GRAVE DIGGER have marked their fortieth anniversary with the release of their twentieth studio album Fields of Blood. Fields of Blood is a concept album that focuses on the history of Scotland and its struggle for independence.
The Clansman’s Journey sets the scene with an instrumental track. This track features traditional bagpipes that starts our Scottish journey.
All For The Kingdom gives us a blast of Jens Becker’s bass line that extenuates the atmosphere. Axel Ritt’s guitar delivers its own raw quality within this track. Chris Boltendahl’s vocals adds the famous iron lung touch to the verses. The track is full of fist pumping action and adrenaline.
Lions Of The Sea starts off with the band performing together in harmony giving us a sense of the Scottish vibe. Jens’s base line kicks off giving us ferocity and adrenaline. Chris’s vocals engaged us in this enchanting track. This piece has memorable lyrics that had me chant a verse for hours. These are the lyrics that stuck with me: “we are lions of the sea, we are sailing to be free, we are lions of the sea, what fools this mortal be”.
Freedom starts off with Jens’s gentle bass line that then offers us an explosion of raw energy. Marcus Kniep’s drumbeats were intense and adrenaline filled. Chris’s vocals communicate the passion within this track. This track tells the tale about the battle of Stirling and the fight of William Wallace.
Heart Of Scotland features the stunning melodies from the bagpipes and Marcus’s drumbeats. The bagpipes fill this song with it dominate influence. Jens’s bassline snatches away the reins and provides a fast-paced adrenaline filled rhythm. Chris’s vocals are full of sentiment and communicates words of glory. During the song I felt enthralled and become filled for passion for the cause. These lyrics were particularly memorable, “Raise your voices – raise your fists for the king – the pride of our nation Praise him and kneel – a will strong as steel He carries the heart of Scotland”.
Thousand Tears is a beautifully ballad. Chris’s vocalsareaccompanied by acoustic guitar and bagpipes. As it gets towards the end of the track, Axel and Jens’s bass and guitar riffs join the track. This addition gives the piece power and ferocity. In this track, Chris is joined by BATTLE BEAST vocalist Noora Louhimo. During the track, you can hear Noora’s strong vocal talents. This makes it one of the highlights for me during this track.
Jens’s fierce and up-tempo bass riffs command the introin Union Of The Crown. Chris’s iron lung gruff vocals paint the image of the bloody battle scene. This is an inspiring track that communicates the tale of brave warriors fighting side by side.
My Final Fight features Jens’s fist pumping bass riffs that will have you roaring into a figurative battle. Marcus’s drumbeats are atmospheric and emotionally charged. Chris’s vocals enter the song like a battering ram stealing glory within his iron lung vocals.
Gathering Of The Clans has Jens’s bassline that once again blows us away with his high-powered riffs. The track features beautifully orchestrated bag pipes which adds to the Scottish atmosphere. Chris’s vocals are exceptional giving the track a gruff and fierce feel. This track remains me of a cross between ACCEPT and SABATON in style.
Barbarian starts off with Jens’s dominate and powerful bass riffs. Chris’s vocals provide power and passion this majestic tale. Marcus’s drumbeats dominate the backing track with his power and dynamic beats. This track is sad in nature but in no way takes away the brilliance of the track.
Fields Of Blood is a ten-minute piece of orchestrated brilliance. Jens and Axel’s bass and guitar riffs once again blows us out the water with its up-tempo elegance. Chris’s vocal range is certainly tested in this track. During this part of the song this is heard; “Braveheart that’s what I am I am a hero for Scottish pride Braveheart they call me I lost my life for the king and crown”. This song brings to the imagination images of marching to the battlefield.
Requiem For The Fallen is a beautiful instrumental piece. This features the elegant styling of the choirs. A perfect final track to conclude this epic album
GRAVE DIGGER have released an album that is well orchestrated from start to finish. This album features the power of the bag pipes to the intensity of the bass riffs. A contender for album of the year.
Words: Becky Weale
Fields Of Blood is out.
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