WHERE ARE THEY FROM:- Växjo Sweden
FOR FANS OF :- Early Venom, Iron Maiden, Angel Witch.
LATEST RELEASE:- Witchgrave (High Roller Records 2013)
Yet another great band I was introduced to thanks to Fenriz's band of the week blogs - Witchgrave hail from Sweden and play a great dirty 80's style heavy
metal with harsh vocals - Imagine the hardrockin' harshness of early
Venom mixed with some old Maiden and Angel Witch for want of a
description. I sent some questions to the band and Sven (drummer)
provided the answers a short while before their debut album was unleashed:-
Hails! Your new album is soon to be unleashed via High Roller Records - what
can the readers of Terrorizer expect from this latest offering from
Filthy, perverse and depraved heavy metal pretty much sums it up. It's our first full-length but people
who enjoyed our EP will hopefully like this too.
Can you please give us a more in depth insight into the tracklist for the
new album and the lyrical themes that run throughout these songs?
The album will consist of 8 tracks of raw heavy metal and the lyrics have to fit the music as well. We write
lyrics about whatever we want to, and sometimes they can get pretty fucked and dirty but that's the way we like it.
There is not one theme that runs through the record but the satan, sex and the killing of virgins to call forth dark forces
and other acts of evil morbidity are common throughout the record. We also have a song about a mad motorcycle man
who doesn't give a fuck about life or the rules that society sets. Sort of like us.
Where was the new album recorded and why did you choose that particular
We choose to work with Filip (or Philip?) from Helvetets Port since he is a good friend with great knowledge
and taste in this kind of music. He is also probably even more fucked up that us which was a good thing when
we were trying weird stuff and writing the final stuff in the studio. With us in the studio was also David from Portrait
and Hands of Orlac and the drummer of Helvetets Port, Oskar, whose drums I borrowed for this recording.
So we locked our selves up in this small cabin in the middle of nowhere for about a week. Things got a little out of hand
and crazy with the alcohol and stuff from time to time but that just made the record sound even more drunk and honest.
Who's idea was it for the album cover concept? It looks very cool!
It was Kriss Palmgren who did most of the work but Robin Gnista and myself also did some work.
Kriss is a mastermind and a very good friend.
How did you hook up with High Roller - was it a case of them contacting you
and offering a deal or did you shop promos around to labels?
Well, they contacted us about releasing our EP a few years back and now we just asked them if they felt like
releasing this as well. We were never even in contact with anybody else. I guess it was the easy way out but
I'm sure it will work out well.
Do you plan to tour much in support of the new album? How active are you as
a live band in general? Can we expect anymore UK Witchgrave shows in 2013?
You played the Fenriz curated Live Evil fest a couple of years ago how was
that experience for you? How did London treat you?! Also were you guys fans
of Dark Throne before Fenriz gave Witchgrave his thumbs up?
How did that make you feel when you saw he had made you a band of the week?
As much as possible but we are all active in other bands and we live in different cities
which makes it hard to rehearse. But we really enjoy playing live and if someone would
put us on a tour that would be great. Hopefully we can come back to London cause that
a great fucking festival and we had a really good time. Well, the security at that venue
were complete idiots who should be executed as soon as possible.
Yeah, we like Darkthrone for sure and since we know that Fenriz has good taste in
music we are honoured and glad.
What can people expect from a Witchgrave live show in general? Do you use
any stage props at all or is it just you guys and your instruments and amps
turned up LOUD AS HELL?! Would you quite like to say have a similar stage
show to old Venom with lots of pyros etc..?!
We haven't used any stage props yet but of course we would like to. We have used smoked but
want to use fire and bombs and everything. Just like Venom or Motörhead! Of course we always play as loud as possible!
Are there any notable differences between your "The Devils Night" E.P. and
the new debut album? Or is it a case of "business as usual" and following
more or less in the same headbanging vein as it's predecessor?
Well Witchgrave is Witchgrave but this is a new recording with new songs and of course it sounds
a little different. The sound is not quite as low-fi as the EP since this time we recorded it in a studio.
But music wise we continue down the same road and I don't think we will ever change very much. I think
the full-length is better than the EP and that whatever changes we go through we will always please our
own desires. But it's best just to listen to it yourself.
Was it intentional for that E.P. to be just over 13 minutes long?! A perfect
length for such a evil slab of heavy metal!
Hehe, well we didn't think about the number 13 when we wrote the songs but that must be a sign I guess...
The EP was first intended as a demo.
How long has the writing process been for the debut album? Did the material
come together quite fast or was it quite a steady process?
After the critical acclaim the E.P. recieved did you feel any pressure or
did it come together quite effortlessly with no stress.
