Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Graves of the Endless Fall

Published February 26, 2004

Heads Up! This article is 18 years old.

Fort Wayne-based Graves of the Endless Fall play a brand of hardcore

metal music that falls somewhere between the death metal licks of

Cannibal Corpse and the punk inklings of Skrape. Thrown into the mix

are hints of poet Dylan Thomas.

After all, the band takes its mouthful of a name from the Thomas

poem, “Vision and Prayer.”

“The name just kind of stuck,” says GravesÇ vocalist John Cheesebrew.

Cheesebrew, Eric Rutkowski, Adam Walker and Eddie Paroczy, all on

guitar and Adam Lewis on drums and Byron Wendling on bass, form the

line-up for the band, which is beginning to make a name for itself in

the local hard music scene.

To help solidify that name, Graves recently put out a demo tape with

six of their original songs. The demon was recorded at a studio owned

by G. Montgomery who plays in the band Fog.

Graves guitarist Walker also plays in Fog. “We trusted his judgment

in recording our music,” Rutkowski said. “In other words, he’s got


The 6-song demo highlights Graves’ heavy, thrashy style. It also

features a reprint of the painting Saint Jerome in his Study

by Caravaggio.

“We appreciate the irony of the elements of death, darkness and

religion that that style of art presents, and how they mix with our

music,” Rutkowski says of the painting, which features a monk

studying a skull.

Another thing that “just kind of stuck” about the band was its

performance of the Johnny Cash tune “The Beast in Me” at a tribute

for the former country music star last fall at the Brass Rail in Fort


“We do the odd Johnny Cash cover at our live shows,” Rutkowski adds.

Fans, he says, continue to request the song.

Graves got together in the fall of 2002 and played their first gig

on New Years Eve of that year. Band members all knew each other and

had played in a variety of local bands before forming Graves,

Cheesebrew says.

Graves, he adds, “formed from the disintegration of those other bands.”

“We’re all really into heavy music,” says Rutkowski. “We all come

from different backgrounds and have played in different bands. We all

bring different threads to the music.”

Lyrically, Cheesebrew says he prefers themes based on “everyday

life” and ideas “that intrigue me.”

Although the band will play “wherever anyone wants us to,” they’ve

become regulars of sorts on the stages at Legends Sports Bar, the

Brass Rail, Columbia Street West and Howard’s in Bowling Green,


Graves got turned on to Howard’s after Jimmy Fredrick, a jockey who

hosts a metal show for WBGU in Bowling Green, discovered the band.

Aside from the demo, Graves have not extensively pursued the idea of

recording music – especially when it comes to record deals.

“We have some interest in it, but it’s not our primary focus,”

Rutkowski says.

He adds that the band has not had any offers from record labels,

which, for the members of Graves of the Endless Fall, at least, isn’t

really a measure of success anyway. “We are at a point now where

people are interested and impressed by what we do,” Rutkowski


In the meantime, the goal of the band continues to be a cross

between something members “have to get up and do” as well as, at

least for Rutkowski, a vent for the frustrations and tribulations of

everyday life.

Graves of the Endless Fall next play on March 6 at the Brass Rail.

They also play at Razors in Fort Wayne on March 25.

To get a copy of the band’s demo CD, contact Rutkowski via e-mail at

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