Grim Reaper achieved moderate success in the 1980s with some popular songs and hit videos on MTV. While the group did not achieve the mainstream popularity of a number of their NWOBHM counterparts, they still maintain a respectable following, despite only having released three albums during their original tenure together. The band also received an unintentional revival of sorts in the 1990s when MTV’s Beavis and Butt-Head viewed their videos.
Vocalist Steve Grimmett revived the Grim Reaper name in recent years; classic guitarist Nick Bowcott is no longer involved. That makes Walking in the Shadows the first album released under the Grim Reaper name since 1987! With a loyal fanbase all around the world, a good many across the globe have been eager to hear new music.
Revisiting or reviving an old band can be a difficult proposition; it is tough to live up to the lofty standards people have for the classics, and naturally, no one wants to tarnish the good name of a band. And no one wants music that is more or less a “copycat” of the old days either. Grimmett remains the sole member of the band, with the new recording teaming him up with guitarist Ian Nash, bassist Chaz Grimaldi, and drummer Paul White.
I definitely came into this release with some skepticism, and while the release is a bit overlong, overall the results are more than satisfactory. Grimmett’s vocal work still impresses, and while this is still the voice you remember from the Reaper classics, you can tell he and his new band are not simply copying the old days. There is a definite modern edge here, but at no point does it feel like an attempt to sell out and join the modern rock mainstream, like so many other “classic” artists have done. In this regard, Walking in the Shadows is a success.
In particular deserving of credit here are Grimmett’s new musicians; though I was not familiar with them prior to the release of this album, but they definitely deliver here. Guitarist Ian Nash (apparently playing alongside Grimmett since 2006) shreds like no other; finding a suitable man to fill the gap left by Nick Bowcott’s absence is not easy, but this guy proves himself more than capable when it comes to the challenge at hand, turning nearly every song on the album into a shred-fest!
Set your reservations aside, Steve Grimmett’s revival of the Grim Reaper name definitely satisfies, with no shortage of memorable cuts, powerful riffs, and vocals from the man that helped to make the band what it was back in the day. The results speak for themselves; it is a fantastic heavy metal album that is certainly recommended listening for the fans!