Jul 172015

Griftegård 2015


(A day late because of my own screw-up, here’s the second of three interviews we have this week from Comrade Aleks — and today he talks with Ola Blomkvist of Sweden’s Griftegård.)

“G” is for Graveyard in English. “G” is for Griftegård in Swedish, and it means the same thing, I swear! So Griftegård is a universal name for any really heavy band. This one was born in 2004 in the Swedish city of Norrköping, “Swedish Manchester”, as it’s said.

The band’s main features were crushing and depressive doom metal and lyrics dealing with Christian images and their interpretation. Well, it’s a strong combination and it works well if you have no prejudice. But what kind of prejudice can we talk about, considering the world of professional heavy music?

Griftegård had only one weak point – for ten years of the band’s existence they had only one full-length album, Solemn Sacred Severe, but good news came in April 2015, as I discovered that Ván Records is going to release something new from these men. What kind of news are they ready to share? Ola Blomkvist, the band’s mastermind, is here to tell us. Continue reading »

May 182015


(In this first part of a mammoth two-part essay, our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks explores a variety of spiritual rituals and their connections to doom metal.)

All right now! Tonight we’re summoned for a divine cause!

Mankind started the basis of society since its  primordial childhood. Many old and good traditions have been lost to the ages, yet ritualistic aspects and traditions were set very deeply in the turns of our brains. Certain traditions and ceremonies have been transformed into religious acts or became social rituals during our evolution, but most of them remain alive in modern days. Something took the form of the Christian Eucharist, something else developed into the form of the Easter Rabbit or the bacchanalia of a metal gig. These rites have provided new trappings to the symbolism at their core, but some people still seriously follow and perform its archaic elements. Let us take a look at which forms of religious rituals live their new life in the sermons of modern priests of the doom cult.

This text is a reworked, renewed, extended, and a bit rude translation of an article that I wrote for a Russian e-zine (here), but I and some of the bands who were discussed thought it would be a good idea to have an English version as well. Of course, it’s not really as much of a scientific or anthropological work as it could be, but if there’s someone who’s ready to make a proper investigation then let me know — I have an idea or two.

Here I’ve used some of my past interviews or just asked some bands straight question about their vision of certain rituals.

Don’t take it too seriously! And don’t try to perform it at home!

And as I’ve mentioned above — tonight we’re summoned for a divine cause! Continue reading »