Destroyer>>Anguish>>Corpse>>Putrefaction>>GRAVE - SWEDEN

Into The Grave - 1991 - Century Media
You'll Never See ... - 1992 - Century Media
Soulless - 1994 - Century Media
Hating Life - 1996 - Century Media
Extremely Rotten Live - 1997 - Century Media
Back From The Grave - 2002 - Century Media
Fiendish Regression - 2004 - Century Media
As Rapture Comes – 2006 – Century Media
Dominion VIII – 2008 - Regain
Burial Ground – 2010 - Regain
Endless Procession Of Souls – 2012 – Century Media
Out Of Respect For The Dead – 2015 - Century Media

Grave image
S= Jorgen Sandstrom>>Entombed, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Krux, God Among Insects – Spazmosity>>OLA LINDGREN>>Spazmosity

G= Jörgen Sandstrom>>Entombed, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Krux, Candlemass – Grinding Death, Redscream, Nekrodelirium>>OLA LINDGREN>>Redscream, Nekrodelirium - Special Forces>>Jonas Torndal>>Special Forces – Magnus Martinsson – Facebreaker, Graveyard After Graveyard>>Mika Lagrén>>Facebreaker, Graveyard After Graveyard

B= Jonas Torndal - Jorgen Sandstrom>>Entombed, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Krux, Vicious Art, Deathbreath – Excurciate, Therion>>Fredrik Isaksson>>Denied – Dismember, The Dagger>>Tobias Cristiansson>>The Dagger

D= Jensa Paulsson – Mastication, Coercion>>Pelle Ekegren>>Coercion - Julie Laughs Nomore, Amaran, Centinex, Triton Enigma, Redscream>>Ronnie Bergerståhl>>Triton Enigma, Redscream

History & Biography
Formed on the island of Gotland off the southern shore of Sweden, the young band had already amassed much experience under three different monickers by the time it released its debut. In fact, the roots of this act go as far back as 1984! The band moved to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, in January of 1991.

One of the originators of the Swedish sound along with Entombed and Carnage/Dismember, Grave's sound was brutally crunchy and an instant underground wonder. The band had released a demo called Sick Eternal Disgust under the Corpse moniker in 1987, which was followed by Sexual Mutilation and Anatomia Corporis Humani. The band released a split-EP with Devolution through Prophecy Records in 1991 with four demo songs.

Signing to Century Media, the band released a single called Tremendous Pain as a promo and appeared on the In The Eyes Of Death sampler. Into The Grave was ultra-heavy and with reason didn't feature the lyrics. The band had tuned down to 'B' to achieve its crunchy sound on this album. The album featured one song from each of the band’s demos. Into The Grave, Deformed and Extremely Rotten Flesh came from the band’s respective demos. During the ensuing tour with Massacre (the band never made it all the way into Canada) bassist Torndal left and Sandstrom switched to bass. Grave toured Europe once with Malevolent Creation and once with Entombed. The 1993 EP ...And Here I Die ... Satisfied featured a track from 1986, a song from the aforementioned sampler and a couple of remixed songs. Sandstrom would join Entombed in 1995. The band’s next North American foray resulted in weak sales and the label decided to not give the band any more American tour support.

Soulless was again recorded with Tomas Skogsberg at Sunlight Studio and yielded a video for the title track, which was broadcast in Europe. The band toured Europe with Samael. This band participated in the Celtic Frost cover CD In Memory Of Celtic Frost in 1996. Playing on and releasing these discs was a particular trend during this period. Hating Life was considered a weaker effort and the band went into hiatus.

The band reformed in 2001 and had a reunion show at Machine Bar in Stockholm. The line-up now also featured former Therion bassist Fredrik Isaksson (who had left Therion due to severe personal problems) and drummer Jensa Paulsson. Torndal had returned to the band albeit as a guitarist. Although the latter would be replaced by Pelle Ekegren (of Coercion) for live shows. An album called Back From The Grave was announced for mid-2002 to be produced by Skogsberg at the Sunlight Studio. Grave toured Europe with The Forsaken prior to the release of Back From The Grave. Said album would only see the light of day in 2003 in North America. A limited first pressing of Back From The Grave featured the band's demos once again tagged as bonus material.

