From out of nowhere, more or less, GRAVECRUSHER appeared on the scene. Their debut EP “Morbid Black Oath” just blew me away with its fresh old fashioned Metal of Death. Since these guys are quite new to the scene, as a band, it is not only a duty, but also a pleasure for me to find out more about them. And, of course, about the Metal scene in their home country Hungary, that is not that well known in the world yet. But hopefully, thanks to GRAVECRUSHER, this will change soon… Guitar player Disguster was so kind to answer my questions and feed our need for more information on this great new band and the country they are from.
Hi there in Szeged! I hope all is well with you?
“Greetings!! Thanks, everything is going well with me! I had some big changes in my life, but it doesn’t effect GRAVECRUSHER! We are currently writing our debut full length record for Xtreem Music.”
Even though GRAVECRUSHER are around for two years only, all of you are already in the Hungarian Metal scene for a long time. What did you do before you started the band?
“All of us played and play in various bands. I play guitar in a Thrash Metal band, MÖRBID CARNAGE which formed back in 2007. I joined at the end of 2008 when they just started to write “Night Assassins”. That was my first full length record ever. We have a second full length “Merciless Conquest” and an unreleased EP which contains 4 brand new songs. With the drummer / vocalist of MÖRBID CARNAGE I also have a dark Death Metal band called TYRANT GOATGALDRAKONA which we formed in 2009. We have an EP and a full length, too. I’m also the vocalist and guitarist of NECROSODOMY and COFFINBORN. NECROSODOMY is a typical Swedish Death Metal band, while with COFFINBORN we have influences from ASPHYX and AUTOPSY. Our vocalist, Revenger plays in a Black Metal band called NEBORN which formed back in the 90s and a newer Death Metal act, SIN OF GOD. He was also our session vocalist in MÖRBID CARNAGE. Our drummer, Mutilator plays in a Grindcore band called JACK which formed also years ago. He also plays drums in a Hardcore band, GAME MISCONDUCT. Disemboweler, the guitarist, plays bass in NECROSODOMY and guitars in GAME MISCONDUCT. Chaosprayer, who plays bass in GRAVECRUSHER, plays guitar in a lot of Hungarian Black Metal acts like LEPRA, GRIMNESS, DUNKELHEIT, HELL ETERNAL. As you can see, we play in a lot of bands besides GRAVECRUSHER.”
What bands were the initial spark to start GRAVECRUSHER?
“UNLEASHED’s “Where No Life Dwells” is an important influence to us, but the list would be endless. I also have a lot of influences from GRAVE, DEATH, ASPHYX or Finnish bands like DEMIGOD and DEMILICH. Swedish CREMATORY is a great influence to me as well, but actually I read everywhere that our music is like GOREFEST or BOLT THROWER.“
When you chose GRAVECRUSHER as the name of the band, was it to both fulfill cliches and to wet the appetite – a name like a promise, so to say?
“Haha, yeah, both! I wanted a cool Death Metal name, when you hear it, than you’ll know that it must be Death Metal. Of course this name is a total cliché but I really like it!”
It wasn’t long after the foundation of the band that you recorded and released your first demo “Mutilation Ritual”. Where the songs already written before the formation of the band?
“No, we wrote those 3 songs within several weeks after our formation. We found them okay to record and I still wouldn’t change a single note in them! Now, we are slower in songwriting because we can rarely do rehearsals, but back than we just could do at least 2 rehearsals a week, that’s why we finished those 3 tracks this fast.”
How did the mighty Mark Riddick appear on the scene to do your cover artwork?
“I wrote to him back in 2011 because of a TYRANT GOATGALDRAKONA cover. He had already known and liked our music, so he said yes to that cover, but we delayed that recording. So before he could create TYRANT GOATGALDRAKONA’s cover, we formed GRAVECRUSHER in 2012 and I asked him to do a logo and a cover for our demo tape. When he answered he already included 4 logo versions so working with him is a really fast and enjoyable thing! I can just recommend him to everybody! And I also think that no one can do black and white art better than him! For the demo and mini CD cover, I sent the lyrics and the unmastered music over to him and gave him free hand and the result was priceless! He also did two versions for TYRANT GOATGALDRAKONA’s “Horns In The Dark” full length and the logo and cover for COFFINBORN, too! For me he is a hidden plus member for my Death Metal bands! We do the music, he does the visuals and it really works!”
Did he also draw that cool, damn old-fashioned GRAVECRUSHER logo?
“Yeah, it’s inspired by UNLEASHED’s and CREMATORY’s logos, which is funny because I gave him free hand and he didn’t hear our music when he did the logo, and I also didn’t tell him that we’re influenced by UNLEASHED and CREMATORY. Somehow he just knows that what we’ll gonna record! Haha!”
The tape was limited to only 99 copies. Did you ever think about a second edition?
“We thought about a second edition, but first Blood Harvest re-released it on 7” and after that, Caverna Abismal re-released it on tape again, and now this demo is also featured on “Morbid Black Oath” as a bonus. So I don’t think that it’s necessary to re-release that demo again, but who knows, maybe later we’ll change our mind.”
The three songs were also part of a split-release with your brother band NECROSODOMY on a small label from Portugal. How did that come about?
“He wrote an email and back then we just thought about a second release of “Mutilation Ritual” so we liked the idea to re-release it again on tape. It was the label’s idea to put it out with NECROSODOMYs “Eternal Darkness” and we thought it was a good option, but because of that we wanted a different cover and title for this. We bought a completed art from Joe Ravager and the title is the mixture of “Eternal Darkness” and “Mutilation Ritual”.”
