Grave, Machine & Excavator – GRAVMASKIN is a play on the Swedish translations for these three words, and when listening to the trio’s instrumental rock, its moniker makes perfect sense. The music paints a picture of a grave machine – a mechanical entity fueled by driving beats and haunting melodies, digging tombs in the airy forest, next to a roaring motorway. Something cold and mechanical married to nature and her cycles of life and death. Because at first glance, GRAVMASKIN‘s music might pull instant associations to classic Italian horror soundscapes and dreamy German psychedelia (the band cite Goblin, NEU! and Tangerine Dream as three of their main influences, alongside smoke, freeways and the Swedish nature reserve Hågadalen). But when looking further, descending over it is a funeral mist of something undeniably Scandinavian – that soul stripping melancholia present in Bathory and Bo Hansson alike – and a raw, jangly punk execution giving it groove, nerve and a speed-paced pulse.
Founded in Uppsala – a university town north of Stockholm – in the autumn of 2012, GRAVMASKIN consists of Sofia Rydahl on keys, Lukas Häger on guitar and Mikal Styrke on drums. Sofia and Mikal shares a history in the progressive rock group Klotet and subsequently the duo Häxhammaren. Lukas is the main songwriter in the original and equally excellent psychedelic black metal outfit Reveal, and also plays in underground rock darlings No Future.
Together they quickly created a universe of their own and named it GRAVMASKIN, now ready to be set loose on the outside world.
“By definition, Gravmaskin is the dynamic between the three of us,” Lukas says.”No one is replaceable. If one of us dies the band will continue on as a duo. Our sound has developed through trying to make interesting and emotionally charged instrumental music, and right now it really feels like we’re on the right track.”
Successfully forging catchy organ bass rhythms and chord progressions with reverb-drenched guitar layers and freight-train drumming, GRAVMASKIN has caught the attention and praise of hard rockers, post punks and psychedelic freaks alike. Their debut album Vol 1 was recorded in only three days during the summer of 2013 and is released today, 28th October 2014 on CD, LP & Digital formats via Electric Assault Records in the US, Sound Of Cobra Records in Europe and De:Nihil Records in Scandinavia.
And to celebrate it’s official street date, The Sleeping Shaman is honoured to be streaming Vol. 1 in all its cosmic glory, now strap yourself in, press play and let the psyche jams of GRAVMASKIN take you on an ethereal journey through time and space.
Order your copy now, including T-Shirt bundles from the Electric Assault Records webstore in the US, in Europe head to the Sound Of Cobra bandcamp page and for Scandinavia point your browser to the De:Nihil Records webstore.