Finnish heavy rockers Graven Sin just released their new album, "Veil of the Gods", and to celebrate we asked Ville Pystynen to tell us about one of the tracks and he selected "I Am Samael". Here is the story:
The story of Graven Sin begins here, with this song, the first one written when it felt like it was the time to reach for a lifelong dream and make it real. I wanted to combine influences from the past and present, have that heavy and sludgy drive turning into an uplifting epic which was fully reached when Nicholas combined story-telling with the glorious pre-chorus and the chorus itself. The original song started out without the vocal intro that made it whole at production stage, not going straight back to it anytime soon and is also one of the very few songs that we chose not to include a guitar solo.
Biggest merit on the song goes to Nicholas however. His choice and vision to story-telling added so much that the first time I heard a demo version with vocals I was simply blown away, felt the chills and knew right there and then that we were onto something bigger than I had even dreamed of. The lyrical approach was also something very different than what I was working with before, leaning into the occult side of angelic myths and beliefs yet still fully tied to the album concept (Cthonic gods).
The producer Katsionis added a few keyboard elements into the song in studio and presented the vocal intro as something to consider and I honestly had no choice but to give him free hands on however he wanted to shape the outcome. His vision and participation was pivotal and exhilarating to experience - rarely does a producer become like a band member for the duration of his work and I had never witnessed that in the past. Admittedly, in the past I was also stubborn as hell to keep my vision, however streamlined or narrow it may have been. In the end "I Am Samael" represents in perfect balance what Graven Sin is all about - dark and heavy metal, as crushing as epic.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here