Grave Digger - Heavy Metal Breakdown 12" Vinyl LP Album

- Noise Records Release

  "Heavy Metal Breakdown" is the first official full-length (debut) recording, released by the Germany Heavy Metal band "Grave Digger", this album was originally released in 1984. It is considered a classic in the power metal genre and features fast-paced, heavy guitar riffs and driving drum beats, as well as high-pitched vocal delivery and fantasy-themed lyrics. The album has become a cult classic and is regarded as one of the early pioneers of power metal.


large album front cover photo of: Grave Digger's Heavy Metal Breakdown

Grave Digger's "Heavy Metal Breakdown": A Teutonic Metal Milestone
Album Description:

Released in 1984 on Noise Records, Grave Digger's debut album "Heavy Metal Breakdown" stands as a landmark in the burgeoning German heavy metal scene of the 1980s. It's a raw, energetic, and unapologetic declaration of heavy metal power, laying the groundwork for the band's future success and influencing countless other bands in the genre.

Historical Context and Genre

"Heavy Metal Breakdown" arrived during a pivotal moment in the evolution of heavy metal. While the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) was dominating the scene, a distinct German sound was beginning to emerge. Bands like Accept, Scorpions, and Warlock were paving the way for a new wave of Teutonic metal, characterized by its speed, aggression, and melodic sensibilities.

Grave Digger's debut album embraced this sound, incorporating elements of speed metal, thrash metal, and traditional heavy metal. The album's raw energy, powerful vocals, and galloping rhythms became a blueprint for the emerging German power metal scene.

Musical Exploration

"Heavy Metal Breakdown" showcases Grave Digger's musical diversity and their ability to blend different metal styles. The album features a mix of fast-paced anthems like "Headbanging Man" and "Heavy Metal Breakdown" with more mid-tempo tracks like "Yesterday" and "Legion of the Lost." The band's songwriting is strong, with memorable riffs, catchy choruses, and impressive instrumental passages.

Lyrically, the album explores themes of rebellion, social commentary, and the heavy metal lifestyle. The lyrics are often anthemic and empowering, reflecting the spirit of a generation that sought solace and freedom in heavy metal music.

Production and Recording

The album was recorded at Horus Sound Studio in Hannover, Germany, a renowned recording facility for metal bands. The production team included engineer Harris Johns, who played a crucial role in shaping the sound of the album. His expertise in capturing the raw energy of metal bands helped define the sound of "Heavy Metal Breakdown."


The album was originally titled "Born Again," but the band changed it to "Heavy Metal Breakdown" to avoid confusion with Black Sabbath's album of the same name.

The album's original vinyl release had a misprint on the label, listing the track "2000 Light Years from Home" as "20000 Light Years from Home."

The album was re-released in 1990 with a bonus track, "Shoot Her Down," originally recorded during the same sessions.

Music Genre:

German Heavy Power Speed Metal
Album  Production information:

The album: "Heavy Metal Breakdown" was produced by: Karl-Ulrich Walterbach, Grave Digger

Recorded at Music Lab Studio, Berlin

Sound engineer: Harris Johns

Album cover painting: Bernd Gansohr

Back cover photo: Jurgen Muller

Additional Information on the Production Team:

Karl-Ulrich Walterbach: German music producer who transformed the heavy metal scene. Founder of the iconic Noise Records, he launched the careers of Helloween, Celtic Frost, and countless others. Learn more

Harris Johns is a prominent European music producer renowned for his contributions to the heavy metal and punk genres. With a career spanning several decades, he has worked with numerous iconic bands, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. Born in the late 1950s, Harris Johns developed a passion for music at an early age and pursued his dreams with unwavering determination.


In the late 1970s, Harris Johns emerged as a key figure in the burgeoning heavy metal and punk scene. His unique talent and distinctive approach to music production quickly caught the attention of many prominent bands. With a desire to create powerful and impactful soundscapes, he became known for his ability to capture the raw energy and intensity of these genres.

Throughout his career, Harris Johns has collaborated with a plethora of big-name bands, solidifying his reputation as a go-to producer. His notable works include projects with Helloween, Coroner, Tankard, Sodom, Voivod, Kreator, Exumer, Ratos de PorĂ£o, Slime, Daily Terror, and many others. Each album he worked on showcased his exceptional skill in sculpting the sonic landscapes that defined the heavy metal and punk movements.

For over a decade, Harris Johns operated his studio, Music Lab Berlin Studio, which served as the creative hub for many of his productions. In an effort to further his artistic vision, he established Spiderhouse, a recording facility situated in a former guest house in the countryside near Berlin. For ten years, Spiderhouse became a sanctuary where he could channel his creativity and bring forth groundbreaking music.

