GRAVEBORNE is a black metal band from Finland. The band was formed in 2008 by the guitarist Marchosias and the drummer Pentele. The lyrical themes of the band’s music are about darkness, death and anti-christianity.
Graveborne released their first demo ‘Astride Over The Grave’ in 2009. This demo gained positive feedback from the metal scene, with the music described as; raw, fast, and even catchy black metal reminiscent of Marduk, Gorgoroth, Impaled Nazarene, early Emperor and Immortal. Two years after the release of the demo, the band released their first debut album ‘Pure Negativity‘ via Nykta Records. In this time, the vocalist Raivo was replaced by Raato on vocal duties. Musically, ‘Pure Negativity’ delivers a much wider spectre of darkness than ‘Astride Over the Grave’ due to the cohesive and synergistic involvement of Marchosias, Pentele, Brutalust and Kalmo in crafting the songs. The blast beats are still there, faster than before, and the atmosphere still raw and gripping; Graveborne’s evolution is evidenced through heightened song structure complexity and development. The lyrical themes of the album dwell in different forms of negativity such as anti-Christian and anti-religious revelations, loss of faith, hope and humanity, despair, depression and suicide.
Apart from the releases, the band also played in Nummirock in 2010 and they also played with some bands like The Iniquity Descent and Ceaseless Torment.
Recently, I had the opportunity to do an e-mail interview with the drummer Pentele about the band’s sound and future as well as the upcoming album. Check it out! 😀
Hello! Firstly, I want to mention that I discovered you recently but I really enjoy listening to your music! How are things in the world of Graveborne?
In the world of Graveborne all things are burned down and the embers are slowly extinguishing under the falling first snow. Seriously, we have been living a quiet life over a half year now and focused on recording the next Graveborne album. Raato, our vocalist, had to take a break from the band and get his personal life back in track. For a while it looked that we have to get another vocalist. We even auditioned a couple of candidates. Luckily Raato regained his motivation to continue with Graveborne.
You guys are currently recording a new album. How is everything going?
It is a quite long project. I started with laying down the drum tracks last year in early June, and we have just finished the last vocal tracks. I think we are ready to get the album mixed and mastered next month. This time we decided to record almost all of the new material. Quite a few songs have been sifted out during the rehearsal and arranging process, but there are still about 15 recorded tracks. There is going to be material almost for two full length albums. This gives us the possibility to choose the best combination for the upcoming album. The remaining tracks will perhaps be released in one format or another.
What can the fans expect from the new release?
A dark, heavy, dirty and blasphemous sounding album with killer riffs and murderous songs.
Your last album was called “Pure Negativity” (2011) and the concept of that album was anti-religion, despair and depression. What will be the concept of the new album?
The anti-religious and blasphemous themes are strongly present in the upcoming album. But instead of despair and depression the concept could be described as a re-evaluation of all values through the nihilistic realization of the absence of transcendental truths. The only truth is that, there are no truths. Like Tom G. Warrior likes to put it: “Only death is real”. We are preaching the cult of death and Satan is the perfect sledgehammer for smashing down all kinds of castles in the air. When you are faced with absolute death, it is no use moaning and longing for a lost paradise. You have to face your own mortality. It is only through the acknowledging of your limitedness and absence of any fixed meaning or purposes that you can create new values that are worth living for. Of course, everyone is not capable of building on ashes.
Considering your previous release “Pure Negativity” and the new release, what are the similarities and the differences between two releases technically?
The new album will sound much rawer than “Pure Negativity”. The production of “Pure Negativity” was quite polished both performance and sound vise. This time we want it to sound rough and dirty. Therefore we have not tried to capture flawless performances. On the contrary, there is a lot of filth in the playing and vocals, and it will not be edited, cleaned and corrected. For example, I only recorded the maximum of three takes of every track and choose the best one only after the recording session was over. The guitar sounds of the new album will also be heavier and more distorted. I believe the songwriting is better. The songs seem to be shorter than before. We have focused more on the arrangements and tried to cut out unnecessary complexity and repetition. There are going to be a lot of blast beats, but we are not trying to break any speed records. Blast beats are only there to serve the songs – they are not a virtue per se. Besides the usual English, there are also two tracks with Finnish lyrics. Or actually, the other one is in both Swedish and Finnish. And the Swedish parts are going to be performed by a guest artist.