The band booked a European tour and an appearance at New Jersey's Metal Meltdown for early 2003. Grave's drummer Jensa Paulsson, one of the founding members, left the band due to work and family-related issues in March, 2003. Kaamos drummer Cristofer Barkensjö replaced him. The band parted ways with drummer Cristofer Barkensjö in early 2004. According to the band's site "Both parties decided to go separate ways after the recent European tour for personal reasons and also for Chris to focus more on his main band Kaamos." Barkensjö's replacement was Coercion's drummer Pelle Ekegren. "Pelle played with us during the 2002 European tour." Fiendish Regression appeared in September of 2004 and featured the band's new drummer, Ekegren, who continued playing in Coercion as well. The album was recorded at Abyss Studio. As Rapture Comes was issued in July of 2006. The band announced an American tour with Dismember for September of the same year. Drummer Pelle Ekegren left the band and was replaced with Ronnie Bergerståhl (ex-Julie Laughs Nomore, Amaran and Centinex). The band, which was celebrating its twentieth anniversary through a number of shows, signed with Regain Records in late 2007. Dominion VIII was out in late April through Regain Records. Song titles included A World In Darkness, Deathstorm and Bloodpath. The Monstrosity/Grave tour of the USA was cancelled after Grave dropped out. Ola Lindgren continued his development of Studio Soulless in Stockholm. As his first complete production as producer Lindgren worked with black metal band Spazmosity for a new recording called Promo 2008. Dismember's Tobias Cristiansson would play bass for Grave for two shows in Mexico this month. Apparently, Grave bassist Fredrik Isaksson had already booked a holiday trip – presumably not to Mexico - and would not re-reschedule. Grave completed its newest album for 2010, called Burial Ground, which was out on June 14th through Regain Records. Tobias Cristiansson became permanent. Grave returned to its original label and signed a new deal with Century Media Records. The band toured the USA in the summer. In mid-2011, three members of Grave and guitarist Ralph Santolla (Iced Earth, Obituary and Deicide) had a project called Redscream. The rock band was in Sweden and seeking a singer. When Mika Lagren joined the new project, there were four Grave members involved. In late 2011, the band parted ways with guitarist Magnus Martinsson and recruited Mika Lagreen of Facebreaker. Magnus had entered Grave in 2008. The band’s next album was tentatively called Endless Procession Of Souls. It was recorded at the band’s own Soulless studio. Swedish death metal band Grave would release a new EP, Morbid Ascent, in the autumn of 2013. The EP featured a cover version of Satyricon’s Possessed. Grave celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday, September 6th, 2013 at Debaser Media in Stockholm. The band was formed as Corpse. The band played a track from all its releases beginning with the Sick Disgust Eternal demo. The disbanded Vomitory opened. Grave and Entombed A.D. played concerts in Europe. The act would release a new album, called Out Of Respect For The Dead, on October 16th, 2015 through Century Media. Costin Chioreanu had conceived the album’s artwork. It followed the band’s 2012 album Endless Procession Of Souls. The act appeared at the 70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2017. Grave and drummer Ronnie Bergerstål parted ways in the autumn of 2017. The group recruited drummer Tomas Lagrén (of Intestinal) in 2018.

The band began rehearsing again in 2021. Denmark’s Næstved Metalfest was to take place in August 2023 Grave, Illdisposed and Cabal were among acts booked. The act was booked for Candelabrum Metal Fest in Mexico in 2023 alongside Mork Gryning, Deceased, Heathen, Sacramentum, Unanimated, Draconian and Paradise Lost. This was cancelled at the last minute and attributed to a problem with the airline. The act did appear at Meh Stuff! festival. The band was booked at Party.San Herbstoffensive IV. Grave lost both guitarist Mika Lagrén and bassist Tobias Cristiansson to begin 2024. As such, the band ceased all activities including concerts in order to reassess its future.


