Graves of the Dark, often shortened to Graves or GOD, are a British metal band from Nottingham, England, formed in 1990 by founding members Gravekeeper (Aaron Morteimer) and Jared N. Hargrove. The band has gone over various line-up changes in its years, although Morteimer and Hargrove have consistently played in the band.
Aaron James Morteimer (born 1974) and Jared North Hargrove (born 1972) met at a metal concert in Nottingham in late 1989, and were instantly drawn together by their love for the music. They began to play together at Morteimer's home, where he drums and Jared played guitars. The two soon realized that the band was getting serious and held auditions for a bassist and additional guitarist. Harold Thompson auditioned for the additional guitar position, and impressed Morteimer and Hargrove with his technical prowess. Bassist Jeff Peters also joined after one audition. Although the band also auditioned for vocalists they felt no one fit their style, and Morteimer decided to take on the role of vocalist, with William Kay becoming the band's drummer in 1991. The band, with Morteimer on drums, however did record a demo before his switch to vocals.
Forged In Abyssal Dark (1991)
The band practiced heavily throughout their early days of formation, and played several minor shows in their first incarnation. By early 1991 the band had come to the attention of Macabre Records, a North England recording company that specialized in extreme metal. Morteimer and Hargrove met with Macabre representative David Karol in August 1991 to organize a record deal, and settle on the band's name. Drummer William Kay initially mentioned "Graves", and this was stretched out to become "Graves of the Dark", although ironically the band are commonly abbreviated as Graves.
The band were signed to Macabre by October 1991, and began recording their first official album in a small studio in Nottingham, under the supervision of producer Martin Lords, who also produced the dramatic soundscapes used in this album and future Graves of the Dark works. Halfway through recording Aaron Morteimer contracted severe throat problems and was unable to perform the demanding vocal tracks for the album. Jeff Peters, who had along with playing bass sang for a few local bands, volunteered to do Morteimer's vocal tracks. He recorded a few of the songs, but Morteimer had recovered by the time it was done and the band decided to have Morteimer re-do the tracks, although the song "Under A Silver Moon" is sung by Jeff Peters. The band released their first album, Forged In Abyssal Dark, on the 28th of November 1991, to general acclaim by several minor metal sources. However in a 2001 interview Morteimer expressed his disliking of the album's mix, calling it murky and distant sounding. Other members of the band have said similarly on numerous occasions.
Black Processions of the Infernal Luciferi (1992-1993)
- Forged In Abyssal Dark (1991)
- Black Processions of the Infernal Luciferi (1993)
- Darkly Through The Veils of Death (1995)
- Diabolus Votum: Blood Red Altars (1997)
- Diabolus Votum II: Psalms of the Red Embrace (1999)
- Spawn of Wretchedness (2001)
- Westward Bound The Plague (2003)
- Heart of Ice (2005)
- Sorrow and A Sin (2007)
- Satanae VIX (2009)
- Queen of the Night (2011)
- Current members
- Gravekeeper (Aaron Morteimer) - vocals, lyrics (1990-present)
- Jared N. Hargrove - lead guitar, backing vocals (1990-present)
- Paul Arteman - rhythm guitar (1993-2000, 2003-present)
- Tomas Undersen - bass (2003-present)
- Eric Norsteim - drums (2008-present)
- Amy Laurel - keyboards, female vocals (2006-present)
- Former members
- Harold Thompson - rhythm gutiar (1991-1993)
- Robert Westwood - rhythm guitar (2000-2003)
- Jeff Peters - bass (1991-2003)
- William Kay - drums (1991-2008)
- Keylah Rose - keyboards (1995-2006)