Transfer, audio restoration and mastering by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in March 2023.
Cutting by SST Germany on Neumann machines for optimal quality on all levels...
The ultimate audiophile reissue of this eternal German Metal classic!
Originally formed in 1980 in the city of Gladbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia, by Chris Boltendahl (on bass), Peter Masson (guitar and vocals) and Lutz Schmelzer (drums) it took a while for Grave Digger to establish a stable line-up. Chris Bolthendahl soon took over vocals duties with Peter Masson concentrating on the guitar, Willi Lackmann was added on bass and Phillip Seibel sat behind the drum stool. With this line-up Grave Digger recorded the two songs “Violence” and “2,000 Light Years From Home” for the compilation »Rock From Hell – German Metal Attack«, which was released on Noise Recors in 1983. As a result, Noise boss Karl-Ulrich Walterbach offered the band a record deal.
Grave Digger’s first two albums »Heavy Metal Breakdown« (1984) and »Witch Hunter« (1985) received great reactions from fans and press alike. The band toured extensively on a nationwide level and in the process shot to the top of the emerging heavy metal scene in Germany.
Recorded by Chris Boltendahl (vocals), Albert Eckhardt (drums), Peter Masson (guitar) and C.F. Brank (bass), »War Games«, originally issued in 1986, also on Noise Records, suffered from the “difficult third album” syndrome. At least if you believe Canadian metal journalist Martin Popoff, who wrote in his book »The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal Vol.2: The Eighties«: “»War Games« is superficially more of the great sustained mayhem of the first two, but something is lacking. […"> Production values are still excruciatingly glorious, but the band’s delivery is a tad loose, slapdash and lackadaisical. […"> Admirably fierce but also a trace sluggish, »War Games« still manages to kick harder emotionally than a lot of the aggro of the ‘90s and beyond.” Holger Stratmann’s view in Rock Hard was quite similar: “There is no big difference to »Witch Hunter«, apart from the fact that »War Games« is sounding better and in the form of ‘Fallout’ there is a number on the album which shows a bit more depth.” He concludes awarding 8 out of 10 points: “In direct comparison to »War Games«, »Witch Hunter« is the slightly better album. However,a few more ideas wouldn’t have hurt.”
Grave Digger singer and main man Chris Boltendahl himself concluded in his own biography in 2002: “I can’t remember exactly why we followed a more commercial route on this album. However, regarding the concept »War Games« was almost some sort of dress rehearsal for our medieval trilogy in the mid to late 1990s.”