Grave & Malevolent Creation „Co-Headline Tour 2015“ plus guests
Grave & Malevolent Creation „Co-Headline Tour 2015“ plus guests
Sweden’s legendary death metal kings GRAVE have returned home. Never let it be said they don’t know how to make an entrance.
One of the longest-running Swedish death metal bands, GRAVE has created a sound and style which has been an inspiration on a number of the genre’s more promising younger outfits. Having started out as a band called Corpse in 1986, they released 3 official demos before their legendary 1991 debut.
“Into the Grave”, established GRAVE as one of death metal’s most brutal new hopes, and its release was ensued by a host of live performances across Europe and America.
1992’s “You’ll Never See…”, the band’s critically-acclaimed second release, showcased their growing musical talent with a cleaner, stronger sound which appealed to a wider audience while retaining the group’s trademark heaviness. After unsuccessfully trying to fill the slot after bassist Jonas Torndal’s departure, the group made a collective decision to revert to their original three-man line-up, with the guitarist Jörgen Sandström switching to bass.
In the late 1993, GRAVE released “…And Here I Die…Satisfied”, a limited edition EP featuring brand new, rare and remixed tracks encompassing the band’s entire recording history. The EP paved the way for the release of the trio’s long-awaited third full-length offering.
“Soulless” was recorded during the early part of 1994 at Stockholm’s Sunlight Studios (just as all of the group’s previous releases had been) with the producer Tomas Skogsberg. Manifesting a more mature musical stance than in the case of GRAVE’s previous efforts, “Soulless” pleased the band’s longtime followers while expanding the group’s appeal to non die hard death metal audiences.
In 1996, GRAVE came back with another attack of their relentlessly brutal yet catchy material in the shape of “Hating Life”. Produced, once again, by Skogsberg at his Sunlight facility, the album featured a vocal debut of the guitarist Ola Lindgren, who took over the function following the departure of Sandström. Proving that they haven’t softened their stance a bit or altered their focus on writing songs that hit hard and leave a lasting impression, “Hating Life” will surely please anyone who is into music that’s equally treacherous and tuneful. Grave toured both the US and Europe to promote this album.
After the last tour the band had a hiatus until 1999 when they decided to play together again. Rehearsals went pretty slow at first but after a while they got the old bass player Jonas Torndal to join the band once again, this time to grab the second guitar. The bass job went to an old friend of the band Freddan Isaksson. GRAVE played their first live gig in 5 years at HardRock cafe, Stockholm. Following that gig, rehearsals continued and in the spring of 2002 the new album “Back from the grave” was recorded at Sunlight studios, Stockholm. Released in September that same year the album featured a bonus disc with 3 classic Grave demos from 1988-1989.
After touring with the likes of Immolation, Goatwhore and Crematorium through North America, a headlining European tour with The Forsaken and Disinter, then followed by a slot on the tour with Exodus, God Dethroned, Nuclear Assault and Agent Steel, it was time to set to work on the next album entitled “Fiendish Regression”. The sixth album in the history of GRAVE was recorded with Coercion-Member Pelle Ekegren on drums, adding a more vivid and relentless groove attack to the classic GRAVE song-structures. Two European tours followed:one headlining and one as part of “The Domination Tour”, alongside Cryptopsy and Aborted.
￼Back in Sweden, GRAVE entered the bands own Studio Soulless to record their newest malevolent creation “As Rapture Comes”. To cement the albums mix, the band returned again to Peter Tägtgrens Abyss Studio. The album delivers the bands famous relentless death-groove in a well-elaborated combination with clearly increased aggressive bite and superior dynamics in their own songs. The album also includes a heavy cover version of Alice In Chains classic song “Them Bones”.
“As Rapture Comes” was released by Century Media records in July 2006. Featuring everything between the brutality of “Into the grave” and the groove and heaviness of “Soulless” this one is certain to please anyone into true oldschool deathmetal.
