ready for Power", "Under My Flag", "Back to the Roots", "Shout It Out".
  • Heavy Mithril: Hints of it in Excalibur, but Rheingold is a straight example.
  • Horrible History Metal: The albums "Tunes Of War" (about the first Scottish War of Independence and the Jacobite uprisings), "Knights of the Cross" (about the Crusades), and "The Clans Will Rise Again" (again about Scotland).
  • Instrumentals: Every album either opens or closes with a small instrumental piece. Sometimes both.
  • Lighter and Softer: Their brief apperance as Digger.
  • Loudness War: The Last Supper album.
  • Merlin and Nimue: "The Spell" from Excalibur, based on the Trope Namers themselves.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "(Enola Gay) Drop the Bomb" from War Games portrays the nuking of Hiroshima as an epic High-Altitude Battle.