There are environments and cultural phenomena that, almost inevitably, courtship each other, embracing each other until they join in a marriage as cursed as it is imperishable.
Black and Death Metal, as is well known, are musical worlds – noble and not to be opposed on the basis of misleading preconceptions – traditionally known as vehicle of messages that are certainly not positive, constructive, optimistic and reassuring.
The case we are going to tell fully summarizes the link that can exist between Black Metal, Death Metal and Satanism. Souls, in fact, in perpetual courtship: a perfect symbiosis – in form alone or in form and substance – whose apex can have mortally destructive effects.
Sweden is the setting for this disturbing story of blood. Country, in the distorted collective imagination, identified as a sort of Eden: perfect, clean, peaceful, celestial. In reality, this is not the case. Scandinavia – Sweden, Norway and part of Finland – hides numerous skeletons in its closet. This territory represents, in fact, the cradle par excellence of Black Metal, probably the most “damned” musical genre existing today. Bands that have written and continue to write the history of music, but whose members – macabre other side of the coin – often remain entangled in criminal acts with a Satanist, anti-Christian, racist and homophobic background. Scandinavia is swarming with organizations – more or less legal and officially recognized – with a Satanist background, as well as with criminal groups and rather fiery extremist politicians.
But let us proceed with order and catapult ourselves, virtually, in Sweden between the end of the 80’s and the second half of the 90’s. A fundamental and determining decade – for better or for worse – for the fate of the flourishing and cursed Scandinavian Black Metal.
Jon Andreas Nödtveidt and Dissection
The protagonist of this story is Jon Andreas Nödtveidt. Jon was born in Strömstad, Sweden, on June 28th 1975. In 1989 he founded, together with bassist Peter Palmdahl, the Black/Death Metal band called Dissection. Jon is the guitarist, singer and the main author of the lyrics of the band. He is talented: his songs are authentic Black Metal hymns decorated with Death colours. Irresistible.
A band with a superfine, refined, never banal sound, where the peculiarities of Black Metal blend with the characteristics of Death Metal. In jargon, this mix is called “Blackened Death Metal”. In a short time, the Dissection gained consensus and success. The first album, “The Somberlain” is dated December 3, 1993, the second, “Storm Of The Light’s Bane” comes two years later, on November 17, 1995.
In the meantime, after the release of the first studio album, the band went through a phase of radical changes. Internal frictions led to the expulsion of guitarist John Zwetsloot, who was replaced by Johan Norman, already part of the bands Decameron, Satanized and Sacramentum. In the summer of 1995, Nödtveidt and Norman joined the Misanthropic Luciferian Order (MLO), a Swedish neo-gnostic organization whose foundations mix Satanism, oriental concepts and nihilistic elements. An intricate pantheon with a Satanist background contemplating clear references to ancient Jewish mystical traditions – Ein Sof, Sitra Ahra, Tohu wa bohu, Ain Sof Aur, etc.. -principles steeped in philosophy and Chaos theories: society, as it was organized and conceived, is a lie and the true Satanist must not be part of it. Hence, the opportunity to live according to principles considered amoral. In the early 2000s, the Misanthropic Luciferian Order spread via the web the so-called “Liber Azerate“, a grimoire, the book that dictates the principles of the doctrine of the occult order. Written by the Master of the Frater Nemidial Temple, Azerate is the name within which the “eleven anti-cosmic gods” are hidden, in antithesis, therefore, to the Sefirot, which is according to the Jewish Kabbalah, the ten levels of God through which the Infinite reveals itself. A Satanism that embraces traditional concepts but further reinterpreted; a thought contested, for example, by the Union of Italian Satanists, a movement that preaches the so-called Theist or Spiritual Satanism.
Subsequently, the Misanthropic Luciferian Order will change its name to Temple Of The Black Light. The order supports the Werewolf Legion, a Swedish criminal group, and the ONA, Order of the Nine Corners, a Satanist group born in Great Britain and then extended to other countries.
It is in this humus that the thought of Jon Nödtveidt, leader of the Dissections, is formed. An apparently harmless cultural undergrowth – many expressions of Satanism are not synonymous with violence – from whose roots, however, a black story will develop, still today worthy of attention and study.
