In Svbterranean’s Album Dissections, artists break down the construction and/or lyrical themes of their records track by track.
Grindcore/death metal/math metal hybrids Graven have officially released their new EP, Heirs of Discord, via Negative Grade Records. With former members of Swarm of the Lotus and Burnt By the Sun at the helm, listeners should expect the most intense, cerebral beatings imaginable. To celebrate the release, we invite the members of Graven to participate in our Album Dissections column. Continue reading to see what each member had to say about the creation of Heirs of Discord track-by-track.
Peter Maturi (guitar, vocals):
I can’t speak for all of the other members but for me personally, Heirs Of Discord is in my opinion, a crowning achievement. As a musician, guitar player/song-writer and vocalist, I think it represents thus far the best examples of all of those things for me in my 20 year career. If you liked any of the SOTL material and are a fan and have followed us all this way along with the beginnings of Graven till now, I think it’s the best representation of our crazy, hybrid style to date. Whatever you wanna call it, in my opinion, this is the best of that hahaha. I think stylistically we’ve matured and pushed things in all different directions and amped up the extreme. Complete with Mana Recordings production and Alan Douches mastering, I could not be more pleased with how everything turned out. I love it. It’s a deeply personal and dark record. I’ve always used music as an outlet to exorcise my personal demons and this album is no different. I’m proud of all of us for coming together and making this gargantuan, chaotic, stress inducing project work. It’s aptly named, considering all the difficulty and adversity we had to overcome to even see it thru to the finish line. But as they say, nothing worth doing is ever easy and it shouldn’t be. This album pushed us in every way imaginable. I can only hope that others will join us for the wild ride that it is and enjoy what we have to offer on this outing.
Teddy Patterson (bass):
This project has been a long time coming, ever since SOTL & BBTS use to play together. We have always wanted to do something, funny how it took around 10 years to finally do it!
Working with Pete and everyone was just as crazy as you would imagine, there are all those little twists and turns in the riff, that unless you are actually playing it, you could miss, but that’s the stuff great songs are made of.
Getting to revisit “Human” with Chris grinding it out and with Pete’s vision, puts a whole new twist and perspective on a song that’s always been a blast to play!
I’m excited that after all this time, SOTL & BBTS finally have the chance to collaborate and do something we all wanted to do in the past
Chris Csar (drums):
A FAILED MASK: I love this song. Packed full of high energy, a short ripper that gets right to the point and ends with a nice doomy breakdown.
I DREAMT YOU WERE DEAD: Another great song with twists and turns all over the place. This really put my legs to the test with the double bass in some riffs. I remember really wanting to get those parts out of the way first because I knew what was ahead of me, blast wise. I love how this song is such a departure from our older stuff.
TO RAVAGE AND ABSOLVE: When Pete originally played me this song years ago I immediately loved it because the opening riff had Burnt By the Sun, one of our favorite bands, written all over it. But in Pete fashion, he takes it to a whole other level making it one of my favorite Graven songs to play. Definitely a crusher.
THIEVES OF ROTTED ILK: This is a super old Graven song from many years ago. I remember practicing back in the day thinking how I couldn’t wait to hear how this would sound recorded. From a drum stand point it was much different having to hold back my playing and let the song breathe more to give it a more dark and doomy feel. It adds a nice break in the craziness of this album but still keeps the flame burning. It was really fun song to record and collaborate on. A lot of thought went into this one over the years as it matured into the song it is today.
BACKWARDS TO OBLIVION: This was by far my favorite song on the album and the hardest song for me to record. It was the last one I recorded in the studio. I not only had the pressure of nailing all the riffs but our studio time was coming to a close and only had a few hours left to knock it out before packing up and flying back home. I was probably three energy drinks deep and Pete was in the studio acting as conductor to make sure my timing was on point and we were 100% good with each take. It was a huge help to make the most of our time that was running out. We were all business at that point. We also changed quite a few riffs and added new parts the day of recording too which kind of freaked me out at first but listening now I have no regrets. It was all worth it. The last part of this song is my absolute favorite Graven riff of all time. I remember hearing it without drums when Pete first emailed it to me and the hair on my arms stood up. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
HUMAN: When I first heard Human Remains I was a little late to the party. I couldn’t believe these guys were playing at that level of metal musicianship for the time it came out. I kept thinking, “how did this not blow up to be a huge band?!” Maybe it was because they were ahead of their time or people just weren’t as open to progressive extreme metal as they are today. When I heard the song Human I immediately laughed at how cool the opening riffs were and thought it would be an awesome song to cover if we could pull it off. Dave Witte is one of my favorite drummers, Teddy just joined us, and the other guys were in so I figured why not? We all learned our parts separately and never played it together as a band once. I recorded it at Audioconfusion in Mesa AZ after recording the rest of the songs in FL. I asked the engineer to pull the song up on Spotify but he didn’t have an account so we pulled the audio off of YouTube and I just played along with it, in my headphones. Not only was it strange to record like that but none of the rest of the band were there to give their opinion on my takes. In the end I think it turned out great and I enjoyed every second of it.
Jason Borowy (vocals):
A Failed Mask-
A Failed Mask is about the sadness of existence inside the mind of an addict. The things we become in order to attain certain outcomes, become blurred to where we ourselves no longer realize what is real or fiction. We seek only to be numb and detach. We are willing to destroy everything in our attempt to seek that first time.
I Dreamt You Were Dead-
I wrote this as a way to say goodbye to a extremely toxic friendship I had for a large part of my life. A way to finally move on. It’s a pure hate song as much as it is a farewell. It’s always a little more meaningful for me to have a singular focus when I write.
To Ravage And Absolve-
It’s written from the eyes of “a man of god”. Trekking through the inexcusable nature of his own sins while taking pleasure in his “right” of power. It’s a far too frequent occurrence that continues to repeat itself.
Thieves Of Rotted Ilk-
This song was originally about the Burr Oak Scandal where workers dug up roughly 200 graves only to bury them into mass graves. They then resold the plots from where the bodies were once buried. The song morphed into this ode into burial rights and our views on death.
Backwards To Oblivion-
I seem to have a “wheelhouse” of topics I enjoy writing about or pulling ideas from, i.e., drugs, sex, religion, relationships and hate. This song was written to remind myself of past relationships that have made me stagnant in my life. Instead of growing and moving forward I more often than not was moving backwards.
This entire process of writing and recording this album lent itself to how we arrived at the title Heirs Of Discord. It was a struggle every step of the way. It seemed liked everything was against us. Members being scattered across 4 states, 4 different studios utilized, and many miles traveled to get this done. Through it all I think it fueled the aggression and the overall way the whole album sounds. It’s a dirty, angry, honest, and personal album. I think if we didn’t live in that chaos and anguish the album wouldn’t be what it is.