This tape was also available in limited quantities, 200 copies this time. Is it still available?
“It’s hard to find you can still find some copies at some distros, but from us it’s sold out.”
What is the connection between GRAVECRUSHER and NECROSODOMY, asides from the fact that you share some members?
“I play in and formed both of them. Disemboweler joined NECROSODOMY just a few days before we formed GRAVECRUSHER. With NECROSODOMY we have a session drummer who is also a good friend of us. I even think that some riffs I write could be in each band, also the lyrics are about death in both bands.”
Looking at all the bands you played in: is it overdone to name GRAVECRUSHER as the Hungarian Death Metal supergroup? ; -)
“All of us are great friends of mine so it wasn’t a plan to create some kind of super group. Some of my friends says that GRAVECRUSHER is the “collection of Szeged’s shitheads”. Haha!”
How did you get in contact with your label Xtreem Music?
“Dave had a traded some tapes with Caverna Abismal Record and in that package, there was our “Eternal Mutilation” tape too. He liked GRAVECRUSHER a lot so he wrote us an email about that he is really interested to release a full length album, but we’ve just recorded our 4 new songs for an EP, so I showed him and he liked the new songs and the idea to release a mini CD before the full length. He is very professional and a nice guy! It’s really easy to work with him!”
So “Morbid Black Oath” was intended to be just an EP with four new songs? Or are you some kind of slow composers? ; -)
“Well, we are a little bit slow right now. Haha! We have written these 4 tracks just after we recorded “Mutilation Ritual”, so in the summer of 2012 we were really fast because we could rehearse a lot, but after it we weren’t able to, so we had to slow down. I’ve written about 20 tracks which I found good and Disemboweler has written some songs as well, but as I said before we really can rehearse rarely, so it’s hard to put together these songs live. Honestly we wanted to record a full length after the demo, but we thought that 4 songs are great together so that’s why we chose this option.”
“Morbid Black Oath” was recorded at Black Hole Sound Studio in Szeged, just like the demo, and sounds fantastic. What’s the secret behind the studio?
“The secret is Gábor Vári’s ears! Haha! He is the owner of that studio and he’s truly one of the best in Hungary right now!”
Did you sign a long time deal with Xtreem? Or is it just a cooperation for “Morbid Black Oath”?
“We signed for this mini CD and for two full lengths. We are currently working on the first full length! For me, this is the longest deal that I’ve ever had, so I’m really happy that we could do this kind of contract at one of my favorite labels!”
Am I right that your lyrics are spanning the well known topics of Death Metal? Death, zombies, horror and stuff?
“Yeah, I couldn’t write it any better! Haha! Revenger writes all of the lyrics and I find them fucking great! I really like this kind of lyrics! Some guys say that this is childish and ask the typical questions like “Than you love to torture and kill people as well?”, but for fuck’s sake, what should a DEATH Metal band’s lyrics about if not DEATH!?! My favorite lyrics in this style are written by AUTOPSY!”
Up to now, I didn’t really took notice of some kind of Death Metal scene in Hungary. Instead, I heard of some Black Metal bands. Is there some kind of scene anyway? Or are you solitary fighters?
“Well, I play in a couple of Death Metal bands in Szeged, but besides those bands, there are great groups like AGE OF AGONY, LIMB FOR A LIMB, KRAMPÜS, SIN OF GOD, KILL WITH HATE, PURULENT RITES and some more. In the past we also had some great Death Metal bands like MASQIM XUL, EXTREME DEFORMITY and CULTIC PULP.”
How’s the Metal scene in Hungary in general?
“It’s a hard question for me because I’m younger, and I just heard stories that back in the 90s the scene was way, way better than now. In my opinion, the Hungarian Metal scene is just getting better and better! There are more old school bands with quality recordings. The fanzines are getting back. People who stopped buying albums because of the opportunity of the torrent sites started to buy official releases again. There are more and more underground fests like Total War and Inner Awakening where you can find the best underground bands of Hungary. Five years ago, there were only 1 or 2 shows that I wanted to go and now there are so many that I just can’t decide which one to go.”
Do you play a lot of shows in Hungary? Or in other countries?
“We are not that kind of band which plays live a lot. I think we play as much in Hungary like in other countries. I love to play here or in a foreign country, too!”
What can we expect at a GRAVECRUSHER show?
“Total mass of chaos and brutality! Headbanging, circle pits, mosh pits, body surfs. We just go on stage and slay. Sometimes I just run into the crowd with my guitar to create a mosh pit while we play a song. So, yeah!, we are really insane. Haha!”
Let’s take a look into the future: are there any plans for a full length album?
“Yeah! We are currently writing our first full length which will contain 8-10 brand new songs. No title yet, but as I wrote before I already wrote about 20 songs so we have songs for the album. We have only put together 3 tracks now, but we plan to finish the record at the end of the year, so Xtreem Music can release it in the first half of 2015 or something like that.”
How about a tour or other plans for shows?
“We’ll have a 3-day trip to the UK with DECREPID and HELLSWORN. There’s a plan of another smaller tour in Europe but that’s all for now. We rather focus on the first full length now.”
All right, thanks so much for your time, we appreciate it!
“Thanks for the interview and the interest in our band!! TOTAL DEATH!”