Long-running Swedish death metallers GRAVE have parted ways with bassist Tobias Cristiansson and guitarist Mika Lagrén.
Earlier today (Friday, January 5),GRAVE guitarist/vocalist Ola Lindgren released the following statement via social media: “The past months have been quite overwhelming in the GRAVE camp. Two of our long-time members Mika Lagrén and Tobias Cristiansson have jumped ship and are no longer in the band. There is no bad blood between us and we wish them all the luck in their future endeavors. However this puts an enormous strain on the band and it’s hard to see what the future holds and if there even is a future. At this moment nothing is for sure and nothing is taken for granted.
“A decision has been made to halt all live activities for 2024 since there really is no line up which makes necessary preparations impossible.
“The main focus for this year will be to restructure the band if possible and to hopefully write/record and release a long awaited new studio album.”
Tobias said in a separate statement: “I want to inform everyone that I have left GRAVE. After much consideration I felt it was best for me to depart.
“I want to thank the band and the people that we have been working with over the years. I will however continue to play with NECROPHOBIC, DARKENED, IN APHELION and as a session player with other projects. I love to play and I love to be on stage, that’s the most rewarding thing in my life and I never want to give that up and it’s something I want to do as much as I can.
“I joined GRAVE in 2010 and it has been part of my life for the past 13 years. I have been fortunate to meet lots of fantastic people throughout the years and it has brought me to places around the world that I would never have had the chance to see if it wasn’t for GRAVE, for that I am forever grateful.
“I want to express my deepest appreciation to every single person that have bought tickets to any of the hundreds of shows that we have done over the years. I hope to see you all in the future!”
One of the very first Swedish death metal bands alongside NIHILIST, MORBID and TREBLINKA, GRAVE released its first demo in 1986 under the band name CORPSE, before they switched to GRAVE in 1988. GRAVE‘s debut album, “Into The Grave”, arrived in August 1991 through the then-young record label Century Media.
Lindgren told the “Swedish Death Metal” book by Daniel Ekeroth about how GRAVE landed its record deal: “We sent our third demo to just every label there was. A lot of them kept in touch, such as Earache and Peaceville. But Century Media was working faster than any of them, so we just went with them without thinking too much about it. Century Media invited us down to Germany to record that single (‘Tremendous Pain’),and it was only after that we started to discuss a deal. It felt amazing for us to go abroad, so in a way they lured us into their roster! But it turned out well.”
After Century Media and GRAVE parted ways after seven albums with the release of 2006’s “As Rapture Comes”, the band launched two highly acclaimed albums, “Dominium VIII” (2008) and “Burial Ground” (2010) through Regain, before reuniting with Century Media for 2012’s “Endless Procession Of Souls” and 2015’s “Out Of Respect For The Dead”.
In 2019, GRAVE teamed up with Century Media Records to bring back the albums “Dominion VIII” and “Burial Ground” as classy, limited colored and black vinyl editions, hand-numbered digipak CDs limited to 3,000 copies each, and digitally. Remastered in 2019 by Lindgren and mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel of Temple Of Disharmony, these records offer crushing and savage GRAVE tracks that fully live up to the group’s morbid legacy.
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