One of Sweden's original death metal champions is back after a six year hiatus. Fortunately for Grave, now featuring singer and guitarist Ola Lindgren, guitarist Jonas Torndal, bassist Fredda Isaksson and drummer Jensa Paulsson, the bar has been set so low for returning death metal acts that Back From The Grave would have been heralded a success no matter what. After all, Unleashed's come-back album sent many a metal fan into bouts of hysteric laughter intermingled with extreme derision recently. Regardless, and as hinted, Back From The Grave is of a higher calibre. In fact, the album grows on the listener. The band has reverted to the sound of its Soulless period and recorded an album full of down-tuned and crunchy riffing. The vocals are understandable and the music potent. Having said that, the dominance of mid-paced riffs is disconcerting. A couple of fast songs would have gone a long way here. Well, 1991's Into The Grave this is not, but overall Back From The Grave does reestablish Grave as a legitimate death metal entity - Ali "The Metallian"

It is hard to believe that the mighty Grave is now a 'veteran act' and Swedeath bands like it and Dismember are issuing albums number seven, eight and so forth. Many bands from the famed Swedish death metal scene have either disappeared without a trace (House Of Usher, Crematory), become a shadow of their former selves (Necrophobic, Unleashed) or completely wimped out like Entombed and become irrelevant.
Grave, on the other hand, might have needed a break, but is still hard at work creating crushing and down-tuned death metal the way the gods intended it to be. Fiendish Regression it is called and a fiendish regression it might be, for the new line-up has amassed a number of cool and brutal songs with depraved vocals, loud guitars, powerful drums and the trustworthy Grave crunch all intact. The band is obviously bent on sticking to its roots and be it the Slayer-ish intro and use of the tremolo, the sludge of Reborn or the speedy blast of Breeder it is all Grave and it is all good. - Ali "The Metallian"

Within a minute of playing Grave’s newest outing you know that this will be a brutal slab of Swedeath; not because of the rumbling drums, thundering bass or the wailing guitars - though those certainly help - but because in fine Entombed/Dismember style Intro - Day Of Reckoning is connected to the first proper track Burn without a break.
Grave’s eighth album is less crunchy, faster, has livelier drumming and has a new lease on life for all those reasons. The band’s last couple of albums received their share of criticism due to the lack of super fast material, but As Rapture Comes makes a serious effort in that regard. Burn is typical Grave with its wailing and whining guitars. Through Eternity has a thick sound that rains like a ton of bricks. By Demons Bred and Epic Obliteration are fast cuts. The latter song’s title is apt and, coupled with its oppressingly heavy end, probably the best song on the whole album. Living The Dead Behind - that is the exact title - is weak in comparison and soon becomes repetitious. For whatever reason the band covers Alice In Chains here. The band’s debatable decision to cover a grunge/glam band is immediately proven silly when one compares the solo on the cover version versus the lead on the song that follows it, namely the title track. Nevertheless, given the guttural vocals from hell, sharp sound and the devastating energy As Rapture Comes sure gets a thumbs up from this quarter. - Ali “The Metallian”

The veteran Swedes are another to join the ranks of the live DVD contingent courtesy of Metal Mind. Sixteen songs cover the earliest in, the opener, Deformed and Into The Grave, to the more talked about in Soulless and You’ll Never See and more recent tracks like Breeder and Heretic. Grave, while remaining mostly static on stage, effectively churn out their brand of Swedish death metal live with a production and sound as clear as one can expect with Metal Mind quickly making a name for themselves as a standard for these types of releases. The bonus material includes bonus live footage, the video clip for Soulless and an interview with Ola Lindgren & Jonas Torndal where when asked do not hesitate to talk of the uninteresting black metal scene, the rise, fall and resurgence of death metal and provide a non-formulated, simple response to the mandatory and cliché question regarding Grave’s future plans. - Anna Tergel

This being the band’s twentieth year the guys certainly need no introduction. Beyond just the Swedish death metal sound Grave can claim to have one that is its own. The opener, A World Of Darkness, presents the old school sound and teases the listener with periods of (very) thick relatively mid-paced riffs. From the second, Fallen (Angel Son), song and on the pace picks at such a rate that the all out speedy death metal takes over most of the songs that follow. The nine songs here have the Swedish structure and sound and rarely disappoint. Solos are there, high speed riff are there, moments that manage to combine catchiness and hyper speed riffs are there, and the very heavy riffs around are there too of course. Song titles are only one clue as to what is here, Deathstorm, Stained By Hate, Bloodpath, Annihilated God just to name four. The seven-minute plus title track and closer starts and ends acoustically but gives a good dose of Grave in between. Grave can claim to be the leaders as well as the veterans of the scene. Dominion VIII is just death metal the way it should be, little more needs to be said. - Anna Tergel

