Dissection - Biography




Pre-DISSECTION conspiracy

In 1988, four guys from the West Coast of Sweden; Jon Nödtveidt, Peter Palmdahl, Ole Öhman and Mattias "Mäbe" Johansson, formed the Thrash Metal combo Siren's Yell. With influences ranging from Slayer to Candlemass, Siren's Yell began to develop a heavy brand of Thrash Metal. They recorded one private demo in 1988 (Including the songs "Dawn of the dead", "The Final War" and "Show No Mercy"). Siren's Yell split up in the spring of '89, when Ole left the band and they couldn't find a suitable replacement.

Changing the name several times, the remnants of Siren's Yell went on without a drummer for a couple of months. In the summer of '89 Jon also joined as the second guitarist in Rabbit's Carrot, where Ole now was found behind the drumkit. That band was originally a pure Thrash Metal act (in the vein of Metallica, Destruction, Exodus etc), but with Jon joining, the dark Death Metal influence became more and more apparent. Jon and Ole were never very comfortable in Rabbit's Carrot, which also explains their short time in that band, as they wanted the music and lyrics to evolve on the extreme dark side. Jon would write songs and arrange them together with Ole in the rehearsal place, but the other members, didn't feel that the material would fit the band.

The Beginning

So Jon Nödtveidt, who wanted to create and explore genuine musical darkness, took the initiative to form DISSECTION in the autumn of 1989 together with Peter Palmdahl (ex-Siren's Yell singer) on bass. In the spring of 1990, they recruited drummer Ole Öhman. DISSECTION now consisted of a line-up of three original members; Jon Nödtveidt: Vocals & Guitars, Peter Palmdahl: Bass Guitar and Ole Öhman: Battery. Very much into the current Death Metal and Black Metal underground scene (Jon was the editor of the fanzine Mega Mag and a local gig-promoter) DISSECTION recorded their first official underground release in April '90, the rehearsal tape "Severing Into Shreds". A tape which they shipped out to underground fanzines around the globe to mark the birth of DISSECTION, a band that was about to make heavy impact on the scene, leaving deep, bleeding wounds it never would recover from...

Live Initiation

DISSECTION recruited Mattias "Mäbe" Johansson (ex-Siren's Yell bassplayer) from local Death-thrashers Nosferatu for handling the rhythm guitar as a live-show session member. DISSECTION did their first live appearance in October 1990 together with, amongst others, Entombed. DISSECTION had made their first mark on the live-scene, and they shortly afterwards did their second gig on local ground, with more gigs to follow.

The Grief Prophecy

By the end of the year, in December 1990, DISSECTION entered the studio to record their first demo-tape "The Grief Prophecy", containing the three songs "Severed Into Shreds", "The Call of the Mist" and "Consumed". The cover artwork for the demo presenting the magnificent skills of Kristian "Necrolord" Wåhlin. This initiated a long-term alliance between him and DISSECTION that is still lasting today. Ever since the first demo tape, Necrolord has painted all album-covers and official designs for DISSECTION.

In January 1991 DISSECTION finally found a suitable second guitar player in shape of the talented John Zwetsloot, and the line-up was complete. DISSECTION was now an official four-piece and could further develop their characteristic dual-harmony guitar-sound that was to become an important part of the band's sound. John's debut gig with DISSECTION was in February '91 (at a local death metal event) in their hometown Strömstad. As their demo was spreading in the underground-scene (more than 300 copies sold by the band itself at the time, but mainly spread by fanatic tape traders) the band continued doing shows (mostly around the west-coast of Sweden) with their new line-up. Recieving more and more acclaim worldwide in the Metal underground with their debut demo soon reaching cult status and quickly granting DISSECTION a deal with the French underground label Corpsegrinder Records for a 7" EP.

April '91, a few days after the suicide of Mayhem singer Pelle "Dead" (R.I.P.), DISSECTION made their tribute to him by playing "The Freezing Moon" in his honour at a show in Falkenberg, Sweden (and making an unofficial special edition of the "The Grief Prophecy" demo with a cover drawn by "Dead" himself).

In the summer of 1991 Jon formed the Black/Death Metal side-project Satanized which existed for about half a year. Satanized recorded one rehearsal tape and also did one gig together.

Also spending a lot of time in Oslo, Norway, Jon joined the Black Circle, or the so-called Black Metal Mafia, as it later was named by media. This movement which had it branches in Norway and Sweden existed only for a few years and was officially dissolved around '93.

Into Infinite Obscurity

In September 1991 the band entered the studio once again to record three new tracks for the 7" "Into Infinite Obscurity" EP, finally released in December the same year on previously mentioned Corpsegrinder records (in a limited edition of 1000 copies). It carried the songs "Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom", "Son of the Mourning" and the instrumental acoustic piece "Into Infinite Obscurity". In connection with this release DISSECTION also printed their first T-shirts with the EP-cover artwork by Necrolord on the front and their infamous flaming trident cross with eyes (in red) on the back. The "Into Infinite Obscurity" EP became highly acclaimed in the underground scene and was quickly sold out.

During the autumn of '91 DISSECTION continued doing gigs, still mostly around the west-coast of Sweden and the Gothenburg-area, and it was at this point that they seriously where beginning to earn their underground reputation. The venues where mostly club-size (Also playing a show at the cult-venue Valvet in Gothenburg) but DISSECTION also made one gig at a big rock-event in Kungshamn in the end of that year in front of a crowd of 1000 maniacs, for the first time presenting new songs like "In The Cold Winds of Nowhere" etc. (back then called simply "Cold Winds")

Their live-set during 1991 was mainly based on their demo and EP; songs like "Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom", "The Call of the Mist", "Son of the Mourning", Severed Into Shreds", "Consumed" and so on, but also cover versions of songs like "Seance" (Possessed), "The Freezing Moon" (Mayhem), "Evil Dead" (Death) and others. In December 1991 Jon and Ole also did a special live appearance together with Euronymous of Mayhem performing "The Freezing Moon" on-stage together at a Black Metal event/meet in Askim, Norway (arranged by amongst others Euronymous and the earlier mentioned infamous organization the Black Circle).

In March of 1992 DISSECTION once again entered the studio to record a four-track promo tape, including the songs "Frozen", "Cold Winds", "Mistress of the Bleeding Sorrow" and "Feathers Fell", also shipped out in a few copies as the "The Somberlain-Promo 1992" with a three track rehearsal added to it. At this time the band had developed a lot and their own style was clearly evolving; the typical DISSECTION sound. DISSECTION shortly afterwards signed a one-album deal for No Fashion Records.

During the autumn of 1992 Jon got involved in a Black Metal project called The Black, where he first handled the vocals but soon also the guitars. They released one album, called "The Priest of Satan" (1993) and Jon goes by the alias "Rietas" on it.

The Somberlain - The First Album

In March 1993 DISSECTION finally recorded their first full-length album, mystically entitled "The Somberlain". Recorded and mixed at Hellspawn/Unisound studios with Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) behind the wheels, "The Somberlain" turned out an imposing debut album with a crushing, heavy sound.

During the time when DISSECTION recorded "The Somberlain" the members were temporarily living in different towns, but they all however moved to Gothenburg after the summer of 1993 and got themselves a steady rehearsal place that they shared with At The Gates.

With the first album finally released in December the same year, receiving superb reviews and overwhelming response from the metal underground, DISSECTION now began to earn their reputation as one of the most potent acts on the scene. "The Somberlain", presenting a new brand of sinister, majestic, satanic Metal of Death, crossing the prevalent barriers of Heavy, Black and Death Metal. DISSECTION dedicated the album to the memory of Euronymous (R.I.P.) of Mayhem who was murdered earlier the same year.

With the reputation of DISSECTION spreading and ever growing, "The Somberlain" out in the stores and by the beginning of 1994 storming the Metal charts in Scandinavia (no.1 on the House of Kicks charts for several weeks), DISSECTION went out to promote the album by doing shows around Sweden.

Aiming Higher

While the main part of the band had great ambitions, DISSECTION were however held back due to lasting internal problems with their second guitarist John Zwetsloot. Now DISSECTION would find themselves rehearsing more and more without John even showing up. His lack of motivation and negative mood eventually became too much for the others. The band even had to cancel gigs because he didn't show up for the preparing rehearsals. The other members felt they had their hands tied behind their backs with John still in the band and that they could do nothing but kick him out. The last show ever with their original line-up was performed in Oslo, Norway, on the 14th of April 1994.

Now DISSECTION was one man short, even though that only lasted for some hours. Already on the same day as John was kicked out, they called Johan Norman from Satanized to try out playing for them. The day after they had called him, Johan showed up and proved to be a worthy replacement for John, having the motivation that John was lacking. DISSECTION was also receiving offers from several "bigger" record companies, and while negotiating, DISSECTION continued playing shows, rehearsing and writing songs for their second album, even entering the studio twice for recording demos of new songs, also making their contribution "Anti-Christ" to the Slayer tribute compilation album "Slatanic Slaughter" on Black Sun Records.

