Grave Digger – Pray E.P. (2009, Napalm Records)
- Pray (extended version)
- Overkill (Motorhead cover)
- My Blood Will Live Forever (non-album track)
- When The Sun Goes Down (non-album track)
Chris Boltendahl – Vocals
Manni Schmidt – Guitar
Thilo Herrmann – Guitar
H.P. Katzenburg – Keyboards
Stefan Arnold – Drums
Jens Becker – Bass
Produced by: Grave Digger
Total Time = 16:29
When I review the latest album from Grave Digger, BALLADS OF A HANGMAN, I mentioned the PRAY E.P. briefly towards the end. Turns out that I’ve had more then a few emails wanting a review.
The PRAY E.P. was released in the U.S. a week before BALLADS OF A HANGMAN but it had been available overseas since November 2008. For collector’s, the PRAY E.P. has 3 non-album tracks (one is a cover of Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’) and an extended version of ‘Pray’. The first single from the album is ‘Pray’ and it’s a melodic mid-tempo song that retains it’s power when the gang style backgrounds come in for the chorus. The guitars are the cleanest of the album with their clear twin melodies and solos, definitely a song that brings me back to the Melodic Metal heyday of the mid-’80s.
Second song is the Motorhead cover ‘Overkill’ and it’s pretty straightforward in it’s delivery. Usually I’m against all covers on a new album but this is a special E.P. so it belongs here. A cover song is a bonus, a novelty track, to me so having one on a single or an E.P. makes it more acceptable to me. If the band had put it on the actual album then I would be critical. The two non-album tracks could have easily been included on the new record and they are worth the price of the E.P. alone (I paid $8!). ‘My Blood Will Live Forever’ has the trademark chugging riffs that Grave Digger is known for and it’s definitely a solid Power Metal feast with aggressive vocals from Chris Boltendahl. ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ is more a mid-paced song but the heaviness isn’t lost as the band slows down, it’s the best song of the four without being typical Grave Digger. There’s a groove to it and the intensity is in the simple delivery, it’s aggressive without being overpowering.
If you’re a Grave Digger fan and/or a collector then you will want to pick this E.P. up, especially at the low price! Three out of four songs you can’t get anywhere and the two non-album originals are as good as anything on BALLADS OF A HANGMAN. Actually, I’m a little disappointed that these two songs aren’t on the new album, they would make it even better! I always like to collect different releases from bands I like and these kind of releases make it easier to pick up some cool bonus tracks.
There’s only four tunes and I like all four but the best are the originals not found on the proper album release: ‘My Blood Will Live Forever’ and ‘When The Sun Goes Down’