This story is over 5 years old.


PREMIERE: Death Metal Lifers Grave Unwittingly Advocate for Natural Burial in "Plain Pine Box"

Listen to a rumbling new song from the Swedish death metal luminaries's upcoming new album, 'Out of Respect for the Dead.'

Photo by Axel Jusseit

Considering that I spent the last two days at a death positivity conference at Philadelphia's famed Mütter Museum, it feels ridiculously fitting to be sitting here back at work writing about a death metal song called "Plain Pine Box." Amidst the grandeur of its upstairs hall and the morbid offerings of the museum itself, I joined several hundred others to listen to a series of lectures, panels, and Q&A sessions on humanity's relationship with death. Exploding skulls, mass graves, murder ballads, mummy preservation, and skull symmetry all made appearances at this incarnation of Death Salon, a semi-annual conference organized by members of death positivity group The Order of the Good Death.

Despite the macabre subject matter, the mood was pleasant, often joyful; while talking about death is still difficult for many people, for others, exploring the darkest corners of life and what comes after instills a sense of peace, purpose, or wonder. The musical accompaniment at Death Salon was acoustic, but I think it could've benefited from a little death metal—arguably the most mortality-obsessed musical genre going. "Plain Pine Box," the latest tune we're premiering below from Swedish greats Grave, would've made a perfect foil for mortician Caitlin Doughty's remarks about the benefits of natural "green" burial techniques.

Grave probably weren't thinking about sustainable burial options while writing the lyrics to "Plain Pine Box," but it's such a cosmic kind of coincidence that I couldn't resist trying to connect the dots. Listen to the song below, and preorder the band's upcoming album, Out of Respect for the Dead (!) from Century Media here.

Kim Kelly is talking about skulls on Twitter.