The “Enraptured” Dvd was recorded in Poland Aug 2006 and features all 16 live tracks from that show. Bonus tracks are 2 songs filmed at Party-San festival 2004 and also the Soulless videoclip which at this time was the only video that Grave had ever produced. It also includes interview, biography, discography and tons of photos. “We really wanted to add a lot more bonus material from old gigs and tour rarities but unfortunately there were legal matters concerning the rights to that material which could not be solved in time for the release. However, we are already planning for another Dvd which definitely will contain all of that stuff”
Two tours followed the release of “As Rapture Comes”. An eastcoast US tour together with long time friends Dismember and Vital Remains and then a slot on the highly anticipated “Masters of Death” European tour which also featured Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember. In May 2007 another European tour was launched, this time together with Immolation and Krisiun. Summer festivals and also a revisit to Mexico after 14 years was completed before it was time to start the process for the 8:th studio album scheduled for release in May 2008.
While Century Media and GRAVE parted ways after 7 albums with the release of 2006’s “As Rapture Comes”, the band has launched the two highly acclaimed albums “Dominium VIII” (2008) and “Burial Ground” (2010) on Regain Records. In 2010 the band’s 12CD+1DVD box-set “Death Unhallowed” (including all recordings from 1986 – 2006) was released in cooperation with Century Media and the early Corpse / Putrefaction / Grave demos have also most recently been released this year as a deluxe triple vinyl set entitled “Necropsy – The Complete Demo Recordings 1986-1991”
GRAVE have most recently finished their North American headline tour and also toured all across Europe together with acts like Misery Index and Obituary to promote their latest album “Burial Ground”. Special live sets for the 20th Anniversary of their “Into The Grave” debut album-release has been performed at selected festivals throughout 2011 and the final gig of the year took place in their hometown Stockholm November 12:th.
This sold-out gig was recorded and filmed for a planned future release.
The band re-joined the Century Media camp again in 2011 and are currently writing material for their 10:th studio album scheduled for worldwide release in May 2012.
Time flies fast and deals cruel hand. For death metal legends MALEVOLENT CREATION, however, Father Time is weak and feeble, his scythe a cane and his hourglass long broken. To wit: it’s been 24 years since “The Ten Commandments” shocked media outlets and found wide-spread acceptance in death metal’s ardent fanbase. Since then, the Floridians never gave in. Not to waning interest in the genre, not to black metal’s near-takeover of extreme metal, not to nü-metal’s commercial viability. No prevailing force – supernatural or otherwise – has diminished MALEVOLENT CREATION’s aggressive spirit and inexhaustible fire. Certainly, the three original members – guitarist Phil Fasciana, vocalist Bret Hoffmannn, and bassist Jason Blachowicz – didn’t think they’d still be writing, recording, and touring in a band when they formed in Buffalo in 1987, but their tenacity and perseverance over the years has shown dedication to the art of death. And all that comes with it.
“We’re meaner!” grins Fasciana wildly. “More pissed off and heavier than ever! This is a lot of years of aggression built up. This is Malevolent Creation 2015 not Malevolent Creation 1990! 2015 also brings a lot of new changes for Malevolent Creation.”
Change is, in fact, in the air. Not only have MALEVOLENT CREATION jumped over to Century Media Records after a three-album stint with Nuclear Blast Records, but former drummer Justin DiPinto also returns to the fold. The last time they crossed paths with DiPinto was on 2002’s barnstorming “The Will to Kill” effort. And last but certainly not least, MALEVOLENT CREATION have a new album, “Dead Man’s Path”, on offer.
“We are very happy to be working with Century Media,” Fasciana says. “It finally seems like we are working with a professional record company that has faith in us and is working hard to help us move forward. We are also working with new agents for different territories around the world, so we can stay busy touring and get to some countries we have not played yet or need to get back to. And the best part of Malevolent Creation 2015 is the return of former drummer Justin DiPinto. Our new album “Dead Man’s Path” came out better than expected and having Justin back in the band and around us really makes us a lot happier and more confident.” Five years in the making, “Dead Man’s Path” demolishes the competition – veteran and newcomer alike – with 10 lethal blasts of aggressive death. According to Fasciana, there was no master plan with the group’s twelfth full-length. With no deadline or label pressure, the principle songwriters just let the music come naturally. Half of “Dead Man’s Path” was written prior to DiPinto joining. The other half was written in week after DiPinto drum position solidified. In fact, with the band in full force, the songs poured out. One explosive track after the other. But MALEVOLENT CREATION aren’t about double albums or long musical journeys. From “The Ten Commandments” to 2010’s “Invidious Dominion”, they come in fast, make a quick kill, and get out while the blood’s still fresh. “Dead Man’s Path” is no different.
