Archive for the ‘GRAVDAL’ Category


Norwegian black Metallers GRAVDAL announced today that they are parting company with guitarist Specter.  The parting is completely amicable, with Specter deciding that he needs to commit more time to other projects, something that GRAVDAL both supports and understands.  Commenting on the split, guitarist Phobos said:  “It was a big decision to have to take since Specter has been with us for seven years, and he has been instrumental in shaping GRAVDAL’s music into what it is today.  But the music business has always been very fluid, and although we will miss him both as a musician and as a person, we fully support his decision and would like to thank him for his massive contribution to GRAVDAL, as well as for all the good times, and we wish him well for the future”.

Things on the GRAVDAL front have been somewhat quiet since the release of the band’s sophomore full-length album “Torturmantra” in 2010, due in part to Phobos’ recording commitments with AETERNUS, for whom he is found in his more usual role behind the drumkit, as well as with GALAR.  But the band have now started working on the follow up to “Torturmantra”, which featured a show-stopping guest performance by SHINING’s Niklas Kvarforth on the track “Mishandlet”.  According to Phobos, “We are ready to reveal that the album will be called “Kadaverin” but more than that we can’t say at the moment.  With our second album we took a huge step forward, expanding the range of the band considerably so rest assured that with “Kadaverin” we will be taking things even further”.

GRAVDAL was formed in 2005 by Phobos and drummer Taakesjel (BIZARREKULT).  With their music firmly rooted in Bergen’s legendary Black Metal scene, the duo started out with the idea of remaining a studio band, and recruited vocalist Galge to record and release the “Massegrav” demo in 2005.  Following the release of the demo it became clear to the members that they wanted more from the band, and with the arrival of Specter, and then-bassist Daud, GRAVDAL became a fully active band, releasing their debut album “Sadist”, which was mixed and mastered by ENSLAVED’s Herbrand Larsen,  in 2008 and playing a series of tours and festivals.  It was the release of “Torturmantra”, once again helmed by Herbrand Larsen and co-produced by VULTURE INDUSTRIES’ Bjornar Nilsen and ENSLAVED’s Arve Isdal, which really confirmed GRAVDAL’s ability to innovate and experiment, whilst still remaining true to their Black Metal roots.

More information about GRAVDAL can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

Footage of GRAVDAL performing the track “Selvmord” from the album “Sadist” can be seen below or at


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SHINING’s NIKLAS KVARFORTH has joined the list of musicians and bands who will appear at a special Benefit Concert for SLAVIA founder and front man JONAS R. CHRISTIANSEN (ex-DISIPLIN)  who is suffering from cancer.   The concert, “ALGIR: Støttekonsert for Jonas R. Christiansen”, which will be held at the Garage in Bergen, Norway, on Friday 18th November, has been organised by friends of the musician, who hope to add to the funds already raised to send Christiansen for treatment in Denmark.

The line up on the evening features sets from HELHEIM and GRAVDAL, as well as SLAVIA themselves, in a performance that will mark CHRISTIANSEN’s final appearance with the band that has been so central to his life over the years and which, in all likelihood, will not go on without him.  A “Supergroup” line up comprising NOCTURNO CULTO of DARKTHRONE, HOEST of TAAKE, and SATYR and FROST of SATYRICON will get together for the event to play a special DARKTHRONE/SATYRICON set.

KVARFORTH will appear on stage with GRAVDAL to perform the track “Mishandlet” from the band’s latest album “Torturmantra”.  As well as guesting on the track for the album, the SHINING front man recently announced that the song was one of the tracks he had chosen for inclusion on his upcoming double CD solo retrospective “Fifteen Years of Absolute Darkness” which is due for release on Spinefarm Records in December, and charts fifteen years of his often controversial musical career.

Commenting on KVARFORTH’s appearance at the Benefit Concert, GRAVDAL founder PHOBOS (AETERNUS, GALAR, MALSAIN) said:  “Like all the other artists and people involved in the Benefit Concert we wanted to make this something special for Jonas, so we asked NIKLAS if he would consider guesting with us.  He agreed without any hesitation whatsoever to take time out of a very busy schedule to come along from Sweden and contribute to everyone’s efforts to help not only one of our fellow musicians, but also a friend to so many on the Bergen scene”.

More information about the Benefit Concert for JONAS R. CHRISTIANSEN can be found on the following Facebook Event

Below you can hear the original album version of the GRAVDAL track “Mishandlet” from the album “Tortrumantra” featuring NIKLAS KVARFORTH on guest vocals.




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Since the release of their second full-length album “Til Alle Heimsens Endar” last year, Norwegian Black-Folk Metallers GALAR have been recruiting live members and preparing to take the band live.  With founders M. Kristiansen (screams and rhythm guitar) and A. B. Lauritzen (clean vocals and bassoon) now having been joined by Specter (GRAVDAL, AETERNUS) on lead guitar,  Phobos (GRAVDAL, AETERNUS, MALSAIN) on drums and Simon Futterlieb on bass, GALAR will make its live debut on the 19th April at the legendary Elm Street Rock Cafe’ in Oslo.  Also appearing will be Dark Essence Records label-mates SULPHUR and the Oslo band FORCEFED HORSEHEAD.

