Grave Digger Excalibur

Some classic metal artwork lures me into this 58-minute concept album about Sir Lancelot and that famous sword. Grave Digger have been around since the early '80s, and musically, this is classic metal, mainly fast-tempo, double-bass drum pounding, fist in the air anthemic and proud, with a nice heavy production sound to boot. Reminiscent of a less slick Blind Guardian, or Priest's Painkiller during the speedier moments, and in an era of Korn klones and bad hardcore bands mimicking metal, it is always refreshing to hear this kind of stuff. The whole concept gets a bit tiresome, but it seems oddly sincere 3/4 even bringing in a "medieval/folk metal" group to play bagpipes and lesser known instruments such as the drehleir. (Nuclear Blast)