GRAVE DIGGER – The Ballad Of Mary

GRAVE DIGGER - The Ballad Of Mary
  • 6.5/10
    GRAVE DIGGER - The Ballad Of Mary - 6.5/10


Napalm Records
Release date: March 4, 2011

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

While still taking out the spikey lancers that were thrown by Grave Digger’s 2010 album, The Clans Will Rise Again, the war kept going on and on. Half a year after the clans marched once again in the story of the Scottish wars against England, Grave Digger released an EP with a few special and different versions of tracks taken out of The Clans Will Rise Again and its classic predecessor, Tunes Of War.

This new EP, The Ballad Of Mary, gives the band’s fans the chance to enjoy the new guitarist Axel “Ironfinger” Ritt on re-recorded classic tracks. However, Manni Schmidt was a true Metal guitarist, while Ironfinger is from the Hard Rock spectrum… the latter has lots of experience to handout, especially when listening to his solo versions on the songs.

Other than Ironfinger, Grave Digger gives the fans a chance to enjoy the two rerecordings of “The Ballad Of Mary (Queen Of The Scots)” and “Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)” with the addition of a few esteemed guests. Doro Pesch took on the vocals to the side of Chris Boltendahl in a cool duet on “The Ballad Of Mary”, and the ever-powerful Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) took arms in the crushing rebellious anthem of “Rebellion”. In addition, for the aura of those two there was the vocalic mastery of Van Canto to seize the finer moments.

Nevertheless, the second part of the EP, which consists of an additional three tracks, wasn’t needed in this small release. However the third symphonic version of “The Ballad Of Mary” was quite nice. The other two tracks, in their instrumental versions, weren’t really needed and those give the feelings as if they were pushed into the release as fillers. Moreover, those two tracks are devoid of melodies and solos, so it’s rhythm all around with occasional choirs singing the choruses.

The Ballad Of Mary was sort of a reminder that Grave Digger is still working, although they could have been better served to just release a single with the first two tracks.  They chose to give something more, and that it admirable, however, there’s nothing of substance to grab your attention.


  1. The Ballad of Mary – Queen of Scots (Featuring: Doro Pesch & Van Canto)
  2. Rebellion – The Clans Are Marching (Featuring: Hansi Kürsch & Van Canto)
  3. The Ballad of Mary – Queen of Scots (Symphonic Version)
  4. Highland Farewell (Instrumental + Choirs)
  5. Coming Home (Instrumental + Choirs)


Chris Boltendahl – Vocals
Axel “Ironfinger” Ritt – Guitars
Jens Becker – Bass
Stefan Arnold – Drums
H.P. Katzenburg – Keyboards


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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