Singer and guitarist Jörgen Sandström, guitarist and singer Ola Lindgren, bassist Jonas Torndal and drummer Jens "Jensa" Paulsson played on Grave’s debut album from 1991. Ali “The Metallian” interviewed Jörgen following its release.

METALLIAN: Grave is a Swedish band, which has recently released its debut Into The Grave on Century Media Records. I recently had a chat with vocalist Jörgen over long distance lines. I began by asking Jörgen about his and the band’s influences.
JÖRGEN: We got influenced by all the LPs we bought, Kreator, old Destruction, old Celtic Frost. We also went over to see shows in the mainland (of Sweden) and those influenced us too.

METALLIAN: Speaking of which, do you think that isolation has contributed to your original sound?
JÖRGEN: I don’t know, but as we didn’t have anyone down there to rehearse with… there were no other bands of our style there, of death metal, so we grew up and made our own sound. We got in contact with the Stockholm bands like Nihilist and stuff though.

METALLIAN: Why was a lyric sheet not included with the album?
JÖRGEN: Yeah, because some of the lyrics and even the tracks are very old. The oldest one is from ’88 and we are not really satisfied with the old lyrics. At the same time, we didn’t want to change them because it would destroy the whole song.

METALLIAN: So, tell me what is the concept behind ‘Into The Grave.’ What are you talking about on the album?
JÖRGEN: We have the track Into The Grave. It is our vision of how after you die you go into the grave and there is no life after death or something. That pretty much is the main concept of the album. We still have other tracks, like In Love, which is about a necrophiliac.

METALLIAN: When will the Canadian fans get to see the band live? Century Media has been getting a number of its bands to Canada, but there has been no sign of Grave.
JÖRGEN: Hopefully… we are doing a USA tour with Massacre in January and hopefully we will come up to Canada. I don’t have tour dates yet.

METALLIAN: What is the band’s future plans? You have a debut album out and presumably future albums will be on Century Media.
JÖRGEN: We have already begun working on the next album. We have music for four new tracks. We really like them. They are of the old style of the debut album, but a little more varied than the Into The Grave album. We are going to release a few more old tracks from our demos on it. So it will be kind of a mix again.

METALLIAN: Back to Into The Grave, it is an album I find excellent, yet I have been reading reviews that were not so positive. I assume you have seen the magazines. Do those reviews affect you?
JÖRGEN: Oh, I don’t care what they think of our album. I mean I can’t do anything about it if they don’t like it. I don’t care if somebody doesn’t like the album. We won’t change our style just because a magazine would be pleased.

METALLIAN: Fair enough. The point is, however, that I hear originality when I listen to your album, but when I read the reviews they seem to think that it is a typical Swedish sound. Why do you think people come up with these sorts of ideas?
JÖRGEN: I don’t know if they really know what they are talking about. Compare us to the other Swedish bands and they will find a difference. First of all, the production is from Sunlight Studio where Dismember and Entombed recorded, but it is not the same production. I think it is way different than the other productions.

METALLIAN: I think it is more brutal.
JÖRGEN: Yeah, I think it’s more crunchy. The songs themselves are way different from Entombed and Dismember.

METALLIAN: Thank-you for the interview Jörgen. Do you have any last words for the Canadian fans?
JÖRGEN: Thank-you! I hope to see you all on our tour with Massacre. I hope to come to Montreal.

This interview was originally broadcast on CRSG cable radio in Montreal.