In 2007, Harris Johns made the decision to reopen the Music Lab Berlin, reestablishing it as a prime destination for bands seeking his expertise in music production. The studio became a hub of creativity and collaboration, attracting both established acts and up-and-coming artists. However, in 2016, Harris Johns decided to step away from the studio, concluding a significant chapter in his illustrious career.

Despite stepping back from the day-to-day operations of Music Lab Berlin, Harris Johns continues to contribute to the music industry. He remains active as a producer and dedicates his time to teaching music production skills. His wealth of knowledge and experience has made him an invaluable resource for aspiring producers and musicians, as he imparts his expertise and nurtures the next generation of talent.

As we reflect upon the 1980s, it becomes evident that Harris Johns' discography during this era stands as a testament to his immense talent. Some of the notable albums he worked on include groundbreaking releases such as:

These albums showcase Harris Johns' ability to capture the essence and intensity of the heavy metal and punk genres, earning him a place in music history.

Harris Johns' impact on the heavy metal and punk scenes cannot be understated. His talent, dedication, and distinctive approach to music production have left an indelible mark on the industry. As he continues to produce and educate, Harris Johns remains a respected and influential figure, shaping the future of music for generations to come.

Record Label Information:

Noise N 007 ( Silver Colour )

Media Format:

12" Vinyl Full-Length Stereo Long-Play  Gramophone Record
Album weight: 230 gram 
Country of Origin: 
1984 Made in Germany
Band Members and Musicians on: Grave Digger Heavy Metal Breakdown
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Chris Boltendahl - Vocals

    Boltendahl synonymous with Grave Digger's signature sound, a blend of traditional heavy metal, speed metal, and power metal. Learn more

  • Peter Masson - Guitars
  • Willi Lackman - Bass
  • Albert Eckardt - Drums
Track Listing of: "Heavy Metal Breakdown"

The Songs/tracks on "Heavy Metal Breakdown" are

  • Headbanging Man - 3:37
  • Heavy Metal Breakdown - 3:42
  • Back From The War - 5:35
  • Yesterday - 5:07
  • We Wanna Rock You - 4:17
  • Legion Of The Lost - 4:54
  • Tyrant - 3:18
  • 2000 Light Years from Home (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards) - 2:54
  • Heart Attack - 3:17
Album cover photos of : Grave Digger Heavy Metal Breakdown
Photo of "Heavy Metal Breakdown" Album's Front Cover 
High Resolution Photo #1 grave digger heavy metal breakdown  

 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Photo of "Heavy Metal Breakdown" Album's Back Cover  
High Resolution Photo #2 grave digger heavy metal breakdown  
Close-up Photo of "Heavy Metal Breakdown" Record Label 
High Resolution Photo #3 grave digger heavy metal breakdown  
Index of GRAVE DIGGER Vinyl Album Discography and Album Cover Gallery

In 1984, Grave Digger released their debut album "Heavy Metal Breakdown," establishing themselves as a prominent figure in the German heavy metal scene. The following year, they released their sophomore album "Witch Hunter," further solidifying their sound and gaining a devoted fanbase. This period marked the beginning of the band's enduring legacy as pioneers of Teutonic metal, influencing countless other bands with their raw energy, powerful vocals, and galloping rhythms.

GRAVE DIGGER - Heavy Metal Breakdown

Thumbnail Of  GRAVE DIGGER - Heavy Metal Breakdown album front cover

Noise N 007 , 1984 , Germany

Grave Digger's "Heavy Metal Breakdown" (1984) is the raw and energetic debut album that introduced the world to the German heavy metal powerhouse. Released on Noise Records, this NWOBHM-inspired album features tracks like the anthemic "Headbanging Man" and the galloping "Heavy Metal Breakdown"

Learn more

GRAVE DIGGER - Shoot Her Down

Thumbnail Of  GRAVE DIGGER - Shoot Her Down album front cover

Noise N 0016 , 1984 , Germany

Grave Digger's "Shoot Her Down" 12" White Label LP, a rare gem on White Noise International Label, encapsulates the band's early heavy metal prowess. The track's anthemic energy and the exclusive white label format make it a coveted collector's item. With a rich history in the making, this vinyl release stands as a testament to Grave Digger's enduring legacy and a cherished piece of heavy metal history.

Learn more

GRAVE DIGGER - Witch Hunter

Thumbnail Of  GRAVE DIGGER - Witch Hunter album front cover

Noise N0020 , 1985 , Germany

Grave Digger's "Witch Hunter" (1985) is a landmark album in German heavy metal, marking a shift towards a more melodic and atmospheric sound. Released on Noise Records, this album features the epic title track, the anthemic "Night Drifter," and the powerful "Love is a Game," showcasing the band's evolution

Learn more