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Deeper Graves - Open Roads

Handing over the mic to artists/musicians who break down their new albums track by track/share the thought process behind the creation. Today we’ll hear from Jeff Wilson (ex-Nachmystium / Chrome Waves) whose new solo project Deeper Graves was heavily influenced by the likes Joy Division, Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy. 

Open Roads arrives on July 3rd via Disorder Recordings and features guest appearances by Bruce Lamont (Brain Tentacles / Yakuza),  Darja Vaarsi (California Widow) and Chris Brown (Kakophonix). 

Unleashing a big glob of darkness, Alternative/Gothic/Post-Punk one-man unit Deeper Graves delivers their debut release “Open Roads”. From the mind of Jeff Wilson (Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium), this release features nearly 40 minutes of superbly atmospheric and depressive music. While not really ‘traditional’ Metal, this album is still heavy in atmosphere and very enigmatic. For fans of Katatonia, Nick Cave, Sisters of Mercy, and Kayo Dot. – Infernal Masquerade

Don’t forget to browse our archives for even more track by track album breakdowns…


Final Divide

Bruce Lamont – Vocal / Chris – Cello / Jeff – Everything Else

This song probably doesn’t work well for most as an opener, but I kept the original track list because my gut feeling is usually right. This song was technically one of the first tracks written for a Chrome Waves album with the old lineup in mind. Funny how things change. All of these songs are based on a single part that underlies each composition with add-ons to separate the verse/chorus/etc. The Ice Bell sounding synth tone and guitar lead in the intro really give it a Cure, Wish-era vibe. Bruce really knocked the vocals out of the park on this one and the cellos at the end are a total bummer in the best way possible.


Leave This World

Chris – Cello / Jeff – Everything else

Pretty sure what I was going for in the beginning of this one with the clean guitar was that 12 string Death In June sort of sound. It totally didn’t work out that way, but the end result with the synth pad/strings a lot with the galloping drums is something I haven’t really done before. I totally can’t remember what the lyrics are here, but it’s the most content I’ve ever come up with in one sitting. The fuzzy lead tone shows its face for the first time and is repeated throughout a few of the songs. I would have to say there was a lot of Miller Lite and vodka involved to get up my nerve trying to sing the end. I turned out surprisingly well with a double and something I’ll probably do more of in the future.


Ode To War

Bruce – Vocals / Jeff – Everything else

This was also more likely written for Chrome Waves as it’s got that poppier, simple structured Nachtmystium vibe. Every album needs something a little more upbeat if the rest of the album is moderately sleepy. Or boring as some of you might want to call it. Your typical single string run starts it off ala Katatonia, quiet in the verse, loud in the chorus ala Nirvana/Pixies, Killing Joke undertones. Bruce really killed it again on the hook for this one. The chorus got stuck in my head for a while when I finished this one. Additional guitars added that weren’t on my original demo, song needed some more beef to it. End result is probably something like that awful 90s guitar driven industrial shit that I don’t like, but I guess it works here.


Open Arms

Chris – Cello / Jeff – Everything else

This was the first song that made me think this wasn’t going to be just another band thing. Couldn’t really determine where it was going to go or what kind of vocal would work on it, so it was thrown into a pile. Really like the verbed out clean part that starts. Ebow intro was added last minute. That fuzzy guy shows his face again because I like the idea of repeating tones or general ideas/moods a couple times on a record so you recall something from before, even if I’m the only one that does. 22-year-old kids that don’t play shit, typically say shit like, “it sounds too much like that other part,” but that’s the point. Again, I’m terrible at lyrics so there are only vocals at the end. Chris nails the cellos on this one.


Last Transmission

Darja – Vocal / Jeff – Everything else

I’ve known Darja for a few years. Recently had her do a guest spot on an unreleased song and figured I’d let her take the reins on a new one as this album needed one more. It took me a few listens to wrap my head around the verse vocal, but I came around and dig it quite a bit now. The distortion kind of takes the edge off and places it in the realm of the other tracks. Another excellent chorus vocal by the contributors who aren’t me. Discovered a piano patch not too long ago that’s used on the Joy Division cover I did recently and it’s here as well. Favorite plugin that will remain unnamed on the tremolo guitar at the end. Will probably write more in this style on future recordings.


In Memoriam

Chris – Cello / Jeff – Everything else

Most of the tracks I end records with are a total buzzkill so I figured I would change it up on this one. This song sort of has an uplifting feeling underneath the downtuned wash of guitars and bass. A sunrise instead of a sunset if you will. The rhythm tones on this one kind of remind me of that Muff sound that you used to hear on Hum/Smashing Pumpkins records. Piano overdub at the end is probably my favorite part of the song. Not much to write about this one other than it was a different kind of closer for me and that’s what I was going for.


Additional Credits

Jeffrey Beaulieu – Photography

Jeff Wilson – Layout, Production, Mixing, Mastering

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