Keillers Park: the murder of Yusef ben Meddour
It’s July 23, 1997. The scene of the crime is Keillers Park, an area surrounding Mount Ramberget, a hill overlooking the Swedish city of Gothenburg. It is about 4:30 P.M. A 16-year-old boy runs into a man’s body. The cause of death was soon identified by the police at the crime scene: two shots fired. One shot to the heart and one to the head. Lethal. Two days pass before the body is identified, thanks to the brilliant intuition of a policewoman. The woman, in fact, had repeatedly spotted the individual near Svingeln, a square in Gothenburg. It is thus possible to give a name to the man: he is Yusef ben Meddour, 36 years old, Algerian but resident in Sweden since the end of the 80’s, homosexual. He was accompanied, in fact, by a good looking Finnish boy – as the chronicles tell us.
The detectives, at first, investigate his Finnish partner. In fact, his hat is found at the crime scene. But after twelve days of detention, the man is released for lack of evidence and, finally, cleared of all charges and suspicion. Then, the investigation focuses on the Groupe Islamique Armé, an armed group of Islamic matrix operating in Algeria, to which Meddour was a fervent opponent. A political homicide is hypothesized, but also this investigative path reveals itself to be a dead end.
December 1997, the turning point
Investigations are shooting in the dark. Every track proves to be unsuccessful. The murder of Yusef ben Meddour begins, slowly but surely, to enrich the drawers and the archives containing the so-called “cold cases”. Unsolved murders. When everything seems to be silent, the turning point comes – unexpectedly -.
Stockholm, 15 December 1997. A 23-year-old woman reports her boyfriend’s repeated violence to the police. Violence followed by death threats. The rapist is called Vlad, Iranian, 20 years old, resident in Sweden. The girl reveals, however, further disturbing backstory: she claims, that Vlad is, with a friend of his, the murderer of Keillers Park. Vlad’s friend is called Jon. She tells the facts: Vlad and Jon approached ben Meddour, then they tried to immobilize him with a Taser. He tries in vain to escape: Vlad shoots a first shot, in the back, that will pierce his heart. Afterwards, Vlad hands over the gun to Jon: he, therefore, fires the coup de grace to the head. The girl’s stories are compatible with the crime scene and with the details found on the body of the poor victim: too perfect to be a mythomaniac. It’s all true. The police move on to arrests: Vlad is arrested a few hours later; in his possession, a 9 mm gun. Jon ends up in handcuffs on the following December 18. Vlad’s friend is Jon Andreas Nödtveidt, leader of the Dissections.
At first, Jon Nödtveidt and Vlad deny any responsibility. But it’s a short-lived game. The first to give in is the singer, author and guitarist of Dissection. Jon Nödtveidt begins to confess. After a night of drinking, Jon and Vlad are approached, at a place frequented mainly by homosexuals, by Ben Meddour, intrigued by the clothing of the two “metalheads”. According to Jon Nödtveidt’s version, the Algerian wants to know more about the Satanist cult. Initially wary, Jon and Vlad, finally, yield to the pressing demands of Ben Meddour. Jon, Vlad and Ben Meddour head to the house of Nödtveidt. However, the two members of the MLO understand that Ben Meddour is a homosexual, so they go on a rampage and start to mock the man with heavy offenses. Yusef ben Meddour, in his fatal naivety, is frightened and would like to leave. But Vlad and Jon decide to continue the discussion about Satanism at Keillers Park, not before they have gone home and taken the Taser and the gun. A trap. It is the night of July 22, 1997.
It’s done, the case is solved. Vlad’s confession is missing and he will arrive shortly. The facts coincide with those told by Jon Nödtveidt, except for one detail: according to Vlad it is Jon who fires both shots; at the same time, according to Jon it is Vlad who fires the two bullets, one in the back and one in the head.
Jon Nödtveidt, between MLO, Satanism and human sacrifices
The investigations have finally given faces and names to the murderers of Yusef ben Meddour. Jon Nödtveidt and Vlad belong to the Misanthropic Luciferian Order. In the houses of the two executioners, the investigators find altars for satanic rituals, illigaly detained weapons (including the gun with which ben Meddour is killed). At Vlad’s house, even human skulls are found. But that’s not all. It turns out that the MLO, besides carrying out practices of meditation, of adoration of Satan, other demons and divinities and celebrating esoteric and occult rites, is dedicated to the accomplishment of animal sacrifices, cats in particular. It is no longer enough: for Vlad – one of the most violent and extremist members of the small circle of followers of the MLO – it is necessary to make the leap of quality: human sacrifices.