“Instead of listening back to hundreds of old riffs and ideas, we just used the music we put together in that rehearsal room between the three of us – DiPinto, (guitarist) Gio Geraca, and myself – and kept what was written in that first week of intense jamming and demo making. And I’m glad we did. And I’m also glad that we still have all the other music and ideas still on file and can record new material whenever is needed. Just good to know we still have it all and can go back and listen to the music we didn’t end up putting on this new album.” From opening, theme-setting title track through “Face Your Fear”, “Dead Man’s Path” is undoubtedly MALEVOLENT CREATION. In many respects, the group’s newest is also one of their best. “Dead Man’s Path” is part of a proud heritage of vicious excellence spread across many years – “The Ten Commandments”, “Retribution”, “Envenomed”, and “Warkult”, all untouchable stanchions of death the brutal way. Indeed, many bands have tried to copy Fasciana’s violent thrash-informed death, but none have come close. “Dead Man’s Path” creates a wider, deeper gulf between MALEVOLENT CREATION and their sycophants.
“As soon as the first song fucking starts makes me grin!” laughs Fasciana maniacally. “Because I know when people play this album they are in for one hell of a ride. I think this album has a little bit of everything we have covered over the last 25 years. We have never tried to reinvent the wheel or claimed to be the most brutal death metal band ever. We know what works for us and our limitations. We are very comfortable with the writing formula we have become accustomed to. We are simply trying to write good, heavy songs. I’m happy because we still have a lot of fast and speedy stuff going on and we were also able to pump the brakes when it felt right and write some slower and grinding music. There is definitely a good mix of aggression within the songs and none of them sound like the last. It’s a great running order as well.”
Lyrically, “Dead Man’s Path” is commentary on our own brutal reality. Written by and through the lens of Hoffmann, the lyrics on MALEVOLENT CREATION’s newest reflect mankind’s relentless cruelty rather than valorize it. Songs like “Corporate Weaponry”, “Extinction Personified”, and “Blood Of The Fallen” aren’t of legend or folklore – no zombies or mythology here. Rather, they’re straight out of nightly newscasts or horrific stories from social media feeds. There’s also a personal side to Hoffmann’s cutthroat lines.
“Bret writes about reality,” Fasciana says. “Whether it’s about himself or what’s happening in the world it’s always real. Bret’s lyrics may always have a theme throughout each song that deals with death in one way or another and it works for him and our music. I know he does write a bit about his own life experiences which are probably things that piss him off in this world and, again, it fits with the music perfectly. We never have to tell him what to write about or how to sing anything. We may have an idea or suggestion here and there but for the most part Bret just does his own thing.”
On the first as well as the 100th listen, it sounds like a band revitalized, re-energized, and ready to ravage. “Dead Man’s Path” was produced by MALEVOLENT CREATION and Dan Swanö (Aeon, Bloodbath, Asphyx) with mixing duties also being handled by Dan Swanö. The team ensured songs like “Soul Razer”, “Resistance Is Victory” or “Fragmental Sanity” are as punishing digitally as they are pumped through a stereo, something MALEVOLENT CREATION needed to stay vital in an ever-changing sonic landscape.
“Just like any album I want fans to be happy and love the music as much as we do,” Fasciana admits. “We are fans of music and write music we want to hear. I know what we play isn’t for everyone and that is fine. But what I do know is that we are a bunch of metalheads from the ‘80s. We are what we are. We are not going to change. If people understand that, then great! You have to accept change these days even though it is different and difficult at times. At the end of the day we are still doing what we love. And that is playing punishing, relentless death metal.”