Grave Domain’s Horror-Themed Self-Titled Debut Emerged From Lo-Fi Heavy Metal Demos

[Cover photo of Shel Plock by MJ Wojewodzki (2023)]

Grave Domain, a heavy music project by Shel Plock, recently released its debut self-titled album. Plock describes its sound as “lo-fi Heavy Metal and gothic-tinged Hard Rock”. Plock previously performed with The Violencestring.

Something of a concept album, which is available digitally and on limited edition cassette, the new collection introduces a “host of characters” with a prevailing horror theme, track by track.

As the artist explains:

On the first track, the ghosts hunt the ghost hunters. While on the second, an obituary turns out to be a bit too familiar. Psychopomps reign over the middle of the album, offering guidance along the way to the unknown. The penultimate song is a cover of an anthem of reincarnation by Demon — a band with roots in the NWOBHM. And the closing song brings it all together, reminding the listener that the time we have is not much, but it’s all we’ve got.

The album was originally a series of demos that were meant to stay demos used to recruit a touring band or as a launch pad for a later album. Plock says: “It was recorded in rather austere conditions and the working status of much of the gear was vaguely tenable at best.”

Even though the tracks had “blemishes and glitches”, the “energy” he found there caught Plock’s attention. He reduced the tracks from 15 to 7, cleaned the tracks up a bit, and mastered it like “an old Hard Rock album” to release it.

Grave Domain leans into its influences as a “pastiche of heavy metal, hard rock, and gothic influences derived from music, comic books, and horror novels alike, stitched together like some Frankenstein’s monster with a taste for the anthemic.”

Plock previously helped start a Punk label called AmBiguous City Records and put out homemade cassettes. He was also part of the Red Room Collective and helped with the High Zero Festival.