In November 1994, DISSECTION finally agreed to sign a deal with Nuclear Blast Records, and was focusing on the highly anticipated follow-up to their extremely well-received debut album. DISSECTION was aiming higher than ever, in every aspect!

Storm of the Light's Bane

In March 1995 DISSECTION once again entered Hellspawn/Unisound studios, for the recording of their second full-length attack "Storm of the Light's Bane". This album was an even more powerful and sinister recording and shows an expanded and more hard-hitting, developed approach, both musically and lyrically, as well as introducing the listener to a broader variety of the band's dark sound and evolving capacity.

After recording and mixing the album, DISSECTION went over to the UK for a three date tour with Cradle of Filth, as well as doing a couple of more shows around Sweden.

During the summer of 1995 Jon and Johan joined the newly formed satanic organization Misanthropic Luciferian Order (MLO).

In September 1995 drummer Ole Öhman departs. Tobias Kellgren (ex-Satanized), seemingly matching the high ambitions of DISSECTION as well as being a more professional drummer, at the time embodying a perfect replacement for Ole's talent. DISSECTION for the first time introduced Tobias to the Swedish fans at a show special-guesting with Morbid Angel at Kåren in Gothenburg, the 10th of October 1995.

In November 1995 the long-awaited "Storm of the Light's Bane" was finally released on Nuclear Blast Records and DISSECTION was back with a vengeance. "Storm of the Light's Bane", quickly received excellent reviews and an immense response in the metal scene, as DISSECTION with force took the position as one of the world's most lethal extreme metal bands, seriously beginning to break new ground and proving themselves to be a major force to be reckoned with. The two-week European tour (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Sweden) in December of 1995 heralds the start of an extensive "World Tour of the Light's Bane" covering Europe and America, ending in 1997.

Still On the Road

By the beginning of January 1996, DISSECTION was doing shows on Swedish ground, shortly afterwards leaving for a UK tour with At The Gates in February, followed by a vast US tour with At The Gates and Morbid Angel in March, ravaging North America. Back in Scandinavia, after approximately twenty shows in the USA, DISSECTION took the famous Rockefeller venue (Oslo, Norway) in possession for a monumental show together with Darkthrone and Satyricon, marking the start of a co-headlining European tour. In April, in connection with the co-headlining European tour, DISSECTION released the "Where Dead Angels Lie" MCD (initially as a limited edition shaped-CD for the tour).

Unhallowed Usurpers of the Metal Throne

Back on the road in 1997 for the triumphant "Gods of Darkness tour" (together with Cradle of Filth, In Flames and Dimmu Borgir), DISSECTION once again ravaged Europe, selling out even bigger venues. Also recording their successful live-concert video "Live and Plugged 2" (Nuclear Blast) at the Live Music Hall in Cologne, Germany. By the end of the summer 1997, DISSECTION rounded off their "World Tour of the Light's Bane" with a monumental appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival recording their "Live Legacy" album and by headlining the Nuclear Blast festivals. The first era of DISSECTION was now at it's peak, DISSECTION beginning to harvest the fruit of victory, being one of the absolute leading Black/Death Metal acts on the scene.

The Dissolution of the First Era

During the summer of 1997 when the situation, at least on the surface, seemed to be stable and prosperous with the band's success peaking, personal differences prevailed. This resulting in Peter departing and Jon's brother Emil Nödtveidt having to stand in for the summer festivals. After the summer Johan suddenly "disappeared" for several months without notice, with Tobias covering up for him claiming to know nothing (however remaining in close contact with Johan throughout this period). The background of this "disappearance" being that Johan had turned his back on and betrayed the MLO, fearing their retribution. As Jon was a member of the order, Johan chose to run away, hide and to leave DISSECTION behind. This was the definite end of the first era and the line-up was completely split-up with only Jon, the founder member, left in the band. But Jon would never give up the dark path of DISSECTION. A new line-up was being put together by the end of 1997, DISSECTION booking Studio Fredman for the supposed recording of the third studio album.

These plans where however dashed when Jon in December 1997 was arrested, accused and convicted for killing a man in the summer of 1997, recieving a 10 year sentence. At the same time as Jon's arrest, with all the media screaming about the killing and the "Satanic rock star" as they called Jon, the compilation of the early DISSECTION recordings "The Past Is Alive" hit the stores. The past was truly alive. And despite everything, the flame of DISSECTION lived on! Openly in the hearts of the many loyal fans, and silently in the burning heart of a man who was being chained and cast into the dungeons. Some thought that DISSECTION was no more... But in fact they couldn't be more wrong.

End of Part One. Fear the Return !!!


