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Grim Reaper
Walking in the Shadows

I remember my first Grim Reaper recording like it was thirty years ago. It had Death riding a Harley through a stained glass window (something we’ve all dreamed of, I’m sure) and their name along with the title Fear No Evil written in Old English letters. Yes, over thirty years and only four records but they all bear the usher of the dead; which brings us here, to listen to what the old punter of the Styx has been brewing after a 20+ year break.

The new lineup has the original vocalist, Steve Grimmett; his voice has held up all these years just fine. Ian Nash takes the guitar slot this time around, Mart Trail is on bass, and Paul White takes over on drums. All together, they make up the sound that has carried on since the very early 80’s.

“Wings of Angels” kicks off the record with a lyrical content similar to “Aces High” (Iron Maiden). It’s just as visual, but not as heavy. “Walking in the Shadows” gets a little heavier in its delivery and “Reach Out” keeps the train rolling hard. “I’m Coming for You” has a cool backwards rhythm track intro for a couple of seconds but is a few beats slower than the latter tunes. It has a great groove, but I was expecting something more booming with that type of intro. What makes me grin while listening to this one is the tasteful use of the cowbell. It’s not over abused like B.O.C.’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”.

The intro to “From Hell” starts with an evil chuckle, and the music fits the title on this one. It’s punchy and moves rhythmically. “Call Me in the Morning” continues the heaviness, and “Rock Will Never Die” has that old school, chunky, chug rhythm that gets your fist pumping and your head banging.

Grim Reaper
Walking in the Shadows
Written by: Tim Duran
8 out of 10

“Temptation”, “Thunder”, and “Now You See Me” have more of the same heavy tones and energy. “Blue Murder” is about as hard rock as the Rocky Mountains with a blistering solo to boot. Ending the manic drive of the day is “Hell or High Water” with lots of double time riffing that makes the song feel like it’s speeding up without changing tempo.

Downside, vocally Steve starts to sound a bit tired, but he’s been doing this for years and they take their toll. Nevertheless, he is still very powerful and can maintain a note longer than most singers of his age and genre. Musically, it’s well put together, but often the same rhythmically.

Upside, the record is great, the bassist isn’t lost in the mix, the solos are well written, the singing is good, the drums are booming, and it’s Grim Reaper for heaven’s sake! I give ‘em an 8!

Tim Duran, HMS

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