Grave Pleasures Dreamcrash on Limited Edition LP
Self-styled apocalyptic post punks, Grave Pleasures, were formed from the remains of the breakup of Beastmilk, who were one of the most talked-about bands in recent times. Their "painful war-cry of the eternally doomed," as one journalist described it, resonated with fans of all music genres. Original members Mat "Kvohst" McNerney on vocals and bassist Valtteri Arino, along with Swedish guitarist and songwriter Linnéa Olsson (formerly of The Oath), set out to create their favorite band; A pack of fearless players, with a non-regulated sense of creativity and energy. Open-minded punks, skilled and hungry to take this death rock party to the next level.
They found what they were looking for in session guitarist Juho Vanhanen - a musician by profession with a tasteful sense of haunting melodies and eerie sounds. His screaming Telecaster is one of the trademarks of the much respected psychedelic black metal outfit Oranssi Pazuzu. And they found it in Uno Bruniusson - arguably one of the best rock drummers of his generation. Having co-founded and played in Sweden's In Solitude for the entire 13 years of its existence, Uno helped not only revive heavy metal, but ultimately re-shape it into something far more urgent and current.
The chemistry turned out to be undeniable. Together, they've written what will be the first album under the name Grave Pleasures - a complex and feverish set of modern rock songs, complete with immediate pop sensibility, a melancholic undercurrent, and an irreverent ferociousness that is alone in its kind in contemporary rock. The material is multi-layered, with a twin guitar team weaving sonic webs that are both dreamy and sinister. And then there are the vocals. McNerney's musical roots lies in the Norwegian classic black metal scene - further expanding into avant-garde metal and ultimately making a name for himself as an eclectic singer, constantly moving in unpredictable directions.
On the new Grave Pleasures album - McNerney is taking things one step further: "I am concerned with a total collapse of our dreams. Our aspirations and our positive view of both our personal lives and the future of mankind as a species. My lyrics deal with us being a post-apocalyptic species, aware of our inevitable demise, quite possibly by our own hands. How this relates to the way we see the world and the way we live our lives is terribly romantic in a very macabre and terrifying way. There is no more frightening and dangerous place on earth than the human mind and how it deals with it's own breakdown. Breakdown of relationships, love, dreams, desires and ultimately existence."
Moving past the post-punk wet dream, the lyrics and vocals of these new songs are rich in texture and depth - staring into the abyss just long enough before it stares right back. The future of this band is surely going to be as unprecedented and extraordinary as it's inception. Finding their innate pleasure in their own demise, and embracing their nihilism, this revamped monster looks set to follow their trajectory to new formidable heights. The end has only just begun.