Veteran hard rock band Grave Digger is set to return Friday with its latest album, Symbol of Eternity. The band’s 21st (yes, 21st) album, it is an impressive new offering from the band. The record’s appeal comes in part through its general approach, which will be discussed shortly. The album’s musical content makes for its own appeal and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the overall presentation of Symbol of Eternity. All things considered they make the album one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.
Symbol of Eternity, the latest album from Grave Digger, is another successful studio offering from the veteran hard rock outfit. Coming more than two years after the release of its then latest album, Fields of Blood, the band’s latest album succeeds in part through its general presentation (IE its overarching lyrical theme). In this case, the album’s presentation focuses on the famous (and infamous) Knights Templar and their journeys in the Crusades in the Middle East. ‘Saladin’ for instance, focuses on the legendary Muslim leader who led Muslim forces against the Knights Templar in the Third Crusade. The crusade in question saw European leaders send their forces to the Middle East to try to conquer Jerusalem. While Jerusalem was not conquered, European forces did take the cities of Acre and Jaffa.
‘Symbol of Eternity’ takes on another topic, this time that of the legendary Holy Grail. This is inferred by the mention of Christ’s crucifixion and the item in question allegedly being hidden somewhere in a cave. There is even a seeming veiled reference to Judas what with the mention of someone selling their soul and becoming the symbol of eternity. Everyone knows the story of how Judas allegedly betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. That would seem to be the reference here, so again, this is a story tied directly into the overarching theme of the Crusades, since the Knights Templar’s crusades were in fact all based in European religious fervor.
‘The Last Crusade,’ which comes late in the album’s run, continues the overarching lyrical theme as it seems to focus on Lord Edward’s Crusade, which was the last of the crusades. Led by Edward, Duke of Gascony, the crusade saw European forces fight the Baibars. The battles were, essentially a stalemate, with neither side ever actually gaining an upper hand. It led the European forces to eventually withdraw and return to Europe. This is just one more example of how the album’s overarching approach (its lyrical theme) makes the album so engaging and entertaining. When these songs and the album’s other entries are considered together, the whole of that content forms a solid foundation for the album and gives listeners reason enough to hear the album.
Symbol of Eternity is hardly the first time that Grave Digger has ever taken the approach of using one central theme for its records. Fields of Blood and many of its predecessors focus on the history of the Scots and their military. What’s more, this is hardly the first time the band has ever focused on the matter of the Knight’s Templar, too. The band also focused on that topic on its 1998 album, Knights of the Cross. Even knowing all of this, the album’s overarching lyrical content (its general approach) still makes for appeal in its own right. That foundation is strengthened by the album’s musical content.
The musical content that accompanies the album’s lyrical content is important to the record’s presentation because of how it once again blends heavy influences alongside more power metal influences. Throughout the course of the record, audiences can make comparisons to works from Judas Priest and even to Rainbow within some of the songs. At other points, some of the songs exhibit one or the other influence in themselves, while still establishing identities in and of themselves. The result therein is an overall musical approach that is just as engaging and entertaining as the album’s lyrical approach.
As much as the album’s overall content is to its presentation, it is just part of what makes the album worth hearing. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. The record’s production is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect. The instrumentation in each song creates so much richness. That richness is the result of the production, which balances each instrument expertly overall. Each instrument compliments the others in its own way. The result is a presentation that from start to finish, shines just as much for its production as for its content. When all of this is considered together, the album overall makes itself one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.
Symbol of Eternity, the latest album from Grave Digger, is another strong new offering from the veteran hard rock outfit. The album succeeds in part through its general lyrical approach. The album’s overall lyrical content once more focuses on the matter of the Knights Templar and the Crusades. The songs are each their own works, so it is not a concept record, but close enough. That in itself is a win. The musical content that accompanies the album’s lyrical content is of note because it is so familiar while still being original in its own right in comparison to the works that the band has crafted throughout its catalog. The production of those arrangements puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation, ensuring the best is brought out in each work. Each item examined is important in its own right to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered they make Symbol of Eternity more proof of why Grave Digger remains today, one of the hard rock community’s most respected acts. What’s more, they show why the band’s new album is among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.
Symbol of Eternity is scheduled for release Friday through Rock of Angels Records (ROAR). More information on the album is available along with all of Grave Digger’s latest news at: