German power metal band Grave Digger were formed in 1980 by frontman Chris Boltendahl, guitarist Peter Masson, bassist Willi Lackmann, and drummer Albert Eckardt. Debuting three years later on the Rock from Hell compilation, in 1984 Grave Digger returned with the full-length Heavy Metal Breakdown; after the following year's Witch Hunter, Lackmann left the lineup, and was replaced by bassist C.F. Brank for 1986's War Games. Released in 1987, Stronger Than Ever saw guitarist Uwe Lulis substituting for Masson; Boltendahl then dissolved the project, finally reuniting with Lulis in 1991 and recruiting new bassist Tomi Gottlich and drummer Jörg Michael for 1993's The Reaper. Lineup changes continued as Grave Digger maintained a prolific album release schedule up through 2012's Clash of the Gods on Napalm Records. ~ Jason Ankeny
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