Behind The Tracks: Gravethorn - Creeping Death (Metallica Cover)

Gravethorn has just released a Black Metal cover version of Creeping Death by Metallica, and the Metal world is abuzz! Gravethorn, a rising force in the extreme metal genre, has just released a web-only single, and it is a ferocious cover of the Metallica classic, Creeping Death, off of their Ride the Lightning album that was released nearly 40 years ago. The reception has been overall positive, and in an era of remakes, whether it’s classic movies or metal songs, it’s leaving metalheads worldwide wondering, why are there not more covers of classic metal by newer metal bands.

When asked about the topic, Gravethorn frontman Krystof was more than willing to share his opinion on the matter.

1. What made you want to cover a Metallica Song?

"I feel like I owe it to Metallica to express my gratitude for their musical accomplishments and contributions throughout their career. I remember in the 80s, I liked the song Creeping Death so much, that I named my first car after it, It just seemed right since the car was a '73 Pontiac Lemans with a cammed 455 out of a '69 GTO, it was certainly a monster, and since I liked Creeping Death just as much as the Pontiac, it just seemed to fit. Not too long ago, I was listening to Creeping Death by myself without distractions around me and it really took me back to an amazing time in my life when I had a lot of fun with little responsibilities, an adult by law but still a kid when you think about it, and I just felt this urge to pay homage to them and thank them for being there in a very important time in my life. This was also right around a time when I realized I fit in with a small percentage of society, and sometimes that would get depressing, but bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Overkill, Sepultura, Powermad, Ozzy, LA Guns, old GNR, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, they were always there for me."

2. Cover songs are nothing new, but why do you suppose there are not as many covers of classic 80s metal songs by newer artists?

"I honestly don't know the answer to that one, That's a great question. There are certainly some great covers out there, but I'm surprised there aren't more, the way Classic Rock bands of the 60s used to play a lot of blues songs. The 80s were such a great era in music, I have to keep in mind, that classic metal goes back many years, and many of the current metal bands out now were inspired and influenced by bands that came after that classic era, They might just not be into the older stuff- even pre-80s material the way people in my age group are. Maybe there's an imaginary cutoff year? (laughter) To me, it's crazy how many people have never heard of Rainbow or the older Scorpion stuff, like Lonesome Crow. It's a shame because it's so good! But speaking of Metallica for instance, there's still a bunch of younger people that are not very familiar with the pre-black album material, and when they hear it, they're blown away. You can't blame them if they weren't exposed to it after all, and there's so much accessibility to music now, it's easy to skip over some stuff that are truly cornerstones of Metal. That (old Metallica) stuff still holds up even now, 30-40 years later! Hopefully what I'm doing is the latest attempt to expose people to some really amazing music that they haven't previously been exposed to. But I also have to remind myself that it's not just a time or an era thing. A lot of people I'm referring to are very familiar with the Ozzy era of Black Sabbath, but not very familiar with the other eras like Ronnie James Dio or Ian Gillan. I can honestly say, that the Dio era of Sabbath is equally important to me as the Ozzy era, but naturally, not everyone is going to have that opinion, and that's fine too. I just like to see good music get its recognition."

3. Will you consider doing other cover songs in the future?

"Absolutely, as long as the ideas to do it in the Gravethorn style are flowing, and people are still receptive to it, I'm absolutely all for covering songs that helped bring me to where I am today."

4. What other songs would you consider?

"I really wanted to do Stargazer, by Rainbow, and I actually started it a while ago. I even talked to Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt) about possibly collaborating on it, he has such a great voice, but I procrastinated on it, and a really amazing band called Embers Ignite just released one recently, and it's really, REALLY awesome, so I kinda scrapped my plans on that. I like to really dig deep on stuff like that, and do variations of songs that are not Black Metal at all, but have the same attitude and mindset. There's a song by the Doors that I'm thinking of toying with, I have some ideas for it, I just hope I don't disappoint Robbie (Krieger) and John (Densmore); they would have to give it their thumbs up on it for sure for it to matter. Jim (Morrison) and Ray (Manzarek) have obviously passed on, so I'd rely on the surviving members for a hopeful nod. I met Robbie years ago in Vegas, he was such a cool and laid-back guy, I hope he doesn't hate a black metal version of it, hahaha."

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