After receiving the prison sentence, Jon was in November 1998, after eleven months in Gothenburg custody, transferred to the maximum-security prison in Kumla, where all Swedish prisoners with a sentence above four years end up before it is decided where the prisoner eventually should be placed. Therefore, Jon was later transferred to the prison in Tidaholm, which was the closest high-security prison to Gothenburg.

In Tidaholm he did his time on the heavy, maximum-security L-block for long timers only. Tidaholm being by far one of the toughest prison environments in Sweden were several murders and killings have taken place over the years. Here, Jon worked in the prison industry during the days, spending the nights reading books and practicing on his acoustic guitar. This was to become the daily routine for quite some time. Eventually, Jon got the possibility to go to school inside the prison during the day instead of the brainless monotonous work in the "mines". However, the most significant studying took place in the evenings and during the nights, after lock-down in his cell, where he would seriously study the vast spheres of the dark sides of mythological, philosophical and esoteric tradition.

Keeping the Fire Burning

The flame of DISSECTION was burning still, and strongly so, and every day Jon was reminded of his unfinished work. Not least by the amounts of support mail from the fans, but also by the media (both mainstream and underground) making desperate attempts for making interviews. All in vain however, since Jon consistently was turning down and ignoring every offer for publicity. He figured that there was no reason for giving interviews yet and that the time was not right. He had to do his time, everybody knew that anyway, and nothing would officially happen with DISSECTION for a couple of years.

Instead, he would focus on that which no matter what could be done, namely the music. Slowly new material started to manifest. Already existing raw material was being refined and worked out into songs. The light could be seen, but still far away, at the end of the tunnel. There where yet many years left of the sentence. Songs were arranged and re-arranged, and over the course of time, old and new material would mature and evolve into eleven songs. Eleven songs intended and destined for the future recording of the third DISSECTION studio album.

Faust Joining the Force

During the years in prison, Jon kept in touch with his old friend Bård "Faust" Eithun, who was doing time behind Norwegian bars since 1993. Faust used to be the drummer in Emperor, one of the leading acts out of the Norwegian Black Metal scene at the time, strongly connected to the Black Circle. It was during these years back in the beginning of the nineties that Faust and Jon came to know each other. This resulted in Faust joining the force and entering the dark path of DISSECTION. This co-operation did however not last long due to differences regarding the Satanic concept of the band.

Live Legacy

Now the circle was broken, and freedom just around the corner. 2003, on February the 17th, "Live Legacy", recorded at their massive show at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany back in 1997, finally hit the stores after being postponed for almost six years (this show yet having surfaced as a bootleg with poor sound quality). However, with "Live Legacy" finally released, this show was now available with a killer sound and package and its immediate and gigantic response creating a massive surge all over the globe, confirming an even bigger pressure and demand for a new DISSECTION release than expected after so many years.

Fear the Return

Having once again proved their impact on the worldwide Metal scene, DISSECTION still holds the status as one of the bestselling extreme metal acts ever, with a large and loyal following that has been constantly growing and keeping the flame of DISSECTION burning in the scene throughout the years.

The last years Jon has been able to engage in many constructive activities such as recording the pre-production and making demos of the songs for the forthcoming studio album.

Despite being deprived of his physical freedom for many years, Jon has still succeeded in turning his time behind bars into something meaningful and creative, by actively dealing with his situation, by always looking forward and planning for his release and returning to freedom.

"I'm never going back to prison again", he says. "I know what I want from life and I am going to get it. There is no way that i can change my past, but I stand up and take the consequences of my actions. Without the ordeals of these years in prison, I would not be where I am today. These years have given me time to contemplate the true worth of making the best possible out of your life."
"I have been lucky. I have had so much support from those on the outside, my family, my brothers and sisters on the left hand path, and the unfaltering legions supporting DISSECTION out there. I have had the blessings of the dark gods to reawaken my black flame!"

Even though DISSECTION back in 1997 drastically was forced into a long-term interruption, at a very important stage in their career when they were just about to break through on the major scale, their music lived on and still keeps on attracting new hordes of fans. Their recordings and shows being bootlegged in multitude and all their releases held as jewels by the fans, constantly selling in high numbers.

They have now finally finished the recording of the single "Maha Kali", which is a hymn to the wrathful Indian mother-goddess. This is Dissections first studio-recording since 1995, and the fullength album will follow shortly. So, once and for all, let the cry of war be heard! DISSECTION is back! Stronger, hungrier and more alive than ever, they are heading for limitless becoming and relentless victory! You have seen nothing yet!

To Be Endlessly Continued.


Official Dissection biography: [http://www.dissection.nu]