DISSECTION - SWEDEN
Storm Of The Light's Bane - 1995 - Nuclear Blast
Live Legacy - 2003 - Nuclear Blast
Reinkaos - 2006 - Black Horizon
MembersS= Thunder, Outbreak, Satanized, De Infernali, The Black, Rabbit's Carrot, Opthalamia>>JON NODTVEIDT>>De Infernali, The Black, Opthalamia
G= Siren’s Yell, Thunder, Outbreak, Satanized, De Infernali, The Black, Rabbit's Carrot, Opthalamia>>JON NODTVEIDT>>De Infernali, The Black, Opthalamia - John Zwetsloot>>Nifelheim, Cardinal Sin, The Haunted - Satanized, Sacramentum, Decameron>>Johan Norman>>Soulreaper, Trident - Aborym, Bloodline, Spiritual Ceremony>>SET TEITAN [DAVIDE TOTARO]>>Spiritual Ceremony, Vomitain
B= Siren’s Yell>>Peter Palmdahl>>Deathwitch, Runemagick - Sol Negro, Nightrage>>Brice Leclercq>>Maladaptive, Ages, CON
D= Siren’s Yell, Swordmaster>>Ole Ohman>>Opthalamia, Vondur, Deathstars – Nocrofobic, Satanized, Decameron, Swordmaster>>Tobias Kjellgren>>Swordmaster, Soulreaper, Seventh One, Wolf, Sacramentum - Infernal, Dawn, Dark Funeral>>THOMAS ASKLUND>>Dawn, Gorgoroth
HistoryDissection was to Gothenburg what Entombed was to Stockholm. Dissection managed to flawlessly intermix high speed and melodious guitar riffs with neck breaking blackened death metal in a classy and highly influential manner.
Nodtveidt and Palmdahl formed the band in the autumn of 1989. Several members of the formative line-up were in the thrash metal band Siren’s Yell founded in 1988. The same was true of the members’ next band, Rabbit’s Carrot. The band’s first show was opening for Entombed with Mabe Johansson of Siren’s Yell and Rabbits Carrot on second guitar in 1990 and the Grief Prophecy demo appeared very late in 1990. Guitarist Zwetsloot joined in 1991. The same year brought the Into Infinite Obscurity 7" through Corpsegrinder Records. The band appeared on Black Sun's Slayer covers CD with The Antichrist and released an album for No Fashion, which was produced by Edge Of Sanity’s Dan Swano. The band shared a rehearsal space with At The Gates. After two new songs on a WAR sampler, the band appeared on the Death Is Just The Beginning sampler of Nuclear Blast and released Storm... on that label. 1995 brought a European tour with Dismember and 1996 brought a US tour with At The Gates and Morbid Angel. Another Euro-tour with Satyricon followed. Jon and Johan Norman had joined MLO or Misanthropic Luciferian Order. The latter man would depart the fledgling organization, which would mean his departure from the act two years later.
Nodtveidt was a fan of the live arena and against the then trend of shying away from popularity and live shows. The band's career was cut short when singer/guitarist Nodtveidt was arrested and jailed for homicide in the case of a gay Algerian immigrant. A Swedish court sentenced the band leader to eight years in jail on 07.07.1998. Sources claimed Jon was influenced by his friend Vlad who had had run-ins with the law for beating up his girlfriend and that Vlad and Jon had previously threatened All of Abruptum. The victim's name was Josef Ben Maddour. Vlad was a founder of MLO. Jon and Vlad were arrested and eventually confessed to the murder.
In 1997, Necropolis released The Past Is Alive, a collection of older Dissection material and 2001 saw Nuclear Blast collecting material for a live video/CD. After some searching a CD/video was announced for February of 2003. Live Legacy was recorded at Wacken Festival in 1996. Simultaneously, Nodtveidt would announce that upon release from jail he would reform Dissection with former Emperor drummer Faust. Plans called for a new album for 2004. In the summer of 2003 Jon Nödtveidt announced the search for a new bassist and guitarist. The band was expected to enter Abyss Studio in the next winter to begin recording. Instead drummer Bård "Faust" Eithun left Dissection as he was unable to support the band's Satanic ideology as espoused by singer/guitarist Jon Nodveidt! The band's new line-up began playing shows to relative success in late 2004, issued a single called Maha Kali and a video through Escapi. Haakon Forwald of Myrkskog and Disiplin joined the band in the summer. The man promptly quit the band in late 2005. The band was still negotiating a record deal with different labels and quashing rumours of a split up.
To coincide with the release of the Reinkaos album, out May 16th, 2006, the band filmed a unique video for the song Starless Aeon. Singer and guitarist Jon Nödtveidt commented that the band was “shooting scenes backwards, with the band literally having to perform their music and sing the lyrics backwards. The filmed sequences have then ultimately been reversed again, with an original backwards sequence playing forwards in sync with the album version of the song. The visual result appears rather sick and disturbing..." The album was self-released in Europe and licensed by The End Records in America. Jon also announced his intention to not grant interviews to the media. Following the half-hearted response to the band’s reunion album Reinkaos and its inability to obtain a bigger recording deal, Dissection had thrown in the towel. The band’s sole non-American/Swedish show outside Sweden would take place in June in Israel. In a blow to its extended farewell plans though, the shows in Israel were cancelled due to logistical difficulties with the promoter. Predictably, the band’s US shows were also cancelled after Jon was unable to procure a US visa. The band was also the subject of a live record and DVD however. Jon Nödtveidt was found dead on Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 in his apartment in Hässelby a suburb of Stockholm. He was 31 and had committed suicide next to a copy of The Satanic Bible. The presence of the Satanic Bible was later denied. Another source would claim a different book was found next to the corpse.
DISSECTION - THE PAST IS ALIVE - NECROPOLIS
DISSECTION - LIVE LEGACY - NUCLEAR BLAST
DISSECTION - REINKAΩS - THE END
DISSECTION - REBIRTH OF DISSECTION (DVD) - ESCAPI MUSIC
InterviewsWhat happened earlier with death metal has now happened to black metal. Both styles of music went from being the exclusive domain of the few and the privileged to being watered down and commercialized. The music became just another way for the record companies to make cash and for certain bands to live their adolescent fantasies.
Black/death metal flows like rain on a wet autumn day and at the same time everyone claims to be 'true', and 'original', 'into it since day one,' or 'into it despite the trend'. Then you take one look and note that the sum total of these claims is no more or no less than nonsense. As you suspected the majority of the scene is fake. Did any one notice Metal Hammer’s feature visit to Cradle Of Filth 'at home!' where the British Satan worshippers showed off their kitchen sink and bath tub? Black metal, the music that was conceived to worship Satan, is perverted into a trend. Black metal, the music of the individualist, became a mass movement in the art of Halloween/cosmetic application and/or exploration of Norwegian tourist scenery. The point not being that there is anything wrong with any of the above. The point being that when in any given year everyone seems to be doing the same thing and then claims to be doing it out of the blue, based on their own original motions, then you know that you are dealing with no more or no less than trendy fakes. For the music of some bands might satisfy in its “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism,” but then you wonder how genuine it can be if the same band has been endorsed by a multinational guitar company or Quorthon, the founder of Bathory, reminds us that “he will never eat pussy again,” and Venom refuses to reform and play Eindhoven not because “they are Satan’s child, thus defiled,” but because the dough didn’t talk enough. And let us not forget Christian of Burzum who murders the founder of the Norwegian black metal so he can annul his contract with him and sign to Earache!
Yes, in majority black metal has succumbed its purity and been diluted to no end. Which is funny as it was the same phenomenon in the death metal scene, which abetted the resurgence and growth of the second wave of black metal to begin with! Pathetic, is it not?
So what are the true fans to do? The answer lies in discerning the trendy band from the minority who do what they do because of passion and devotion, and not, consciously or subconsciously, due to their environment’s 'requirements.' Fortunately, for us these few latter do and will always exist. Currently, such a band is Dissection. Tomorrow is another story, but today presents this band as leaders of a pack. A pack committed to true death/black metal savagery in a fashion conceived, not adopted, by them.
Ali “The Metallian” was fortunate enough to be able to chat with band spokesman Jon (who also writes for Norway’s Slayer magazine and who once sang for Opthalamia alongside his brother Emil who is also in Swordmaster) to find out more about the Swedish band and their new album Storm Of The Light’s Bane on Nuclear Blast. Read on. - 1996
METALLIAN: Jon, the first question I have for you as the main man of Dissection relates to your strongly anti-Christian views. Simply put, what exactly do you have against Christianity? Why all the hate? What has Christianity perpetrated to you?
JON: It doesn’t necessary have to be about damage to us. We hate Christianity for what it stands for. That’s why so many feel hatred towards Christianity - what it stands for.
METALLIAN: To play the Devil’s advocate for a moment, what does it stand for?
JON: Everybody knows.
