Tuesday, 17th July 2018. 7:37:37am ET

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Gravewurm hail from Oakton, Virginia and have been brutalizing the American death metal underground since the early 90's. If you are familiar with the likes of Nunslaughter & Sathanas, or are a fan of Celtic Frost/Hellhammer style death metal then you should already know, or know of these guys. Since their formation, Gravewurm has put out 4 full lengths, 9 split albums and several EPs and demos. They have always remained true to their style and have never been influenced by trends in the metal community. I got the chance to talk with founding member Funeral recently and here's what he had to say. 

Hey Funeral! How about some history on Gravewurm?
We started in autumn 1990 creating dark doom-death influenced by the likes of Hellhammer, Sathanas, Venom, Dream Death, St. Vitus, Cathedral, Celtic Frost and early Sodom. In the next few years we developed some black metal influences due to our liking of early Beherit, Darkthrone, Necromantia, Acheron, and Varathron.

What is the current lineup? Who has been your favorite lineup so far?
Zyklon – sentinel of the sabbat bass and vocals
Bruticus – minion of malice and drums of damnation
Funeral – sinister six-string sacrifice and backing vocals

Line-ups come and go over the years…no favorites…just make do with what we have at the time.

To someone who hasn't heard Gravewurm yet, how would you describe the music you play?
Hellhammer and Goatlord style doom with some Kreator style thrash and old Beherit/Burzum style black metal.

Who writes the songs in Gravewurm? Are you responsible for the lyrics? If so, what subjects do your lyrics deal with?
I wrote all of the music and lyrics in the past. In recent years, Zyklon has contributed to the lyrical end of our compositions. Lyrical topics include war, hell, necromancy, the devil and anything of pagan or occult origins.

When you formed Gravewurm back in 1990, what made you want to start playing death metal? What bands influenced your sound?
I was first interested in learning the guitar in 1986 after hearing Venom’s “At War with Satan” and even more so in 1988 after hearing Celtic Frost “To Mega Therion”. I was a few years behind the times as for these releases had already been out, but living in a small town, it was difficult to obtain such extreme metal. Venom, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer and Nunslaughter have always been direct and indirect influences.

You played 5 shows on the Antichrist Vanguards Tour earlier this year, correct? What was it like sharing the stage with the mighty Angelcorpse, Watain and Nachtmystium?
Nachtmystium was only on three of the shows we played. Hellwitch was on the final two dates of the tour with us. It was great sharing the stage with such metal legends. I used to write Pat back in the early 90’s and it was great to finally see them live after knowing the songs all those years ago. Watain was pure darkness!!! They were great every night. “SWORN TO THE DARK” is a monumental black metal masterpiece and anybody who considers themselves to be a devoted fan of the genre, should not be without this album. Metal fiends NEGATIVE PLANE were also on the last five shows of the tour and played great each night. Their music is somewhat different from the other bands…morbid, depressive, eclectic, mesmerizing and sick influenced from Mercyful Fate, Paul Chain and Ophthalamia as well as others.

Gravewurm just got back from a short tour. How well was the turnout?
It wasn’t a true tour in the sense of back to back shows, but we did 4 shows in the span of a month or so. The New York thrash fest on August 26th was decent, but it was on a Sunday and I am sure the turnout would have been better on a Friday or Saturday. Merciless Death was really good. The turnout in Ohio for our “Plague over Parma” show September 14th was rather weak. One of the reasons for that was due to the classic metal showcase the following night. But even that show wasn’t as packed as people thought it would have been. It’s just a state of hard economic times for many of the Ohio residents from what I’ve seen. We made the best of it and look forward to playing there again next year hopefully with a stronger line up. September 28th and 29th in Florida were also small crowds, but they were both enthusiastic and we all were there to see all the bands put on killer shows. It was great to share the stage once again with Hellwitch and great to see After Death crank out a killer set each night which included the old Nocturnus classic “Undead Journey” and Morbid Angel “Chapel of Ghouls”. Virginia Beach black metallers Terrorkult joined us on those two shows as well.

Anything exciting happen on either of the tours?
Not really…just had a good time hanging out with old friends, making some new ones and seeing some really good live metal.

