The Forgotten Years

Grave Digger

“The Forgotten Years” comprises of the following demos: "Bottles And Four Coconuts" Demo (1989), "Return Of The Reaper" Demo (1991), For "Promotion Only!!" EP (1992).
March 8, 2024

GRAVE DIGGER is a German band from the Gladback area in Nord-Rhein Westfalen, The have made 22 studio albums to date, eight compilations and two live recordings. Officially, that is. They are a Teutonic Speed Metal band in their first few years, but then slow down a bit and start making traditional Heavy Metal with a few Speed elements. In all those years I have succeeded in avoiding them, as there were always other, more interesting bands around.

“The Forgotten Years” compilation has been available since September 22nd 2023, and passed me by like any other record of GRAVE DIGGER. Until I got the request to review it. So here we go. This one comprises of the following demos: "Bottles And Four Coconuts" Demo (1989), "Return Of The Reaper" Demo (1991), "For Promotion Only!!" EP (1992). What this does give you is hearing a number of songs twice. Sometimes that is not a problem, like on the best song on this compilation, “The Spy Of Mas’on”, even if they have renamed it from “Spyware Of Mas’on”. Another good one in this category is “Fight The Fight”. On the other side of the spectrum a very mediocre song like “Ruler Mr. H” is something I personally could have done without having to hear it twice.

With GRAVE DIGGER I just can’t shake the feeling that I am listening to a second rate version of early ACCEPT, and then mainly the period of their first albums, up to “Restless And Wild”. So, I am constantly comparing the two. I can’t seem to be able to turn that off. What makes that even more evident is the similarity between the voice of original ACCEPT and current UDO vocalist Udo Dirkshneider and that of Chris Boltendahl of GRAVE DIGGER. Whereas the first one can actually sing, the latter has to shout constantly to keep up, and it gets tiring. Especially if you have to listen to him for 69 minutes in a row.

Issuing an album with older demos is a good thing for the real fans of GRAVE DIGGER, but I suspect that outside that area there aren’t going to be many takers for “The Forgotten Years”. I do know that the band has a very loyal following who probably are ready to drink my blood after this review. I hope they remember that this piece of writing is a personal view on things, and they are allowed to disagree.

6 / 10

Had Potential








When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"The Forgotten Years" Track-listing:


1. Ride On (For Promotion Only!! EP)
2. Shadows of a Moonless Night (For Promotion Only!! EP)
3. Spy of Mas’On (For Promotion Only!! EP)
4. Fight the Fight (For Promotion Only!! EP)
5. Ruler Mr. H (Return Of The Reaper Demo)
6. And the Devil Plays Piano (Return Of The Reaper Demo)
7. Fight the Fight (Return Of The Reaper Demo)
8. Wedding Day (Return Of The Reaper Demo)
9. Intro (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
10. Shout It Out (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
11. Spyware of Mas’On (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
12. Fight the Fight (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
13. Shadows of a Moonless Night (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
14. Back to the Roots (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
15. Play Your Game (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
16. Don’t Bring Me Down (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
17. Wedding Day (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
18. Ruler Mr. H (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
19. Ride On (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)


Grave Digger Lineup:


Chris Boltendahl – Vocals
Uwe Lulis – Guitars
Tomi Göttlich – Bass (For Promotion Only!! EP, Return Of The Reaper Demo)
Peter Breitenbach – Drums (For Promotion Only!! EP, Return Of The Reaper Demo)
Rainer Bandzus – Bass (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)
Jochen Börner – Drums (Bottles And Four Coconuts Demo)


linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram