The Finnish/Greek trio Graven Sin steps into the Meet The Band spotlight this week. They just released their debut album Veil Of The Gods. Guitarist/bassist Ville Pystynen introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Graven Sin.
Ville Pystynen: Graven Sin began as a dream to reach for when I was young and learning to play guitar, first manifesting as a project called Seer Of Curses which fell apart before it even started, more ambitious than my skills were at the time, and finally taken form only a couple of years ago when I made new demo songs and sent them to Nicholas (Leptos, vocals) to consider joining with his talent.
Describe the songwriting process for Veil Of The Gods.
Long and arduous. I had originally written roughly 20 song demos of which we picked the 11 songs on the album from. We wanted as much variation as possible yet to keep it as tight as possible to represent one full vision – epic and heavy.
How did you come to work with producer Bob Katsionis, and how was the experience?
I was looking for a more professional producer and simply sent a few pre-mix songs to a few studios and to my surprise Katsionis practically demanded he be allowed to do the album. Never have I met someone with such enthusiasm and motivation to work on an album and I would say he became like a shadow member of the band for it, culminating in me and him re-writing one of the songs on the go to reach its full potential.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
And that’s it, just exactly how involved Katsionis wanted to be and became to be in producing the album. The song “Wand Of Orcus” would not even be on the album had we not done it all over again, let alone the heavy and epic production of the entire album itself.
What was the biggest challenge in recording it?
Quite simply, one of the challenges was to be able to play everything correctly and challenge my skills both in technical sense and in song writing to make the end result sound like envisioned. I may have been playing guitar since I was 15 but many things on the album, though appearing quite “simple” demanded more practice and new tricks than I expected. The biggest challenge however was a mere technical one, we had recorded demo ideas without a proper click, vocals were accidentally recorded in studio based on the demo versions and it took a bit more effort to mix them all in correct time yet nothing impossible, as can be heard on the album.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
Timeless and epic metal, bowing to all kind of influences as metal should be. Unlimited yet tightly knit with a red thread in the loom.
What inspired the album title?
The album title is directly what the concept within is, a vision through the veil of the gods, or perhaps the opening and rupturing of it, revealing what lies beyond the veil.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
The whole album is a concept work revolving around Chthonic gods of various religions, myths and cultures from all over history. The darker aspect was chosen to fit the darker shade of music written, more occult than just plain metal.
How did you come to sign with Svart Records?
I sent out promo packages to plenty of labels, plenty had the interest yet Svart Records made the best offer.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
To see it out and reach the heart of as many a metal fan as possible. The main attraction may be for fans of epic doom yet there’s far more to it. The real expectation is to be well enough received to be inspired and enthusiastic to write more metal in the future as well.
Do you have plans to play live shows to support the album?
No, we have no lineup for it nor do our current life situations allow each member to dedicate as much time in it as it would require to be possible.
Who are your all time top 5 Finnish metal bands?
Impaled Nazarene, Beherit, Behexen, Warloghe and Sentenced perhaps. I would rather name Zero Nine, Ismo Alanko and Kauko Röyhkä yet none are “metal.”
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Quite the usual: books, movies and videogames. They all tie up with being inspiring one way or another.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Check out our debut album Veil of the Gods!
(interview published November 18, 2023)
Listen To Graven Sin – “Morrigan”