Sure there was a slight mix-up when waiting for a call from singer/guitarist Ola Lindgren, but Metallian correspondent Sheila Wes Det's telephone finally rang three hours later and the voice uttered, "Ola from Grave." So without further ado here is the transcript of the conversation on the topic of the band's comeback album Back From The Grave. - 15.01.2003

METALLIAN: Ola, thanks for calling us! You've been on hiatus for 5-6 years. What made you decide to go on hiatus and what made you decide to come back?
LINDGREN: Well, we didn't plan to take such a long break or anything, but basically after the Hating Life album in '96 we toured quite a lot and after that we figured that we would take a break for a while and see what we would do in the future and we took way much longer than we expected to start doing anything again. It was basically about early 2000 we hooked up with Jonas again who used to play bass from the first album and also Fredrik the new bass player who is an old friend of ours, we got a full lineup back together and everybody was really into starting writing new material and so on. We got a new start to everybody, was feeling that we were going in the same direction, we wanted the same thing, to do a new album and to get on the road and play for a lot of people.

METALLIAN: There seems to be a trend that bands are coming back, how do you feel about that?
LINDGREN: Its OK I guess, I think a lot of bands took a break or broke up because the interest in death metal in the mid or late 90s were pretty slow, the whole scene was pretty slow and a lot of people focused more on the black metal scene in those day and I guess a lot of bands felt that there was no interest from labels as well as from audience-wise and maybe that's why. Now it seems to have turned around again and there is a lot of interest again for Death Metal and maybe that's why they feel that they can contribute something again.

METALLIAN: I guess related to that, now that you have come back and released an album what do you feel you have to offer to the scene by doing this?
LINDGREN: Absolutely I think if you have never heard Grave before I think you can appreciate this album. There's been a lot of like bands faster, blast bands and so on. We have never been into that part, we planned to do a very heavy, brutal, kind of back to the roots record and I guess, I think we did that pretty well and a lot of people feel that it s a nice, clean break to hear something different instead of all these just fast, plain bands to hear something groovy and heavy again.

METALLIAN: You mentioned that you took a break for that period of time, were you or any of the guys in band doing other side projects?
LINDGREN: Actually not, nothing at all, its quite really surprising to me as well since we've been playing music for such a long time. None of us had anything in all those years between 1996 or 1997 up to 2000. It was just a time to all have normal lives like families and normal day jobs and lead a pretty normal life for a couple of years. I guess we got bored of it and wanted to go back to the old style we used to have like being on the road a lot and playing live, do the things that we enjoy doing basically.

METALLIAN: you mentioned about the new album being something groovy and heavy. Do you have any objectives and intentions with releasing this album? Do you want to achieve something with this album?
LINDGREN: Not really, just the songs the way they came out when we wrote them. We did, like, a little re-arranging in the studio when recording, nothing else really, no thoughts behind it to do anything special, a special theme or something like that. Just the songs the way they came out, we basically wrote a bunch of songs and put them on there.

METALLIAN: I also wanted to ask about a few songs, you are using some vocal effects, why? You felt the songs needed that? For example on Dead Is Better.
LINDGREN: On that particular track, if you have the vocal or lyric sheet to the song, it kind of clears up if you read the lyrics. The first verse where the distorted vocals are is supposed to be a kind of a street preacher talking through a megaphone. If you read the lyrics to the song it will be clear, the lyrics go along with that effect.

METALLIAN: Also there are some bonus tracks taken from your demos on the album, if I am not mistaken some of these were re-released in 96-97 or some other times, how do you feel about them being included again?
LINDGREN: Well they haven't actually been released before at all, on the live album there are one or two songs from the demos, the idea was ours from the beginning to release all the demos on one CD through our home page. Basically before we could get it up there were a lot of people asking us if they could buy the demos. So we were going to make it available through our home page and Century Media heard about the idea and they asked us if we wanted to save it and use it as a bonus for the release. We said 'why not' so a lot of more people can get access to those old songs instead of just being able to get them through the home page.

METALLIAN: Next I want to ask about something on the Century Media bio, I want to hear your reaction. One of the reasons it says that the demo songs were included is to 'mark how far the band have progressed' how do feel about that? People will be able to see the progression?
LINDGREN: We still stand 100% behind those old recordings, they were recorded in 88 and 89 and we were very very young in those days when we recorded them. I enjoy it very much when I listen to it and for me it brings back a lot old memories of course. I mean those demos what got us signed in the beginning which gave us the record deal and they were pretty well circulated in the underground back then as well. I think its cool to see the whole evolution of the band.

