Steve Grimmett’s GRIM REAPER – Walking In The Shadows (2016)
It’s almost 30 years since the last GRIM REAPER outing, but the band returns with force and a new album to be released tomorrow titled “Walking In The Shadows“. As the band moniker makes abundantly clear – Steve Grimmett’s GRIM REAPER – the vocalist is the only original member present, but the legacy and the band’s signature sound is still in good form.
Yes, this new Grim Reaper is Steve Grimmett’s circus, so it’s no surprise everything revolves around his singing. And it’s pretty impressive how little his voice has changed since I first heard him way back in 1983 and he can still deliver the classic NWoBHM / Hard Rock sound.
For newcomers and young generations, a little history:
Grim Reaper is one of the most legendary acts of the and metal movement in general. Founded in 1979 by guitarist and main songwriter Nick Bowcott, the band released three albums during the ’80s that are considered staples in the genre.
It was not until after the group disbanded in 1988, though – when video clips for “See You in Hell” and “Fear no Evil” (their most well known songs) were featured in MTV with a certain frequency – that Grim Reaper gained some sort of notoriety.
So, with just three albums released, Steve Grimmett and company became stalwarts for the cult underground metal scene and are, until today, highly praised and respected.
When Grimmett announced the return of the band in 2006 revamped in the form of Steve Grimett’s Grim Reaper to play in some gigs across the world, a legion of fans were eagerly excited to see if that was going to be just a reunion or if we would be graced with another full length album to continue the band’s legacy.
Finally, 10 years after Grim Reaper’s resurrection, the highly anticipated “Walking in the Shadows” it’s a reality.
Yeah, Grimett is the only remaining member, but the guys now around him in the band are truly skilled capturing Grim Reaper’s essence.
Their style & sound on “Walking In The Shadows” is essentially the same – simple NWoBHM inspired metal with roots in Hard Rock and designed to be accessible, catchy and anthemic.
Rapidly exterminating any second thoughts we could have about this return being a bad choice, comes “Wings of Angels”, a perfect opener plenty of groovy hard rocking riffs, powerful drumming and strong lead vocals. Despite the simplistic chorus, the song manages to catch your attention and doesn’t lose steam.
Immediately after that come the title track “Walking in the Shadows” with a certain darker feel, then “Reach Out” is most like their glory days with a nifty old-school charm and energy. It could have been on their debut and I like the stripped down, memorable chorus which Steve puts over with his trademark metal caterwauling. “I’m Coming For You” has the same simplistic charm and adds some amusing cowbell all over.
“Temptation” benefits from some effective vocal patterning and a fine chorus, and the epic stadium anthem “Thunder” is big, dumb and sorta fun, like Ozzy‘s Shot In The Dark but way less gooder and 2 minutes too long.
Other really good cuts include “Call Me in the Morning” and “Rock Will Never Die”, both the closest to the classic Grim Reaper as you can get with catchy choruses, great turns and cool solos that combine perfectly with each tune.
In fact, “Rock Will Never Die” is sort of a mix between Grimmett’s other band (which was his main for a long time) Lionsheart, with more hard rock oriented verses and bridge, and old Grim Reaper in the chorus.
It’s been 29 years of wait, but finally “Walking In The Shadows” is among us and it’s a very good new Grim Reaper album, making justice to the band’s history.
Honestly, I was expecting a disaster, mostly due to Grimmett’s age. But the man prove me wrong, he continued trained over the years and deliver the goods in great form. His band sounds fabulous and overall the material is more consistent than any previous Grim Reaper album which featured 2-3 gems but some fillers as well.
This is simple, traditional Hard Rock / Classic Metal with a NWoBHM feel but truly effective, pretty catchy and very well crafted.
Let’s hope Grimmett continues to make good music, as with this “Walking In The Shadows” we are able to say with confidence that Grim Reaper has returned in top form.
01 – Wings of Angels
02 – Walking in the Shadows
03 – Reach Out
04 – I’m Coming for You
05 – From Hell
06 – Call Me in the Morning
07 – Rock Will Never Die
08 – Temptation
09 – Thunder
10 – Now You See Me
11 – Blue Murder
12 – Come Hell or High Water
Steve Grimmett – Vocals
Ian Nash – Guitars
Martin Trail – Bass
Paul White – Drums