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An Interview With Gravethorn

An album release from Gravethorn comes in swinging with brutal drumming and a vast but fierce guitar tone along with piercing vocals and it all creates an atmosphere and a deepening set of stories that all together, makes the record feel like a concept album of sorts.

Underground Rituals of Those Unseen is an absolutely massive piece of work that consists of 10 tracks and as I said, there is an interconnection between a lot of these songs, and this is part of why listening to the whole album from start to finish is a must-do for this particular record.

There are certain tracks that stand out to me more as singles for sure, but this was meant to be soaked in as a whole and if you have about an hour to spare then you can do that and it's well worth it.

These tracks feature a blend of thrash, death, black, and even melodic metal vastness that all their purpose throughout the course of this musical journey that you take and there's all kinds of surprises around the corners along with an almost theatrical undertone and a gothic edge that makes everything so unique.

Everything about this record shines with Incredible musicianship and a lot of people that don't actually listen to too much heavy metal don't realize the level of musicianship that it actually takes to perform songs like this because they just don't listen to the genre but I can definitely tell you that these guys could perform anything.

The energy level throughout the track is insane and it really helps push that thrashing and intense feeling that you get listening to the track and as you go through these you hear just outstanding guitar work through and through.

I really love this gigantic atmosphere and dark skyline that they give off because a lot of it has cinematic undertones to it and it's not just all thrashing, some of it is clearly orchestrated.

As a matter of fact pretty much all of it is orchestrated and it's done really well if you pay attention to the arrangement in the compositions of these songs they're ridiculous.

It takes a lot to be able to put something like this all together and part of that is having a real love for your craft and I don't just mean the instruments that you're playing, I mean having a love for building songs with your band and putting something out there that's intense enough to turn heads,

Obviously lovers of death metal and black metal are going to really get into this but there's so many additional things going on throughout this album that it's really great for anyone that likes hard music in general.

There's hints of melodic, doom, and just so much more going on during the course of these songs that you don't just pin it down to one genre really.

What this did for me was take me away to a different place all together. This record pulls you out of your reality and puts you in a different place that's completely fantastical and robust so it all kind of serves as a form of escapism in a way.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy that aspect of it because it's something that I look for in music and don't often find so when I hear a full album like this that is able to create such an intense set of layers that you can really get wrapped up in was refreshing.

With the release of such a well woven album, we wanted to have a sit-down with Gravethorn to find out where this all came from and what's coming up next. 

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with the Underground Rituals of Those Unseen album! This was fierce and thrashing with incredible energy! How did this release come about?

Well, I’m certainly glad you enjoyed listening to it, you just never know what people are going to think when you start venturing into extreme forms of music.  Believe it or not, it all just started with me learning how to mix music in a self-taught manner. During the pandemic, while many people were complaining about shutdowns and rules, I took that as an opportunity to build a studio in my spare bedroom, which is something I wanted to do for a very long time, and now that I had the time to do it, it was a perfect storm.  I started mixing the demo of a previous band, I was in, and after that band dissolved, I was still writing riffs on Guitar and figuring out how to place those sounds within the mix. Eventually, I had enough material to release a full-length CD, and the rest is history. 

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as a band?

It was really just a solo project that was never meant to go anywhere, but the momentum of it started growing, we were getting a lot of people reaching out from all parts of the world, asking for interviews in magazines and things like that, so my old Drummer decided he wanted to be a part of this, and we decided to make a full band out of it. We’re still looking for the right fit of additional members, but so far this has been a great experience. 

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you? 

Musically, it’s this erratic symphony in my head that’s constantly playing, sometimes I am in a situation, where I can record what I’m hearing, other times my best ideas get lost in the ethyr because I forget about it a few hours later.  Lyrically, it’s often about a common theme that everyone can relate to in one sense or another, and that is about overcoming oppression, rising out of the ashes that you were left with from others who decided what was best for you (or best for them in reality).  People are always going to try to hold you down or hold you back from what you’re truly capable of, for whatever reason whether it’s for power, money, jealousy, etc.  it’s up to us to break out of these cycles and situations and really learn what the maximum versions of our selves can be.

Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically? 

I have so many influences, you have to remember I am much older than the normal current up and comers in metal, haha, it all started with The Doors, Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Sabbath in the 70s, in the 80s I really liked Iron Maiden and soon the Thrash Movement was well under way, Metallica was probably my favorite of the big 4 but I also really liked Overkill a lot, then I heard Sepultura and they were the ultimate gateway between thrash and death metal.  It wasn’t long before the Black Metal wave hit here in the early 90s, I certainly have to give credit to Darkthrone, Emperor , Immortal, Marduk and Dark Funeral.  Then you have the hybrid bands like Vital Remains and Belphegor that provide the best of Death and Black, so I guess you could say all of them plus a few I’ve forgotten.

Buzz Slayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music? 

I’m a professional Tattoo Artist in Las Vegas, so that’s my main job, working on cars is also a hobby, but music seems to devour me. 

Buzz Slayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?

Winterfellyth from England.  Amazing band!  I’m also listening to the mixes of Gravethorn’s next release which should be sometime in 2024.

Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?

Unfortunately, no, we still need to complete the lineup of Gravethorn, and we want to insure it’s the right situation for everyone involved. 

Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?

All done in my spare bedroom home studio.  It’s an incredible learning experience but you really get it as close to how you want it this way when you don’t have the big budget or connections of a signed band. 

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

The recording of our follow-up to Underground Rituals is about 85% complete, we are picking up right where Underground Rituals left off, no experimental new stuff, we’re waging the same war on a new day! 

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

Thank you for the immense support and allowing Gravethorn to be heard alongside your favorites.  I’m blown away by the streaming numbers and the algorithms have lumped us into many of my favorites, so we’re doing something right!  Be on the lookout for a new full length this year, 9 songs and over 40 more minutes of soul scraping musical abominations to assist in your well being.  Cheers! 

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