METALLIAN: You toured around Europe before releasing the album, did you play any of the new stuff? How was the reaction?
LINDGREN: It was very good actually, we didn't play any of those songs on that tour, it was a short tour in the middle of the recording and we got back we started mixing all the tracks we played a lot of the old stuff. Once in a while we played one or two of the new songs and the reaction very very good and also the album has been out over here in Europe since October 25th, we played a couple of shows here in Sweden, also in Finland and so on. It's been very well accepted and also the European press has been very good to us and we got tons of great reviews and have 50-60 interviews over here for the European press, so it seems to be going absolutely in the right direction.

METALLIAN: Earlier you mentioned about the mid '90s and the black metal bands. Now that have you come back how do you see the scene in contrast to when you started in the late '80s, early '90s. Is Death Metal back again?
LINDGREN: Yes it has turned around for sure, the interest in Death Metal is a lot better than in the mid to late '90s. I don't know if you can say that it is as big as it was when we started out in the late '80s and early '90s because back then it was very very big (when it got big the first time). All these great bands released their first albums like Morbid Angel, Carcass, Entombed and Dismember and so on. It has absolutely turned around and there is a lot of more interest focused on the bands than there was only 3 or 5 years ago.

METALLIAN: Any latest news on the band that you share with us?
LINDGREN: We are planning and planning here and try to get everything together. We have a European tour that will probably be starting in late March that will go on to April. We are also going to play the New Jersey Metal Meltdown, a festival up there in Jersey on the 7th or 8th of March so we are flying over to that one show and then we hope to get back on a full US tour after the European tour is finished in May or June hopefully.

METALLIAN: I am curious if any of the guys in the band were at one point in any bands others might have heard about?
LINDGREN: We started playing together in 84 and we had numerous bands up until 86 when we formed the band that was before Grave called Corpse. Some people know that but even before Corpse between 84 and 86 we had a band called Anguish. We had a band called Destroyer and 'I don't remember but Anguish and Destroyer were two of the bands that were very early between 84 and 86.

METALLIAN: You were in those bands with the other guys or was it just you?
LINDGREN: It was the same band from 84, we could have taken the name Grave in 84 and we would have a longer history.

METALLIAN: Is there anything you'll like add or say to the readers?
LINDGREN: First of all a big thanks for keeping the interest in the band. Although we were away for many years we have had tons of letters, emails and so on from people waiting for this new album and have been waiting for a long time and hope to see everybody on tour when we get over there in May or June or at the Metal Meltdown in March.

METALLIAN: Hope there is going to be some Canadian stops on the tour!
LINDGREN: Oh yes absolutely, we have to play Canada, Canada is always the best on the North American tours.

METALLIAN: I remember a show that you were not able to play because of border problems!
LINDGREN: I remember that we didn't even get into the country. We didn't play any Canadian shows and that sucked because we have very good experiences before. We played Canada twice before that. In general they are the best shows on the whole North American tour so we'll make sure to have all our papers ready.

METALLIAN: There is always the Canadian customs problem...
LINDGREN: Yeah, yeah, (it is) the same every time.

METALLIAN: Ok I guess that's it thanks for talking to us, hopefully you'll come to Canada and we'll see you here.
LINDGREN: Alright bye bye.

Ola Lindgren (singer/guitars), Jonas Torndal (guitars), Fredrik Isaksson (bass) and drummer Jensa Paulsson have returned with Back From The Grave, which is now available through Century Media Records.

When a band calls itself Grave there is little room for ambiguity concerning the band's sound. When that same band calls its eighth album Fiendish Regression there is even less ambiguity regarding what the name is supposed to represent. This is the Swedish death metal band's tribute to the down-tuned explosion of distortion that launched the act. While others may have abandoned the original ideals, Grave would have none of it. Singer/guitarist Ola Lindgren, guitarist Jonas Tomdal, bassist Fredrick Isaksson and new tom boy Pelle Ekegren are back with a new album on Century Media Records. Ali "The Metallian" wasted no time in exhuming original member Lindgren for a quick midnight Q&A. - 12.09.2004.