What were your inspirations behind the album? What influenced the band in the songwriting process?
There are four guys writing music for the band and the influences and inspirations vary a great deal. I listen to a lot of different types of music and I might be inspired by as divergent stuff as, for instance, the latest album by Sargeist and the early works of the Italian singer- songwriter Fabrizio De André. One idea, that at least I followed when I wrote material for the album, was to focus on writing songs instead of a bunch of riffs tied together. So, extra attention was paid for the arrangement of the material.
Are you planning to go on tour after the new album is released?
It would be great to do a short tour, but it is easier said than done. Firstly, there has to be enough people that want to see Graveborne live. We are still a pretty unknown band, so I do not have high hopes for a tour. Maybe it could happen together with a bigger band, or we might perhaps play a couple of separate gigs in some small festivals…
© Ville Mikkola
You guys have played in Nummirock festival in 2010 and you have also played with The Iniquity Descent so that’s not bad for a “newcomer band”. With which bands would you like to tour in the future?
I don’t have any particular bands in mind. I imagine that it would be best to tour with other black metal bands.
When I checked your past live performances, I have seen that you only played in Finland. Do you plan to tour in Europe as well?
Yes, if such opportunities rise.
© Viktoria Viiand
Graveborne was formed in 2008. Can you tell me about how the band was formed, how did it happen?
We had played in the same bands with Marchosias already in the mid-1990s when we both lived in a small town called Kokkola. Later I moved north to Oulu and Marchosias south to the Helsinki. Our paths crossed again in 2008 when I moved closer to Helsinki. He had this black metal project with a couple of friends. When I joined in we decided to take the band to a more serious level. I think that was the moment when Graveborne was formed. At this time the line-up also changed considerably. We recruited Kalmo (bass), our first vocalist Raivo, and Brutalust (guitars).
Let’s talk about the bands that you like. Which bands do the band members of Graveborne listen to?
As I already mentioned, I listen to a lot of different kinds of music from Bach to Bathory and Magma to Mgła. I know Marchosias also has an extensive musical taste. Besides metal, Raato is also interested in more bluesy stuff. Brutalust and Kalmo are more strictly into thrash, death and black metal although I know that the latter also listens to other styles of music.
I also noticed that in the band, everyone has a nickname. Your nickname is “Pentele” for example. How did you come up with the names for each bandmember?
My old friends have called me “Pentele” already from the early 1990s. It translates to something like the “Devil”. It’s a bit softer expression than “perkele” or” saatana”. I could have invented a more evil and “true” sounding name, but I think it’s better to stick with something that has a history, personal signification and is actually being used. The other guys just made up a name that they feel they can relate to within the context of Graveborne.
Are there any amateur bands from the Finnish black metal scene that you can recommend?
I doubt that there is any professional Finnish black metal band out there in the sense that they could get a living out of it. So, practically every band is an amateur band in the Finnish black metal scene.
When the genre of “black metal” is considered, the first country that comes to mind is Norway. As a black metal band from Finland, what can you say about the differences and similarities between the Finnish black metal scene and the Norwegian black metal scene?
Obviously, the Norwegian scene has become more assimilated with the mainstream, whereas Finnish black metal has always been more of an underground movement. Musically I don’t think there is any essential difference between Finnish or Norwegian black metal.
I want to thank Raato for ‘arranging’ the interview as well as Pentele for his awesome answers. I hope to see the band around someday, they are awesome!
Graveborne is :
Raato – Vocals
Marchosias – Guitar
Brutalust – Guitar
Kalmo – Bass
Pentele – Drums