METALLIAN: Fine, yet that still does not explain the strength of animosity, which you wage versus this religion. You can just be indifferent.
JON: I understand if you don’t give a shit about it. We on the other hand are personally part of the dark side and Christianity is totally the opposite. That’s why we hate it.
METALLIAN: Interesting as it seems to me that Dissection is one of the originators of the current wave of Swedish black/death, the band having been around this whole decade. Do you feel that as such, you’ve been there and are a strong inspiration to the above-described bands?
JON: You recognize that sometimes. I feel that it’s very good if we have influenced others, but as long as they try to create something of their own.
METALLIAN: Yet sometimes they don’t.
JON: Yes. Then it’s not so good.
METALLIAN: Being acquainted with Dissection through their debut album The Somberlain on No Fashion Records and being duly impressed I have been catching glimpses of the band’s influence on the scene ever since. Prime example, Emperor, whose album seemed to follow The Somberlain without shame. Case in point being the choice of the same cover artist, the choice of the photo of a mystic scenery in black and white in the centre of the CD booklet, the dedication of the album to Euronymous, not to mention the placing of the individual band photos in frames, et cetra. The only thing Emperor could not duplicate was the music.
JON: I didn’t think so much about it (the Norwegians’ album) actually. I think it’s not totally like that, but yes you can find some similarities!
METALLIAN: Since we are on the subject I can’t resist asking the guitarist what his perspective on the current black/death scene is. Turns out we agree on quite a lot.
JON: We are in the middle of it, since it is the trend of the day and we are a band that is playing today. It seems to me there isn’t so much interesting new black metal around. I prefer the '80s black metal like Bathory and Venom-even Possessed and Morbid Angel.
METALLIAN: So do you consider yourself black metal?
JON: We are that because we play Satanic music. But the thing is that we try to do our own thing and try to develop the style that we have and try to keep a personal attitude. I don’t find any meaning in listening to all the bands that sound the same. The same goes for all the death that was released. All the bands sounding the same singing about fucking corpses. The bands I listen to are the ones that have something original to offer.
METALLIAN: Then how did you come up with your sound and who were your influences?
JON: We are influenced by all death metal, mixing old influences from heavy metal and death metal with some classical music. Classical music is very inspiring if you listen to it, but my favourite music is death metal and heavy metal in general. But we bring lots of feeling and atmosphere to our sound. I mean when we bring harmonies and such we do it to add a very gloomy atmosphere not to make it sound wimpy. There are a lot of death/black metal bands starting here in Sweden, which use melody. They end us sounding wimpy because they use 'happy' sounding melodies. Like In Flames, they have misunderstood the whole concept. Then a lot of people compare us to those bands. But it’s not the same thing.
METALLIAN: I concur that most melodic/harmonic bands today are much happier sounding than Dissection.
JON: Perhaps they are happier people. I guess your personality is reflected in the music you write.
METALLIAN: Picking up the topic of conversation I move it and place it next to the question of Dissection’s new label, Germany’s Nuclear Blast. Knowing that the label has no inclination towards Satanism at all, and quite in the contrary is Christian-rooted, I wonder what Jon believes is the justification for being on the label. Predictably his initial reaction is to refute the notion that his satanic band associates with a Christian label.
JON: The fact is that we did not know those facts when we signed to the label. I don’t really know now either if that’s true (about Nuclear Blast). I haven’t asked them, but it’s not a Christian label, because they release Satanic music. They are not acting very Christian are they? (Anyway) isn’t it a very evil thing to make Christians release Satanic music.
METALLIAN: Sure, except if as a result they gain financially. That is a fact, but one towards which I can remain indifferent.
JON: Perhaps one of the guys working there is a Christian. The thing is that personal beliefs don’t mean much. All we care about is a good deal with a good record company. When we signed to them what we knew was that they have released Mortification albums which we thought was ridiculous. But we believe a band like that shouldn’t ruin a deal for us. Christians are there to be confronted and we do that. It is also obvious that the label has released bands like Sinister and Hypocrisy in the past and now they are releasing us. We have only been supported. OK I don’t like Christian music on the same label, but we don’t have the opportunity to pick and choose between all the labels in the world. So we have to take the offer that’s the best for us in order to reach as many people as possible. We get our message through, be it Christians are involved. We get our music through even though I personally hate Christians and Christian bands.
METALLIAN: Personally I would gladly listen to white metal were the music good. But their music more often than not is below par! To which Jon proposes his own theory.
JON: They can’t do real death metal because they are Christians and therefore they haven’t understood the real essence of pure death metal - what death metal stands for. If a Christian band calls itself death metal, they are totally wrong because death metal can’t be Christian.
