For the last decade or so, the Dutch seem to be asserting their dominance when it comes to Black Metal. Quality records in all shades have surfaced and keep coming from acts like: Fluisteraars, Kjeld, Terzij de Horde, Laster, Verwoed, Iskandr, Wesenwille, Dodekahedron, Faceless Entity, Grey Aura, Witchfukker, Ossaert, Witte Wieven, Destructo, Teitan, Wrang, Asagraum, Grafjammer, Asgrauw, Helleruin, Schavot, Meslamtaea, Ornaris and now Grafhond. Their debut mini-album ‘In harmonie met de dood’ (‘In harmony with death’) came out yesterday, and we from Black Metal Promotion put our fingers to the keyboard and mustered up the following questions for the two-man army that is Grafhond. Below you can read their answers.

Graaf Graf and Nachtvorst of Grafhond

When scouring the World Wide Web (apart from the promo) I couldn’t find a whole lot
information about Grafhond (which means Grave Dog, right?). Could you tell us who you
are and when you started? And in addition to that, how and why did you choose the
moniker of Grafhond?

“Hello, we are Graaf Graf and Nachtvorst from Grafhond. Apart from the literal translation of
Grafhond, which reads as “hound from the grave” or “grave dog”, it also is an old Dutch curse word.
This project was formed in 2017 as a way to express our musical interest in black metal the way we
prefer it. It all started out purely for ourselves without the approval or restrictions in the genre. We
worked intensely in our own world on the songs and lyrics and did not concern ourselves with the
outside world.

Somewhere in this process we met up with Kaos from the Dutch black metal band
Asgrauw who runs his own label Void Wanderer Productions. He expressed interest in our music and
wanted to release the record in cooperation with War Productions. In this period we also came in
contact with the Zwotte Kring which is a collective of like-minded individuals, band like Teitan,
Schavot, Meslantaea and Asgrauw, who share a similar interest in expressing themselves through
Black Metal.”

As a duo, who does what during the writing process?

“When Grafhond was formed we were not certain if we would remain a duo. This became clear when
we were working on the songs. Both our main instrument is the guitar. We both come up with the
riffs and song structures and general arrangements. When we decided we would record all the
necessary instruments and vocals ourselves we first started working on drum parts. After this we
wrote and recorded the bass parts and worked on designing the artwork for the vinyl. When all was
recorded we had a clear vision of how we wanted the record to sound but not a clue of how to
accomplish this. We reached out to Andrew van der Schaft who mixed our record. His input in
creating a certain sound was very important for the atmosphere of “In harmonie met de dood”.
The division of roles within Grafhond is not set in stone and can change on our next release. We work
closely together and bring out the best and worst of each other. This friction and energy makes
Grafhond into what it is. A good example for this was when we recorded the vocals. This was an
intense experience where we constantly kept each other focused on delivering a raw and intense
performance from the gut.”

YouTube player
‘In harmonie met de dood’ by Grafhond (Void Wanderer Productions / War Productions, 2023)

Since I do not speak/read Dutch: what is the lyrical content about?

“The lyrics come from focusing on dark emotions and feelings. We both have our share of
darker and troubled periodes in our lives and draw inspiration from this. Some songs deal
with this in a direct manner while others are more cryptical. For example “De Zuivering” is
written with the idea “what if the Plague had a conscience”. “Verwekker” deals with
childhood fears due to an unsafe environment caused by alcohol abuse from a parent. “Gat”
deals with being unable to cope with the realities of life and leaving everything behind while
“Voor galg en rad” is a hateful relief born from a general shared disgust of humanity as a

Are there any plans to bring Grafhond to the stage in the foreseeable future?

We talk about this every now and then. This never was our main focus. A lot of it depends on if we
can find the right individuals for live performances and if there is an interest in seeing us live. As for
now there are no concrete plans but who knows in the future.

I have noticed that Grafhond too is part of ‘Zwotte Kring’: what is the connection
between you and bands like Meslamtaea, Teitan, Schavot & Asgrauw?

“The connection is Black metal. All bands take this seriously, there is not a lot of room for ego’s and
there is a mutual respect. It is nice to see that there are still some Black metal bands who stay true to
an original form of expression and it is less about a certain “act” or copying one and other. A good
example of this is the Void Wanderer Productions sampler which was released just recently. We are
honored to be a part of this.”

Anything else you might want to add/share?

“Grafhond Godverdomme!!!”

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