We started to work on it after the EP was released but we never hurry and always take
our time. Sometimes we has periods when we were very inspired and wrote a lot and then
sometimes months would pass without anything happening. And we all have other bands and
stuff as well. But didn't feel any pressure, we just wrote songs we enjoyed playing. I haven't
really noticed the critical acclaim of the EP. Sure, some good reviews but nothing to make
us worry about loosing an audience haha. It came together without any stress but of course
we worked on the songs until we were satisfied. And then we just wrote some final stuff in
Are there any tracks on the new album that standout to you and that are your
personal faves to play, if so why? Or do you think each track stands strong
on it's own compared to the next - if it is anything like the E.P. I expect
it will be a case of "all killer and no filler"!
My two favourites from the album is "The last supper" and "Motorcycle killer" I must way. But
of course we like all the songs and there are no fillers to us. Some of the songs are older and we have
been playing them quite a lot and of course those songs are not as interested as the newest stuff to us.
Those two songs have never been played live or anything. Also, they are really good songs with great lyrics
and lots of atmosphere.
In recent years old school heavy metal has started to enjoy a renewed
popularity worldwide with both older people and a whole new generation of
metal maniacs embracing the old 80's metal style. What is your opinion on
the recent surge in peoples interest in REAL heavy metal music both in the
music media, with record labels signing more old school style bands, more
young kids forming bands influenced by the older bands etc...it seems like
there hasn't been a better time to form a good old school heavy metal band
since the heyday of the 80's! Why do you think this is the case?
I have no idea why. There seems to be a whole retro trend going on outside of heavy metal
as well, at least in Sweden, but I don't know if the two have anything to do with each other.
I think it is great that true dedicated metal heads both old and young are casting aside all that
new whimpy stuff and once again return to the great days of heavy metal and hard rock.
It's great that people can feel the atmosphere and the honesty that was lost somewhere on the
way to this day. But I spit on all the people who are embracing heavy metal as a trend or a fashion style.
They are useless posers and fashion rockers who are laughing at the true spirit of heavy metal and
we wish them to die a slow and painful death as soon as possible.
Sweden has especially been at the forefront of this new wave of real heavy
metal with bands such as In Solitude, Portrait, Enforcer, Black Trip and
yourselves for example generating a lot of interest and getting praise from
such pioneers as Fenriz etc - are there any new Swedish metal bands that you
recommend who are also helping to carry the flag for good no bullshit old
fashioned heavy metal?
Yeah there are some good metal bands in Sweden, some heavy metal and some more extreme kinds like
death metal. I'm looking forward to hearing Richards (Portrait) new band Phantom! Other than that Degial may
be the best death metal band in Sweden right now and the Second Assault album from Horisont is the best
heavy metal album since the last In Solitude album I think. Maybe not many would agree that Horisont is heavy metal
but their latest offering is really heavy and very, very good!
What bands and musicians personally made you want to start a band playing
this style of music? What bands in general shape and fuel the sound of
Witchgrave?! It sounds like Early Venom like they could have had just abit
of an influence on your sound although you guys utilise guitar harmonies
that are more akin to Maiden and Angel Witch!.
Different heavy metal, speed metal, black metal and punk bands that we listen to alot I guess.
I can mention some of them... Venom, Motörhead, Mercyful Fate, Bathory, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest,
Misfits, Black Uniforms, Rainbow, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer and so on. Can't keep going on with
the list forever hehe.
Your vocal style is harsher compared to some of your peers - why did you
choose a more harsher style as opposed to say someone using more melodic and
clean sung vocals/ I am reminded of Cronos quite abit when listening to
Yeah well of course we are very inspired by Venom and also by other bands with evil, screaming vocals like
Bathory, Celtic Frost, Warfare, English Dogs a whole lot of other metal bands and punk bands.
It was our intention from the beginning to be more aggressive and filthy than most other heavy metal bands.
If you had only 5 words to describe the music of Witchgrave- what words
would you use?
Filthy fast peverted heavy metal.
What is your local scene like - are any cool bands you can recommend?
Are you guys involved in any or many other bands or is your main musical
focus currently on Witchgrave?
Well, the band is from a small town called Växjö with not so many good bands.
The heavy metal band Bullet come from Växjö and we also play in other bands such as
Antichrist, The Scams and some projects. Now we all live in different cities though.
Who came up with the band name and what inspired you to call the band it? I
must say it perfectly fits the music.
Jocke came up with the name and I also think it fits very well. I don't know where he got it
from or how he came up with it but I think of an old, long forgotten cemetery. But no sacred burial
ground. It is where witches, killers and men of evil are buried. Unholy ground.
How can people get hold of the new album? And also is it possible for people
to hear some music from the new album yet? Please plug any merch and sites
you have available! Thanks for taking the time to answer this short
It's out on High Roller Records in mid February and they have good distribution so you can probably find
it pretty much anywhere. Or just order from them. Check their homepage for samples and stuff as well.
Buy merch from us when you see us live! Thank you for this not so short interview hehe.
Vomit of the priest! Cheers and fuck off!