METALLIAN: Ola, thank you for the chance to chat with you. Can you begin by explaining the album's title?
LINDGREN: The title can be taken in two ways. We thought of it as an evil, brutal and dark way back to what once was. The album goes more back to our roots. We are not trying to progress and do something that is not us. It also reflects on the lyrics which is anti-religious - not Satanic in any way - which is also seen on the cover with the Jesus figure. It has a demon or a darker side. Religion just creates a lot of problems and war in this world. Almost every war in the world is based on religion. It makes people do shitty things.
There was a case going on here in Sweden when I was writing the album which gave me inspiration. There is a Christian sect here in Sweden where there was two or three homicides, everybody was fucking everybody and they were persuading people that one of the leaders was the bride of Christ and was going to marry Jesus. It was just bullshit. They are called the Easter Church. They were named after the village Knutby. It is like ninety minutes north of Stockholm.
A couple of songs don't follow the theme and are more about the good old blood and guts thing. I didn't want to criticize religion on every song. People should follow themselves and not follow religion.

METALLIAN: Was the cover artwork representative of the story with its depiction of Jesus from the start? I also notice your new cover sticks with the monochromatic style.
LINDGREN: This cover was made as an original for us. The cover for Back From The Grave was already done and Century Media asked us if we wanted to use it. We contacted the same artist again and gave him our ideas. He sent some stuff over and we asked him to change this and that. It was very dark to start with and I enhanced it on the computer myself. We tried to keep it dirty and dark, but still allow people to see all the details.

METALLIAN: How do you reckon this album is different musically from its predecessor?
LINDGREN: There is quite a bit of difference. We changed the drummer after the last album. We brought on a guy called Kris, but he didn't really work out on tour socially. We now have Pelle since last November who is from Coercion. He really enjoys playing really fast and playing grind/death metal. That is why we have some blast segments. Things pick up here and there. You will notice that the atmosphere surrounding the drumming is quite different.

METALLIAN: To what do you attribute original drummer Jensa Paulsson's departure. His return as part of the reformed line-up seemed to indicate an interest in remaining in the band.
LINDGREN: I don't think he had the same expectations that we had with the reformation. Of course, we were hoping that 2002's Back From The Grave would do well, but we didn't know how people would react. It turned out to be accepted by both fans and magazines. Everything began rolling quickly and we started getting offers to tour quickly. He hadn't really expected that. Maybe he wanted to go on tour, but couldn't because of his family and work. It was a hard situation. We told him that we can't turn down tours and destroy things for the band. He stepped down so the band can live on. We are still friends. He works in an exhibition hall now.

METALLIAN: Speaking of returning and remaining within the scene, here is a question where your input would be interesting. There are bands, like Unleashed, which seem to be out of ideas and yet still hang around. Then there are bands of a similar age that still seem to have something to say and contribute. Why do some bands retain their enthusiasm and energy, while others seem to be languishing?
LINDGREN: For one thing all of us in Grave are very close friends and have known each other for a long time. We are close friends outside the bands also. During our break from the band we went into this normal pace of things with our jobs and families and did nothing else. We got bored with that. We had toured basically from '90 to '96 and it was a special kind of life style which I really enjoyed. We got sick and tired of the normal... you know, being just like everybody else. That was a big reason for doing the Back From The Grave album. We had a contract with Century Media for two more albums as well. We took a chance and decided to go on. We have a better vibe in the band nowadays anyway. Jonas is contributing a lot and everyone contributes to the writing and so forth. I don't know if other bands have that.

METALLIAN: One of my favourite songs on the new disc is Breeder.
LINDGREN: Breeder was one of the first songs written for the album. It wasn't changed in any way during recording. It has a really heavy opening and very cool backing vocals. The lyrics are about Christians. It is about a demon inside a body.

METALLIAN: What about the song Bloodfeast?
LINDGREN: That was the last song we did. We had the whole album written, but needed one more song. I wrote that song by myself a couple of weeks before recording it. We went over it only a couple of times at rehearsal before going into the studio. It wasn't rehearsed enough and it was difficult to record. It is old-school in style. The riffing is thrashier and dirtier. The drums are fast, but not hyper fast. It has a sludgy tempo. That one is one of my favourites.

