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Grau - '' Does not confine itself to write one single genre'' Interview

"Abseits des Lichts" (Outside the Light) is the new release from Germany’s Grau. It is modern extreme music that combines black metal with death metal and traces of doom in its uncompromising approach to extreme art. It is an album that reflects the trauma and pain of the psyche. It is an album that has taken a long time to release from their debut Transzendenz.

Kevin (Vocals) ‘’Yes definitely. Our first release dates back to 2017 when we just had the first few songs together. We started out as a three-piece band with just Martin, me and a drummer and played much more straight forward classical death/black stuff. Since then, we had some line up changes and took quite some time to compose the songs that are on the album now but I think it was worth it.

It is a more complex design than your debut “Transzendenz”? was this deliberate or as you grew as musicians and the subjects you choose more intricate?

‘’Yes, the songs are more complex. But we do not aim for complexity or writing long/difficult songs. They just came out that way as they evolved. New musicians brought new influences and everyone in the band contributed to songwriting.

It is also very primal and deals with the primal urges of the psyche?

‘’Concerning the lyrics, yes. We don’t do classical black metal or cliché stuff but try to really put something in there that also fits the music. Take “Fraß” for example. I think you can hear the beast in there that consumes everything and leaves nothing behind.

What are the memories of Erinnerung?

‘’Well, certainly not the good kind of memories. “Erinnerung” deals with someone who is haunted by his past and his memories to the point where he cannot sleep or find any peace at all. His trauma is even transferred to the next generation and will therefore outlive him. In reality, I think that we are very much influenced by our past and by what we experience and we need to overcome bad stuff in order to strive forward.

And is Fiebertraum the nightmarish fever dream?

‘’Yes it is. It also deals with losing oneself to the point where you don’t recognize yourself anymore. The nightmare consumes the mind like the fever consumes the body.

How do you describe modern Black metal? Is it more based on the current and human condition rather than mythological concepts ?

‘’That is a really interesting but also very difficult question. First of all, we don’t claim to be pure black metal. Probably rather black/death with some doom. Personally I think that modern black metal is more open to other genres and does not care so much about looks and image.

Is it a more complex urban feel based on reality? Does this influence your music?

‘’I think we take a lot of influences into our music. Oldschool stuff as well as modern bands and also what we experience ourself. GRAU does not confine itself to write one single genre and trying to sound like any other bands.

Is the genre so big that the term is now an ideal rather than the cliched aesthetic it began as?

‘’That’s probably true. You have so many bands from real old school to very modern stuff with electronics or acoustic guitars and everything else. What defines the genre is probably more of a certain attitude and aesthetic.

‘’Extreme music challenges the listener. It’s nothing that you would play in an elevator or in some quite bar as background sound. For me extreme music is something that you grow into. Most people don’t listen to metal and start out with black metal or grindcore. I’m fascinated by the wide variety of styles and endless ideas behind great songs.

What is next for Grau ?

‘’We will play some gigs in 2024 and are looking to get some more, but we are also writing a new album already.

Top six albums of all time?

Death - Symbolic Marduk - Dark endless Mgła - Exercises in futility Necrophagist - Onset of Putrification Children of Bodom - Follow the Reaper Wolves in the Throne Room – Two Hunters

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