METALLIAN: I agree totally in the sense that so many bands nowadays get labelled black metal, just because of their music while they don’t sing the praises of Satan. There is no black metal music per se, it’s the lyrics that determine that.
JON: Yeah, those bands singing Norwegian weather reports, but it’s not black metal or death metal! Death metal should sing the praises of death, evil and darkness. That goes for black metal too!
METALLIAN: Before we proceed there’s something that I’ve wanted clarified ever since I got 1993’s The Somberlain. What is said in the intro?
JON: It’s a backward message, which says, ”˜Frost is spreading across the plain to welcome the eternal night.’
METALLIAN: Aside from your debut album another place I heard the band was recently on the W.A.R sampler and earlier on the Deaf Metal sampler where your song’s title was cut!
JON: Yes, somehow 'In the Cold Winds Of Nowhere' became 'Cold Winds.' I don’t know why!
METALLIAN: And to answer my next question regarding whether Deaf Records ever wanted to sign the band...
JON: They had shown interest in us before, but we were already signed. Additionally, we had offers from Earache right after we signed to Nuclear Blast and also Cacophonous and Moon Fog Productions offered us a deal, and No Fashion wanted us again.
METALLIAN: In other lines of questioning, I inquire if the Swedes knew that there were at least two other Dissection’s before or concurrently with them. Turns out the answer is affirmative.
JON: One from Canada? Yes, we heard they split up. No one knows them here. The other one started after us.
METALLIAN: From external questions to internal ones, between the debut album and the current one you lost the services of guitarist John Zwetsloot. Why I ask did that come about.
JON: He lost the ambition to play in a band. That made us upset because he wouldn’t show up to rehearsals and he delayed the song-writing process. We asked him to leave in the summer of 1994 and asked an old friend called Johan Norman to become the new guitarist. He was in several bands before like Decameron, and I played in a black metal band with him called Satanized.
METALLIAN: Interesting trivia there, but one thing occurs to me as odd is the fact that if John has lost his ambitions, et cetra. why is he now in W.A.R’s Cardinal Sin? But all the trivia aside I am glad that your sophomore album upholds the standards established by your debut, which is a thing not often the case. Furthermore, this band has not yielded to today’s fad of keyboards, organs and banjos or whatever. Seems Jon is as adamant on that point as I.
JON: Yes, we improved on all those points, in speed, melody, technique, et cetra. We try to build a very dark atmosphere and the melodies add to that. When it’s brutal and infernal music mixed with wicked harmonies then it adds a lot of feeling. The thing is keyboards are no instrument to be used in metal. Metal has nothing to do with wimpy, soft music instruments. That’s why we don’t use keyboards because it’s wimp music’s instrument. Keyboards are no heavy metal instrument, no death metal instrument, no black metal instrument. This is metal and we don’t need keyboards to bring feeling or moods because if you can play the guitar well and have imagination then you can bring out those feelings and atmosphere better with guitars.
METALLIAN: Funny your saying that as it was what I was going to mention next. That is exactly what Dissection excels at, isn’t it?
JON: Yes, keyboards and so on only make the music softer. We don’t want to be soft. If we wanted to be soft we would play another style of music. We don’t have anything against slowing down a bit and we don’t have anything against melody, but keyboards make the whole sound so soft. That’s the thing I dislike with all the new black metal bands. Some base their music on the keyboards instead of playing their guitars. It’s sometimes because they play uninteresting music and they have to use keyboards to make their music atmospheric. I can listen to synth music, but not in metal. I don’t mean shit like Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk or shit, but dark music like horror sound tracks. But please don’t mix it up with metal!
METALLIAN: Exploring the Storm Of The Light’s Bane (an album about the end of light and the apocalypse) further, one point that hit me, especially because I heard it at the same time as the latest At The Gates album, is the sound, which is not the best. Any comments?
JON: Well, it could have been better, but we are satisfied. We only had two weeks in the studio. At The Gates had two months in the studio. It’s a case of how much money you can spend buying amplifiers and instruments. The result is not bad but, of course, it could be better. We will always try to get a better sound, but the music is the most important thing.
Jon cares. He would call back moments after the end of the telephone conversation to mention how the missing bass sound, which we had discussed as part of the album’s sound, is due to its distorted nature. Not that his passion was missing from the conversation, but his thought just added additional corroboration of the man’s heart for his music.
This interview initially appeared in Pit Magazine No. 16.
If you enjoyed this, read Deranged