Grave Digger / Burning Witches Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 10, 2019    
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Grave Digger / Burning Witches - The Dome, London (UK) - 29 January 2019

Relocated to the larger Dome, this gig was well attended with an enthusiastic audience that warmed to support band Burning Witches from the off. This photogenic band, who interact with the audience well, remind me a little of Phantom Blue, except that Singer Seraina looks like Doro when she started out with added piercings; their material being all Metal with plenty of meaty riffs, head-banging, screams and a few death growls in for good measure. However, slower songs showed they can compete on all levels musicianship-wise. A great version of 'Holy Diver' underlines they are style with substance and one can sense a cult starting here.

Burning Witches Live 1

I must admit I am new to Grave Digger, having been a fan of Axel Ritt when he was with Domain and following him into this band who already have a long history of old-skool Classic Metal/Thrash. Singer Chris is like the German Biff Byford and seems to have inspired as much devotion from die hard fans. At every break in the show the crowd chanted 'Grave Digger' repeatedly, and I mean after every break, delaying proceedings for many seconds each time.

I don't remember this happening at any other London gig I have been at for over three decades. The band looked delighted, as well they might, since London audience are usually famous for being aloof, but there was no such reserve shown here.

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Drums were super powerful and Axel has brought all his guitar hero charisma into Grave Digger, thrashing hell out of his guitar to the point that even "Ironfinger", as he is known, sustained a cut. Master of the wide straddle, he managed to play while bending backwards so low to the ground and kicking so high, moves which can only be sustained by the superfit; it seems a vegan lifestyle pays off! As the flames along the waistline of the back of his waistcoat suggested, it was blistering solo one after another. He cannot remain a best kept secret in the UK for much longer.

Grave Digger Live 1

Like Iron Maiden, the band are not short on props or a Grim Reaper mascot, who appeared to be Scottish from his flag and bagpipes! Both bands on the bill tonight were a photographer's dream. With plumes of dry ice and a sense of spectacle finishing with the brand new 'Zombie Dance' (their innovative combination of Heavy Metal and Polka) and the early iconic track 'Heavy Metal Breakdown', Grave Digger delivered an entertaining show, as well as their powerful music, and it cannot be long before they grace our shores again.

Review and photos by Dawn Osborne

Grave Digger Live 2

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