METALLIAN: Why did you incorporate acoustic guitars on Heretic?
LINDGREN: It is different. It is a classic last track on a Grave album! Its beginning is really heavy and builds up the whole time. It is pretty long. Right from the start when we were writing it we wanted it as the last track. We wanted to put something extra on it and add a different dimension. We are all Slayer fans and almost every last track on a Slayer album has acoustic guitars. That is what we were trying to do. It has a clean twelve string guitar on it.

METALLIAN: There is a lot of Slayer-ish sounds on the new album. The album begins like Slayer...
LINDGREN: South Of Sweden?

METALLIAN: That's it, South of Sweden!
LINDGREN: It is more of a tribute than a rip off. Slayer is my all-time favourite band and everything we do... even Back From The Grave has a lot of that. They are a big influence.

METALLIAN: Which Slayer album is the best?
LINDGREN: I think South Of Heaven is their best.

METALLIAN: Which one is the worst?
LINDGREN: That stupid covers album that they did. Gemini is a good song, but the cover versions on that album are terrible.

METALLIAN: I don't even think I have heard that album.
LINDGREN: You haven't missed anything.

METALLIAN: Why is a song called Last Journey at the beginning of the album? Is it ironic?
LINDGREN: It was a little on purpose. The lyrics are about someone who just died and is in a wasteland between heaven and hell. He has to decide where to go. It is meant to get people to become curious and check the lyrics out.

METALLIAN: Given how there is a song called Out Of The Light, will you be printing shirts with the slogan 'Out Of The Light, Into The Grave'?
LINDGREN: That would be pretty cool. Maybe we will do that.

METALLIAN: Given how this is your last album on this contract for Century Media, do you believe you have enough support from the label to re-sign with them?
LINDGREN: I think we have a very good relationship with them. The people I deal with are the people at the European office, of course. The A&R guy there, Leif Jensen, is a really cool guy who also plays music himself. He knows the whole business and is a really good guy. He is more of a friend than a boss or whatever. We get drunk together. Just before every album we have to set budgets and bla bla and all that. That's the only hard part to deal with. Otherwise, it is all easy from my point-of-view. My experience is totally positive.
We have been with Century Media for so many years. I am not sure what kind of deals the newer bands have signed. You don't make money if you don't sell hundreds of thousands of albums anyway. I am satisfied as long as we get enough budget to record and tour.
We like to tour North America for this album. I don't think it has anything to do with how the new album's sales. It is just a matter of finding the right tour to get on. I don't know if we are going to headline or go with a bigger band. We are looking hard at Europe and America right now. We want to get out there. Europe is always OK, but in the States you can talk to people everywhere and make yourself understood in English. I don't know what's up with Canada. The first time we wanted to come was with Massacre and there was something at the border that we weren't prepared for and even when touring with Samael there were problems at the border, but we somehow managed to get in that time. There has to be work permits.

METALLIAN: Let me also get your opinions on a couple of bands. What do you think of The Project Hate...
LINDGREN: That features Jörgen who used to play with us. It is heavy. They were in Abyss just before us actually. My good friend Kenth is in that band. I really like his band God Among Insects which has a very heavy guitar sound. He also is a journalist and always does three-page interviews with me. I have an interview here from him right now that I need to answer and send back.

METALLIAN: What is your opinion of Entombed nowadays?
LINDGREN: Better and better nowadays, I think. They did some horrible horrible albums in the mid to late-'90s. The last two ones I enjoyed. They were back to the basics and I think they learnt their lesson. They realized that they will have to play like when they started out to keep their fans.

That is something that Ola and Grave are keenly aware of judging by their albums. Check out the Grave album Fiendish Regression at better stores. Certain editions feature the bonus songs Autopsied from 1989, which is rerecorded, and a cover of Saint Vitus' song Burial At Sea from 1984. The album was also released on vinyl in Europe for fans of big artwork.

If you enjoyed this, read Amon Amarth