The renowned LA outfit Graf Orlock, known for their unique brand of “cinemagrind” music, is gearing up to release their final EP, “End Credits,” on June 23rd, 2023, via Vitriol Records. With over a decade of pushing boundaries and creating their signature sound, Graf Orlock has left an indelible mark on the heavy music scene, earning praise from critics and fans alike.
Describing Graf Orlock’s music as a mutation of grindcore, infused with samples and soundtracks from absurd action films, it’s clear that they have carved out their own distinct niche. While others have attempted to emulate their style, Graf Orlock remains the original and one of the most captivating bands in heavy music.
With their ability to craft savage music rooted in various hardcore subgenres while incorporating overblown Hollywood action movie lyrics, resulting in a suitably deranged sound, their unique approach sets Graf Orlock apart and contributes to their immense appeal.
Graf Orlock was formed in the outskirts of Los Angeles in 2003 by Jason Schmidt and Alan Hunter, who aimed to create something that challenged the prevailing melodic metal trends of the time. Inspired by movies, they sought to express their ideas through a medium that confounded listeners. Since then, Graf Orlock has toured extensively, performing in over 40 countries. While the band members have been involved in other notable projects like Ghostlimb, Sweat, Dangers, and Daisy Chain, among others, Graf Orlock has become synonymous with the Vitriol Records roster.
“End Credits,” their forthcoming EP, was recorded live to tape in 2019 and mixed and mastered by the talented Jack Shirley at Atomic Garden Studios in Oakland. Known for his work with acclaimed acts such as Deafheaven, Jerome’s Dream, and Loma Prieta, Shirley brings his expertise to capture Graf Orlock’s intense energy. The EP will be released on June 23rd, featuring die-cut sleeves with burn marks and fire-colored vinyl, adding to the overall visual and auditory experience.
Exploring the theme of the apocalypse, “End Credits” presents a script that has caught on fire, serving as the band’s final offering. Drawing inspiration from films like Snowpiercer, Children of Men, Mad Max, Dredd, and Waterworld, Graf Orlock delves into the dystopian landscape with their characteristic blend of characters and lyrics, representing different perspectives within each script.
In support of “End Credits,” Graf Orlock has a series of upcoming shows, including dates in Los Angeles, NY, and Anaheim. These performances promise to be electrifying, allowing fans to experience the band’s explosive energy and farewell celebration firsthand.
To celebrate this mind-bending release, we have teamed up with the band to give you their top 5 dystopian films reflecting the contemporary malaise.
Prepare to be enthralled by this short, yet truly remarkable lineup of cinematic gems.
Here we go:
Megacity Blues: Dredd (2012)
What a great movie, featuring Karl Urban (of LOTR fame) and representing what appears to be the future of barren wastelands and the hyper centralized cities we will all live in. This was a clear choice for us because of its brutality and grimness in comparison to the Stallone version, but ultimately Dredd, like Robocop, is a cop. Commentary here mostly rests on the critique of the unbridled power of judges in the Prison Industrial Complex that is America. See: Supreme Court. The slow part in the song represents being gacked on Slo-mo.
Dead out of the Sun: Waterworld (1995)
Although much maligned by the academy in its day, this was really ahead of the curve on the whole “global warming putting most of the arable land underwater” concept. Just over the top and really speaks to the whole war for resource acquisition which will soon shift from oil to potable drinking water, I can’t wait! I also back Kevin Costner with gills and recycling urine as drinking water. Classic and unnecessarily aggressive, led to years of people asking what the “Dry Land is a Myth” sticker on my van means.
Those Bastards in the Front Section: Snow Piercer (2013)
Another, more recent dystopian film focusing on climate freeze via the strange concept of an eternally moving train. Lots of violence in this one and with the inability to grow plants anymore, it brings on the obvious theme of cannibalism so prevalent in the hit film “Alive”. Somewhat heavy handed in the class war theme, but striking nonetheless as some asshole that isn’t us just made a billion dollars for breathing or being born. What a universe. These unaddressed feelings can only be discussed over unhinged blast beats.
Unloading an Unwanted Passenger” Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
This film brings us way back in the early Mad Max days (before the fire guitar amp wall), to what appears to have always been a problem in Australia, just surviving. This particular scene is about the idea that there is a promised land somewhere just over the hill. Now that we have drones to confirm or disconfirm that, there is no promised land and it is a just the same wasteland. Anyways, if you condense that feeling into a description of what your children may be facing in the future, Lord Humongous saves them.
In the Court of the Crimson King: Children Of Men (2006)
Referential to, but not a cover of the lengthy King Crimson track, this is Cuaron’s masterpiece about the inability for humanity to procreate. Some would see this as a positive, while others frown on a known human terminus. The concept of the youngest person in the world (27 in the film), being stabbed in a bar fight in Buenos Aires for not signing an autograph seems so meta and bizarre I think it fits right into the world we currently inhabit. At times beautiful and jarring, this is a cinematic reminder perhaps, that our future, while sometimes gorgeous and picturesque, is also haphazardly spattered with blood. Boiled down to an attempt to place symphonic sections over a hardcore track. Good luck!