Starting out originally as a two-man studio Project in Bergen, GALAR used guest musicians from a variety of musical genres to record “Til Alle Heimsens Endar”, an album with the sound and feel of both black metal and folk metal.  The title can be translated as “Until the End of All Worlds” and is a concept album based around Snorri Sturluson’s history of Norwegian kings the “Heimskringla”.   As well as their live drummer Phobos, other guests on the album include Ricardo Odriozola on first and second violins, Hans Gunnar Hagen on viola, Siri Hilmen on cello, Morten Nome on double bass, and Cecile Langlie on female vox.

GALAR’s live debut in their home town of Bergen will take place on the 29th April at the Ungdomsklubben Bizarre supported by one of the new generation of local upcoming Black Metal bands HADENS and Hardcore Thrashers QUAVILA. More information about GALAR can be found on the band’s MySpace page at

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We’re now moving towards the close of the year, and it’s been a very eventful year for GRAVDAL, so we thought it was time for an update on what has been happening with the band, and a look ahead to  the future.

The biggest event for GRAVDAL in 2010 was of course the release of our second full-length album “Torturmantra”, which was produced by ENSLAVED’s Herbrand Larsen, and recorded by Larsen, Bjørnar E. Nilsen and Arve Isdal.   We saw “Torturmantra” as a big step forward from our first album “Sadist”, and an expansion of our ideas and sound for the band.  The track that probably surprised most of you was of course the slower ballad-like “Mishandlet”, a song that was new territory for us, and for which we were able to feature SHINING’s NIKLAS KVARFORTH on vocals.  We have been very happy with the response to the album both from the fans and the press, and the feedback we have been getting has greatly encouraged us.

2010 also saw a lot of live activity for the band with appearances at festivals like Inferno and Hole in the Sky, and a tour with GORGOROTH and KEEP OF KALESSIN, which coincided perfectly with the release of “Torturmantra”.  Even the explosion of the volcano with the unpronounceable name could not halt the tour, but it did mean that it took us a long time to get back by a very circuitous route, which is not the best thing to happen after a tour!

There have also been developments amongst the members of GRAVDAL, with drummer Taakesjel working on his BIZARREKULT project, and guitarist Specter joining me in AETERNUS, the band that sees me in my more usual place behind the drum kit.  He has been busy familiarising himself with the band’s material and we are both getting ready to work on the new album.

So, what does the rest of the year hold for GRAVDAL?  We don’t plan on doing any more touring before 2011, but we will consider any one-off gigs that look interesting.  In the meantime the rest of the guys will be able to stand down from GRAVDAL duties for a couple of weeks while I hit the road with SULPHUR as session live drummer on the Dark Essence Records tour between the 28th October and 7th November, which is something I’m very much looking forward to as it means I will be with touring with fellow Bergen bands TAAKE, HELHEIM and VULTURE INDUSTRIES, so I’m anticipating a lot of hard work and an equal amount of fun.

And next year?  Well, we have been spurred on by the reaction to “Torturmantra” and the response we received from the audiences during our live shows and we are now looking ahead to the next album.  We already have a title, so we will be starting to write the music and the lyrics and play around with the ideas that we have.   We have also just started to work with the German booking agency Heavy Space, so look out for more live dates in 2011.

To close our update, on behalf of GRAVDAL I would like to thank various people who have helped us in many different ways.  A big thank you goes to the following:  Our Manager Patricia Thomas for her insight and dedication to GRAVDAL and for taking care of us and all the business and promotion side of things so that we can concentrate on our music.  Herbrand & Co for the great production (not forgetting Bjornar’s dog Leif for keeping us company in the studio!).  Fellow musicians Niklas (SHINING) for his vocals, and Ares (AETERNUS), Martin Legreid (HELLISH OUTCAST), Ole Walaunet (THE BATALLION/GRIMFIST) for lending us some bad ass equipment for the album, S.Otto  Unnison (LEADSLEDGE, BETATT, Ex HELLISH OUTCAST) for pre production and technical help.  Robert Høyem for the fantastic cover art. Isak Strand @ Little Dollar Studio for mastering the album and for letting us use his face on the cover! Bjarne Skintveit for shooting great pictures.  Vidar H.H. for his economic support and investment.  Hole in the Sky and Inferno Festivals for booking us. Dreggen for live bass work and Christina for taking his place. GORGOROTH, KEEP OF KALESSIN and the Crew for an awesome tour.  And last, but definitely not least, all of you have supported us, and those who bought our album and of course, those who came to see us live and gave us such a great reception.  We enjoyed playing for you, and meeting you all.  Here’s to a lot more of the same, but even better, in the future.


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