Mr. Catafalque gets the idea to form a band, after having written a few songs, and he starts to look for bandmates in the early spring of 2003. The first practice session is held in May, by a band with no name and no keyboardist or singer. At this point only two current members play a part, with Mr. Gehenna sitting on the drum throne (the other one naturally being Mr. Catafalque). After a few practice sessions the band’s first bass player is apparently swallowed by the ground, as he manages to completely disappear. Mr. Algor Mortis joins the band as their new bass player a month later. His aptly named brother, Mr. Rigor Mortis, joins the band as keyboardist at about the same time and the band is christened Deathlike Silence. Ms. Maya joins the band in the fall and rehearsals start for the making of a demo.
In March the band loses its other guitarist, as he is forced to quit. A couple of months later, lead guitarist Mr. Cerberus is found lurking in the shadowy corner of a seedy karaoke bar, and he is promptly recruited. Some new songs are written and the demo is finished in the autumn. The band also plays its first gig in a bar called DownTown (R.I.P.) in September.
February sees the start of recording for a promo EP. The band decides that it is best to re-record the material from the demo, plus one song, because of notable improvement in their playing. The EP is finished in April and it is sent to record companies and other such places in the hopes of getting a record contract. The EP is also sold at Deathlike Silence’s gigs. The band slowly starts getting more gigs, and the term gravedigger metal is coined. The EP seems to interest people as the first pressing is sold out in the fall. A new pressing is done, which sports new cover art featuring the band’s new gravedigger logo. Rigor Mortis decides to call it quits in the fall, as does his rather short lived replacement, who ironically is also called Rigor Mortis (fancy the chances of that?). At about the same time Algor Mortis also leaves the band.
The band is lacking a record deal, a bassist and a keyboardist, and things are starting to look grim. A couple of minor labels have made contact, but nothing that appears noteworthy enough. However, giving up is not an option, and the search continues for members to fill up the vacant spots. Finally, in the spring, a new bassist and a keyboardist are found to replace Rigor and Algor who had agreed to perform for the few gigs of springtime and early summer. With the new members aboard, it is decided to release a record through Dethrone Music, a minor label in which Mr. Catafalque is also otherwise involved. The recording process for the debut album is started in May. However, the band is working with a limited budget, and instead of rushing things, it is decided to give the recording process as much time as is needed for achieving the desired results. During this time, gigs are scarce. Nonetheless, the second print of the EP is sold out and the first show with the current line-up is played in early September. During the fall, the focus is set on completing the record, with the intensity and pace increasing towards the end of the year.
The debut album Vigor Mortis is released in February, and surprises many when it enters the Finnish charts at #35. This, along with crossing the mark for 100.000 hits on the website, gives some evidence that there has been interest in the band for some time, and that the success in the charts is not completely random, although it is short-lived. The Finnish radio-station Radio Rock picks up the song – by now the band’s unofficial flagship – Six Feet Under The Ground to be played frequently on the radio. The airtime undoubtedly assists in scoring a number of shows, as well as getting the attention of a surprisingly high number of new fans; something that is proven in August when the mark for 200.000 visitors is passed on the website. In August, Vigor Mortis is also released in Russia, and in the autumn the completely re-worked website is finally launched. As the autumn progresses further, the band is working intensely on new material, as wells as playing shows all over Finland.
The promising start with the debut album gets attention of bigger record labels. In January Deathlike Silence signs contract with Spinefarm Records and continues gigging around Finland. Ms. Erna chooses to quit playing and she moves another side of the country in order to form a family. New material is written for the second album, and the new keyboard player Mr Lethargy is enlisted. Second album recordings starts at summer and making of the record combined to other arrangements keeps the band busy rest of the year.
The second album "Saturday Night Evil" is released in February, and despite the somewhat light promomotion campaign, it hits the album charts position 21. Video is shooted for the album track "The headsman". The band is gigging around the country, but when the album gets only random radio play, if won't take off quite as expected.
The band is taking a break and focusing mainly on their families and that kind of stuff. Mr Ward quits playing in the band. New material is being written along the period.
To be continued…