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SWEDEN, Strömstad

Date Formed 1989
Date Disbanded 15/Aug/2006

Categories: Black Metal, Death Metal

DISSECTION

Last Known Lineup

Past Members

Live Session Members

Studio Session Members

Biography

If ever a band deserved the description "blackened death", it would be Strömstad's Satanic masters DISSECTION. This truly blasphemous band, self-described as the sonic propaganda unit of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order, date back to a formation in 1989, instigated by vocalist / guitarist Jon Nödveidt and bassist Peter Palmdahl. Previous to DISSECTION. Nödtveidt, Palmdahl and drummer Ole Öhman had operated with Thrash Metal band SIREN'S YELL, releasing a 1988 demo comprising the songs 'Dawn Of The Dead', 'The Final War' and 'Show No Mercy'.

DISSECTION's first offering was the rehearsal demo 'Severing Into Shreds', these tracks cut in April 1990. Their live entrance was made that October, acting as support to ENTOMBED. For their next try out, 'The Grief Prophecy', three tracks recorded on December 14th 1990, the band having been temporarily boosted to a quartet with the introduction of rhythm guitarist 'Mäbe' (a.k.a. Mattias Johansson), another erstwhile SIREN'S YELL member at the time employed with NOSFERATU. The cassette was to sport artwork from respected scene figure 'Necrolord' (Kristian Wåhlin), the first design which in turn led to the artist's work appearing on all DISSECTION product bar one. Notably the artwork for a second, April 1991, edition of this tape was rendered by 'Dead' (a.k.a. Per Yngve Ohlin), the late MORBID and MAYHEM frontman.

The group structure had altered in January 1991, having drawn in second guitarist John Zwetsloot. They followed in September with a limited edition single, 'Into Infinite Obscurity', on the French label Corpsegrinder Records. To promote this effort and accompanying shows, the group printed up their first merchandise, these T-shirts the first to bear the infamous flaming trident cross logo. The live set for these early shows had the originals bulked out by covers such as POSSESSED's 'Séance', DEATH's 'Evil Dead' and MAYHEM's 'Freezing Moon'. This latter act had begun to figure ever stronger in DISSECTION's career path. Both Nödtveidt and Öhman guested with MAYHEM at a concert that December held in Askim, Norway and it was known that the DISSECTION frontman had been initiated into what was known as the Norwegian 'Black Circle'.

Nödtveidt would also be demoing with another act billed as SATANIZED, performing a solitary November 1991 gig with this band comprising vocalist Per Alexandersson of NIFELHEIM, second guitarist Johan Norman and DECAMERON drummer Tobias Kjellgren.

A further crop of DISSECTION demos, 'The Somberlain' laid down in March 1992 and a two song 1993 set, featuring a cover of 'Elisabeth Bathory' originally by Hungarian band TORMENTOR, led to an album deal with No Fashion Records. Nödtveidt, going under the pseudonym of Rietas, was also operating his side project THE BLACK at this stage. The debut DISSECTION album, 'The Somberlain', would be constructed at Hellspawn / Unisound studios in March 1993, the sessions overseen by producer DAN SWANÖ, frontman for EDGE OF SANITY amongst many others. For such an extreme concept, DISSECTION's inaugural album surprised many with its sophistication. Although undoubtedly heavy, 'The Somberlain' was also balanced by dexterous musicianship, noticeably John Zwetsloot's classical persuasions, acoustic passages and a keen priority on melody. DISSECTION pointedly dedicated their first offering to the murdered MAYHEM singer Euronymous.

Whilst assembling 'The Somberlain' album throughout 1993 the group members relocated to Gothenburg, sharing rehearsal facilities with AT THE GATES. Meantime, Nödtveidt's extra curricular act THE BLACK released their debut record 'The Priest Of Satan' as 'The Somberlain' arrived in stores in December 1993.

Yet another outside indulgence for Nödtveidt would be the highly experimental OPHTHALAMIA, a fantasy fuelled Metal exercise arranged by It (a.k.a. Tony Särkää) of ABRUPTUM. Nödtveidt's presence, disguised as 'Shadow', was to be felt on the 1994 album 'A Journey In Darkness'.

Internal friction resulted in the exit of John Zwetsloot, the final concert of this incarnation conducted on April 14th 1994 in Oslo. Johan Norman, previously with DECAMERON, SATANIZED and SACRAMENTUM, was drawn into the fold as a quick-fire replacement. John Zwetsloot forged CARDINAL SIN, issuing the 'Spiteful Intents' EP, and later figured briefly in the original line-up of THE HAUNTED.

DISSECTION signed to Germany's major independent Nuclear Blast label that November, but not before releasing two tracks on a compilation album for Wrong Again Records, namely the 1993 demo tracks, 'Elizabeth Bathory' and 'Where Dead Angels Lie'. The Swedes had also contributed SLAYER's 'Anti-Christ' to the Black Sun Records compilation 'Slatanic Slaughter'. That same year a short-lived but significant DISSECTION connected project emerged entitled TERROR, this being a union Jon Nödtveidt with the AT THE GATES triumvirate of guitarist Anders Björler, bass player Jonas Björler and drummer Adrian Erlandsson. TERROR issued a solitary demo prior to collapse.

The DISSECTION quartet ensconced themselves in the familiar surroundings of the Hellspawn / Unisound environs in March 1995 in order to manifest their next opus, 'Storm Of The Light's Bane'. Once completed, the band hit the UK for the first time, putting in three concerts flanking CRADLE OF FILTH. Music was not the only creative force on the agenda though, as that summer Nödveidt and Norman established an occult denomination known as the Misanthropic Luciferian Order.

On October 10th supporting MORBID ANGEL at Gothenburg's Kåren venue, DISSECTION debuted a new drummer, Tobias Kjellgren, previously with SATANIZED, SWORDMASTER and DECAMERON. The departing Öhman temporarily teamed up with SWORDMASTER then joined OPHTHALAMIA.

'Storm Of The Light's Bane' arrived in November. Framed by two instrumentals, the opening 'At The Fathomless Depths' and a piano finale 'No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep' performed by Alexandra Balogh, then girlfriend of ABRUPTUM's Tony Särkkä, the record pursued a more direct Black Thrash approach than its predecessor. The record's clear Satanic aesthetic was tempered by swathes of reverb and supremely melodic, often palm muted riffs and more immediate songwriting, enabling DISSECTION to widen their support.

DISSECTION toured Europe with label mates DISMEMBER in December, this trek encompassing Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Sweden. Having started 1996 touring in the UK in February as an alliance with AT THE GATES, the band hit the West Coast of North America, on a bill alongside AT THE GATES and MORBID ANGEL, DISSECTION's return shows in Europe throughout April were on a billing with SATYRICON and GORGOROTH. With continental road work extending further, the 1997 'Gods of Darkness' dates placed DISSECTION into an unholy mix alongside CRADLE OF FILTH, DIMMU BORGIR and IN FLAMES. Operations were concluded with an appearance at the 'Wacken Open Air' event, captured on tape, and headlining the Nuclear Blast festivals. This exhaustive regime had affected the group stability though, Palmdahl opting out and the outdoor appearances witnessing a fresh roster now featuring Jon's brother Emil Nödtveidt assuming bass duties. Another defection had Johan Norman withdrawing into anonymity, allegedly under fear of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order.

During a down period in the band's activity frontman Jon Nödtveidt, albeit anonymously, created an Electro Dark Ambient collaborative side project with MIDVINTER's Damien titled DE INFERNALI during 1997 for the album 'Symphonia De Infernali'. Ole Öhman also engaged in side work, enrolling into OPHTHALAMIA in 1997 under the nom de guerre of 'Bone'.

As December dawned DISSECTION's future was thrown into doubt when Nödtveidt, in keeping with recent Black Metal musicians behaviour patterns, was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a 38 year old Algerian homosexual, Josef Ben Meddaour, some months earlier. The victim had been slain in Keillers Park in Gothenburg. Found guilty of being an accessory to a murder and in possession of an illegal firearm, Nödtveidt would ultimately be incarcerated for eight years, commencing his punishment at the maximum security prison in Kumla before being sent to Tidaholm jail.

Whilst Nödtveidt bided his time composing new material and deepening his esoteric studies, DISSECTION fans were kept interested with the Necropolis Records release 'The Past Is Alive' which collected together the early demos and singles as well as two tracks from SATANIZED, yet another side project outfit that included Nödtveidt, guitarist Johan Norman and drummer Kjellgren.

Despite DISSECTION being inoperative, Nödveidt's influence upon the scene could still be felt from jail however, Nödtveidt contributing lyrics to DIABOLICUM's 2001 'The Dark Blood Rising (The Hatecrowned Retaliation)' album. The ousted Palmdahl had joined up with RUNEMAGICK for 'The Supreme Force Of Eternity' album. The bassist also appeared on the 1998 album from DEATHWITCH, 'Ultimate Death'.

During July of 2002 reports indicated that the former EMPEROR and THORNS drummer Bård 'Faust' Eithun would be sitting behind the kit for the planned 2003 DISSECTION's comeback release. Purely as a PR exercise let alone a creative union this proposed arrangement stoked controversy as it paired off two convicted murderers, Eithun also having been jailed for a similar crime. Preceding the release of both Nödtveidt, then languishing in Södertälje prison, and Faust the band re-established their credentials with the issue of a live album 'Live Legacy', recorded during 1996 at the German 'Wacken Open Air' festival.

Before the close of 2003 Eithun backed out of DISSECTION, apparently due to a conflict over "the demands of DISSECTION's Satanic concept". The band, recording new material in July, upfront of Nödtveidt release on September 6th, announced UK tour dates for December 2004 with WATAIN as support. Alongside Nödtveidt in this new line-up would be ABORYM and BLOODLINE guitarist Set Teitan, bassist Brice Leclercq of NIGHTRAGE and the INFERNAL, DAWN and DARK FUNERAL credited Thomas 'Alzazmon' Asklund on drums.

Response for the comeback was enthusiastic, with the band's Stockholm gig being moved from the Klubben venue to the Lilla Arenan due to high ticket demand. A new single, entitled 'Maha Kali', described by the band as "a hymn to the wrathful black Hindu goddess of Mahapralaya, the great dissolution of cosmos, Jai Maha Kali," would be made available solely at concert dates and through the band's website. The single entered the national Swedish charts at no. 50.

On 17th November DISSECTION were joined by TORMENTOR, ABORYM and newly re-appointed MAYHEM singer Attila Csihar for renditions of two old school black classics 'Elizabeth Bathory' by TORMENTOR and 'Freezing Moon' from MAYHEM during the band's appearance at Kultiplex in Budapest, Hungary.

DISSECTION's confirmed appearance at the 2005 'Metalist' festival in Israel was cancelled due to objections from event headliner MEGADETH's mainman Dave Mustaine's refusal to play with Satanic bands. Jon Nödtveidt reacted by branding Mustaine "a coward", further lambasting the singer with a tirade stating "you do not dare to face true opponents in faith?! You think this will stop us?! We are Satanists, yes, truly enemies of yours! For we are the antithesis to cowards like you!"

Brice Leclercq exited abruptly in early June just upfront of DISSECTION's appearance at the 'Undead Festival' in Hungary. Undaunted, the band duly performed as a trio with the bass guitar performed by a backing track. Subsequently, Haakon Nikolas Forwald (a.k.a. 'Kshatriya' or 'Savant M') of MYRKSKOG, SLAVIA, KOLDBRANN and DISIPLIN as well as member of the 'Misanthropic Luciferian Order' was installed on bass.

Gigs across South America were scheduled for September but shows in Chile and Venezuela would be cancelled, the band blaming the promoter for not honouring contractual commitment. Returning to Sweden, the band utilised Black Syndicate Studios in Stockholm to record a new album with Nödtveidt's brother Emil Nödtveidt (a.k.a. THE DEATHSTARS' Nightmare Industries) and Skinny Kangur acting as producers.

DISSECTION suffered the loss of Forwald in November, a press statement revealing the bassist had vacated his position "in order to focus on his esoteric and exoteric work in Norway". Rejecting rumours of a band split, as Erik Danielsson was introduced on bass, Jon Nödtveidt stated "We are now heading into a new phase, a darker phase". The following month the album title of 'Reinkaos' was announced, the comeback album bowing in suitably on Walpurgis night, April 30th 2006.

Just upfront of the album release a movie was released in Scandinavian theatres documenting the tragedy of the murder for which Jon Nödtveidt had been convicted. 'Keillers Park', titled after the location where Josef Ben Meddaour had been slain, was directed by Susanna Edwards.

The End Records unveiled an expanded re-issue campaign of re-masters for June. 'The Somberlain' added the 1990 'The Grief Prophecy' and 1991 'Into Infinite Obscurity' demos plus live tracks and rehearsal sessions, whilst 'Storm Of The Light's Bane' was enhanced with a second disc comprising the 1996 'Where Dead Angels Lie' EP, previously unheard 1994 demos and a completely different album mix.

On May 22nd Jon Nödtveidt put out a statement signalling the end of DISSECTION, explaining "I have reached the limitations of music as a tool for expressing what I want to express, for myself and the handful of others that I care about, and I will now move along to other realms of practice. Dissection's work is done and this is our legacy. Salve Satan! Salve Azerate 218!" The band's final performances were set to be a Swedish concert, their first and final Israeli gig and a brace of dates in the USA, on September 1st at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California and September 6th at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City. DISSECTION's June 24th show in Stockholm, dubbed 'Midsummer Massacre '06', would be filmed and recorded for a DVD and live album. A scheduled show in Tel Aviv, Israel would be curtailed. The band's announced US concerts were then cancelled, Jon Nödtveidt having been denied legal entry into the United States as a result of his 1998 conviction.

Jon Nödtveidt closed DISSECTION's career in a manner befitting his philosophies, committing suicide in August. Band members released a statement claiming "he was more focussed, happier and stronger than ever" and "he chose to end his life by his own hands. As a true Satanist he led his life in the way he wanted and ended it when he felt that he had fulfilled his self-created destiny".

Nödtveidt, 31 years old, was found dead at his apartment in Hässelby, a suburb of Stockholm, on August 16th. Newspapers reported he had surrounded himself by candles and had a copy of Anton LaVey's 'The Satanic Bible'. Nödtveidt had ended his life with a shot to the head. Shortly beforehand he had told friends he was "going to Transylvania". Subsequently, DISSECTION guitarist Set Teitan reportedly commented on an online forum that the book Nödtveidt had open in front of him was "a Satanic grimoire" and not LaVeys work, because "He despised LaVey and 'Church of Satan'."

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