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Review: Grave Digger - Excalibur
Grave Digger

Label: Gun Records
Year released: 1999
Duration: 58:05
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: November 6, 1999
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.64/5 (92.73%) (55 Votes)

"Excalibur" is a concept album about the legend of King Arthur.  First, the booklet is divided in twelve "chapters" (songs).  Each song is preceded by a short explanation of what events the song is about.  As I didn't know much about the legend, I found those to be very interesting, and they definitely help understanding the meaning of the lyrics.  The front and back cover are great artwork.

The album is pure metal from the beginning to the end, with a ballad (Emerald Eyes) that took me a while to like since the lead singer doesn't really have a voice suited for ballads.  Musically and lyrically however, it's the same quality as the rest of the album.

My only other Grave Digger album is "Best of the '80s" and I find that the material found in "Excalibur" beats any of the "best of" hands down.  This band has improved its songwriting while not compromising its integrity (there's no fake "evolution" crap here.)  Going from a melancholic ballad, to heavy metal to almost-speed metal styles, this album is diversified and does not bore you after listening to it four or five times.  The lyrics, complemented by the introductions in the booklet, are very well written and worth paying attention to (we're not talking trendy dance music here.)  I have the Japanese edition, which contains a bonus track, Parcival which is as good as any other song on the album.  Too bad it is not mentioned in the booklet.  After listening to this album, I'm actually looking for a good book about King Arthur :)

This is one of the great metal releases of this year, showing that after almost 20 years, Grave Digger is better than ever.  Highly recommended

Additional Information

Japanese edition - includes one bonus track

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