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What was it like working with Don and Jim from Nunslaughter on the "Warbeast" 7”? Those guys create some killer music!
It was very cool since we have been fans and supporters of them since first hearing the “Impale the Soul” on the “Inverted Cross of Death” demo when I met Don of the Dead, Rancid Rick and Von the Impaler in college. It was joked about in the recording sessions using the title NunWurm or GraveSlaughter for that project since it didn’t quite sound like Gravewurm or Nunslaughter but an obvious collaboration of the two bands. I wrote the entire initial music and lyrics for that 7” and then with Don and Jim’s input we all finalized the tracks. But when all was said and done, it was and still is very much a Gravewurm release.

Gravewurm has released albums on several labels including Iron Bonehead, Time Before Time and Hell's Headbangers. What has been your favorite label to work with?
Each label has good aspects or else we wouldn’t continue to work with them.

Has the band been mistreated by any labels?
Not so much mistreated as was disappointed in…Barbarian Wrath started out to be such a great label and somewhat visionary as Opyros was with his previous label Nazgules Eeryie Productions. But it seems to us that he got over his head and made promises/deals that he could not or did not want to keep. Really the only bad thing that happened to us, was that each of our 4 releases on his label met with very lengthy delays…about 2 years on each release. For example, the 4th album “Under the Banner of War” was completely recorded and sent to the label in autumn of 2003. As of November 2004 it still wasn’t releases so I sent another master to the label, but this one contained 5 bonus live tracks from our 2004 shows and then it still took until mid 2005 for it to be released. I made pro-CDR releases of “WARBEAST/COMMAND OF SATAN’S BLADE” in conjunction with Barbarian Wrath in 2002. Only 500 were made and Barbarian Wrath paid for 200 of them up front. To this day, I don’t believe he has ever released or distributed those 200 copies of that disc and I have never received a reason why other than that he didn’t like the black and white cover (which was just as the original 7” and demo)

How did you go about getting Joel Grind to lay down the drums on Carnivorous Monarchy?
I heard some Toxic Holocaust on mp3.com in 2002/2003 and followed to write and tape trade with him. He had a good sense of what we were trying to accomplish with the band and we liked his old school thrash approach to his music. I asked if he could contribute on the drum tracks for an EP I was doing for Time Before Time Records in Poland. I sent him the rehearsal tape and the rest is history.

What occupies your time when not performing with or writing new music for Gravewurm?
The usual shit of work, paying bills, going out drinking and getting laid. Occasional stints of Paintball (North vs. South), tattoo conventions, horror movies and ATV off road driving are had when available.

You've released both splits and full-length albums. Which do you prefer and what is your favorite format to release your albums on?
I personally like split cds the best. I try to make it with another band that we are either friends with or another band that compliments our own music. I’ve known Peter from Suicidal Winds since 2001 and it was great to have done that split cd with them. I think they are a great band that doesn’t seem to get much recognition here in the states. Hekseri is another killer band that we’ve become friends with since 2005 and play shows together whenever we can. A good mix of infernal black thrashing death looms over the eastern coast of the USA in the scene these days.

Vinyl is a very cool format but it’s just due to the time limitation that I prefer CDs.

Are there any new albums in the works? I heard that there is going to be a Gravewurm/Nunslaughter split released on or around Halloween. Should be killer!
Yes the GW/NS split 7” is due out Halloween 2007 as sort of a “20th anniversary” release for Nunslaughter. It is a special “versus” release where NS does a Gravewurm cover and one original and we do a Nunslaughter cover and one original. But our original has special guest lyrics written by metal legend Mike Browning. So we believe this release will be a win-win-win situation for both bands and Hells Headbangers.

How long do you see yourself keeping Gravewurm going? What gives you your inspiration to keep going all these years?
I can see at least a few more years for the ‘wurm…possibly more depending on how many shows we do. We have done 9 shows this year whereas we usually only do 2 or 3 shows a year. We are going to concentrate on the 5th full length album for 2008 and an unreleased album from 2003 should be finally released sometime in the near future. Inspiration remains the same…

Where can fans get Gravewurm albums and merchandise from?
Current merchandise stock can be found by writing to me directly or contacting Hells Headbangers for US and Time Before Time for Europe/Rest of world. Some other distros carry our stuff, but these are the two main ones.

Thanks for the interview bro! I definitely appreciate it! The final words are yours.
Crush the skull and invert the cross…angelic forces shall suffer this loss.
Their blood falls like rain…angelic forces are impaled and slain.

Band contact :
GW
Po box 393
Oakton, VA 22124 USA
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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