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|Genres||Viking metal, black metal|
|Members||Robert "Rob Darken" Fudali|
|Past members||Maciej "Capricornus" Dąbrowski
Grzegorz "Karcharoth" Jurgielewicz
Graveland are an originally black metal, Polish band which was formed in 1992 by Rob Darken (born Robert Fudali). The lyrics of Graveland are strongly Viking metal—inspired by nature, darkness, battles/war, Paganism, Celtic beliefs, Norse mythology, and Slavic mythology.
Darken, who started Graveland as a solo project in 1992, was influenced by bands such as Bathory and Emperor. He recorded the first demos, Necromanteion and Drunemeton, working alone. In 1993, drummer Maciej "Capricornus" Dąbrowski joined the band, which then recorded In the Glare of Burning Churches. In 1994 the two were joined by Grzegorz "Karcharoth" Jurgielewicz (previously of Infernum) and recorded The Celtic Winter, which was released as an EP by the German label No Colours Records. No Colours currently releases the band's new albums.
First albums and racist tirades
A few months later, the band's first album, Carpathian Wolves (recorded at the Radio PRO-FM Studio, Opole, Apr 26-May 2, 1994), was released by Eternal Devils Records. With Carpathian Wolves, the band drew the attention of several bigger metal labels and was eventually signed by the Austrian Lethal Records label, which released Thousand Swords. This album was recorded in December 1994 at Tuba Studio, Wrocław, "in the days of eternal winter & frozen night of full moon, at the gates of a new era". The Lethal Records release showed a progression in Graveland's sound from raw black metal to black metal with folk and Viking metal influence to it. The album is considered to be the band's best release by many fans and a classic in the black metal scene. After reportedly making several racist statements, the band was dropped by Lethal. Darken then founded his own label, Isengard (later Eastclan), and re-released an extended Thousand Swords on cassette. The album's booklet contains statements against Lethal Records and two other bigger metal labels, Osmose and Nuclear Blast. All three are dismissed as part of a "Jewish business conspiracy". In 1999, the album was re-released, again, by No Colours with another different album cover. In 2001, it was re-released for a second time by No Colours on CD and vinyl. The CD version had the logo in red and the vinyl version had a red logo. The CD and vinyl versions had different covers from each other.
Move towards folk
The band's third full-length album, Following the Voice of Blood, was recorded September 25, 1996 - December 18, 1996 and released in 1997 via No Colours. With the 1998 album, Immortal Pride (strongly influenced by the movie soundtrack of Conan the Barbarian), the band took on a folk style, while moving more into Viking metal. Its sound became more epic, symphonic, and added more keyboards and chorales. The songs also became much longer. (For instance, Immortal Pride consists of four songs: two of them being the intro and outro; and the other ones being 24 and 17 minutes long.)
In September 2008, four Graveland releases were indexed by the German Federal Authority for Publications unsafe for the Youth (or BJM). Then, in December 2010, the BJM applied to have the Dawn of Iron Blades album banned.
Graveland are extremely popular among National Socialist black metal (NSBM) fans and generally seen as a National Socialist band. Darken rejects this label, however, and told Decibel magazine: "I do not think Graveland is an NSBM band. Graveland is regarded as a NSBM band because of my political convictions, [which] most people would call extreme right-wing, National Socialist convictions."
- Studio albums
- Carpathian Wolves (1994) - CD, MC
- Thousand Swords (1995) - CD
- Following the Voice of Blood (1997) - CD
- Immortal Pride (1998) - CD
- Creed of Iron / Prawo Stali (2000, released in English and Polish versions)
- Memory and Destiny (2002) - A5 digipak CD, CD, LP
- The Fire of Awakening (2003) - A5 digipak CD, CD, LP
- Dawn of Iron Blades (2004) - A5 digipak CD, CD, LP
- Fire Chariot of Destruction (2005) - A5 digipak CD, CD, DLP
- Will Stronger Than Death (2007) - A5 digipak CD, CD, LP
- Spears of Heaven (2009) - A5 digipak CD, CD
- Thunderbolts of the Gods - (2013)
- Demos and promo tapes
- Necromanteion (1992)
- Promo June '92 (1992)
- Drunemeton (1992)
- Epilogue (1993)
- In the Glare of Burning Churches (1993)
- The Celtic Winter (1993)
- Following the Voice of Blood (1997, contains two tracks, one is an early discarded mix, the second is from the approved mix)
- EPs and splits
- The Celtic Winter (1994) - CD
- Impaler's Wolves (1999) - CD
- Raiders of Revenge (2000, split EP with Honor) - DIGI-PACK
- Raise Your Sword! (2001) - CD
- Blood of Heroes (2002) - EP
- Eastern Hammer (2007, split EP with Nokturnal Mortum, North and Temnozor) - CD
- Wotan Mit Mir (2008) - EP, MLP
- Cold Winter Blades (2010) - Mini CD
- Tribute to the King of Aquilonia (2010) - EP 7"
- Ogień Wilczych Serc (Fire of Wolfish Hearts) - (2012, split EP with Biały Viteź)
- Current members
- Robert "Rob Darken" Fudali - vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, bass, drums, synthesizers (1992–present)
- Former members
- Maciej "Capricornus" Dąbrowski - drums (1992–1999)
- Grzegorz "Karcharoth" Jurgielewicz - bass (1992–1995)
- Graveland Interview in Pit magazine, accessed on 10 February 2013.
- Graveland Biography, Music Might online, accessed on 30 January 2013.
- Graveland: Thousand Swords, Lethal Records 1995.
- Dornbusch, Christian; Killguss, Hans-Peter (2005). Unheilige Allianzen. Black Metal zwischen Satanismus, Heidentum und Neonazismus (in German) (1st ed.). Münster: Unrast Verlag. p. 243. ISBN 3-89771-817-0.
- Even so, the Graveland song "Born for War" was released on Nuclear Blast's Soundcheck Series – Volume 2 in 1995.
- May 2006 Features, Decibel Magazine on-line, accessed on 22 September 2008.