The members of the group argue animatedly about this. Only Jon, in the end, supports Vlad’s plans. The group suffers defections, in disagreement with the bloody aims of the most irreducible followers. Previously, before the murder of Ben Meddour, Johan Norman disappears: we suddenly lose tracks of the guitarist of Dissection. It is thought that the disappearance of Norman is attributable to the sectarian and unhealthy environment of the MLO: probably, Norman tries to leave the group, probably after receiving threats.
Vlad and Jon Nödtveidt draw up a list of possible victims. Human sacrifices to be sacrificed on the altar of Satan. The macabre list includes members of the Dissections, former MLO followers considered now treacherous and corrupt, and even Jon’s girlfriend.
The trial, return and suicide of Jon Nödtveidt
Between 6 July 1998 and 25 September 1998, Jon Nödtveidt and Vlad knew their judicial destiny. Vlad is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for murder, illegal possession of firearms and violence against his girlfriend. Just 10 years for three particularly serious charges. Nödtveidt, on the other hand, is first sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder, which turn into 10 years on appeal. On this occasion, the Swedish justice system proved to be as fast as it was excessively bland in its sentences.
How, then, should the murder of Yusef ben Meddour be placed? It is difficult to establish exactly the real cause, the real motive of this gesture. Homophobic homicide or homicide of Satanist matrix, as human sacrifice in the name of the order, the Misanthropic Luciferian Order? Between supporters of the first option and those who, on the contrary, read a clear Satanist reference in this murder, there is a third way to consider.
The murder would be a clear, manifest expression of the cultural substratum of Jon and Vlad: Satanism and homophobia, violence and amorality, transgression of the rules and fulfillment of the anti-cosmic doctrines linked to the interpretation – redundant and twisted – of Chaos. Chaos instead of God, Chaos is synonymous with the freedom of the individual to oppose to the Order, understood as the slavery of the individual himself.
The Eleven (11), which is the number of the Anti-Cosmic Chaos, symbolizes, therefore, that which goes beyond the cosmic 10. The Eleven represents, therefore, the absence of law, freedom, the absence of forms and the breaking of the closed circle.
The Eleven is the gateway to primordial Chaos and life through the Essence can transcend the restrictions of forms. Therefore, the Eleven symbolizes the fulfillment of the Anti-Cosmic Evolution and the realization of the hidden, dark and “Acasual potential”, quoting the theories of the MLO.
The two elements, therefore, cannot be split. The homophobic feeling, probably, constitutes one of the most superficial and easily identifiable tentacles within a more global and polyhedral satanist, misanthropic, nihilist, subversive and anti-cosmic vision matured by Jon and Vlad.
Vlad and Jon Nödtveidt’s detention runs out before the fateful 10 years strike: in September 2004, after only 6 years in prison, the two killers are already free.
The Dissections come back to life. Concerts, performances, success, a renewed consensus, a new EP – “Maha Kali” – and texts directly and further influenced by the doctrines of the MLO.
A fierce controversy will break out with Megadeth frontman David Scott Mustaine, who has since converted to Christianity. The latter, in fact, refuses to participate in a prestigious Metal festival in Israel. The cause is the presence of Dissections. “I don’t want to hang out with people who can be a threat to my spirituality […] I never said I hated someone, I just didn’t want to play with them,” Mustaine says. Mustaine also states that “I called the promoter and said, “Look, we can’t play, we won’t play at that festival. I never said “Throw them out”. This was a misunderstanding of the promoter. It was the promoter who threw them out. Nödtveidt, furious about not attending the festival, will say about Mustaine: “Don’t you have the courage to face your enemies? Do you think that will stop us? Yes, we are Satanists, your real enemies! Because we are the opposite of cowards like you”.
In the meantime, the band changes formation several times. Bassist Brice Leclerq abandons the band; Haakon Nikolas Forwald, a former member of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order, takes his place. On April 30th 2006 “Reinkaos” was released in Europe (on May 16th in North America), the third and last studio album of Dissection, the work that most closely follows the themes preached by the MLO.
“I have reached the expressive limits that music has with respect to what I want to express, for myself and for some other people who care about me; now I will move towards new expressive realms. Honour to Satan! Honour to Azerate 218”, will say Jon Nödtveidt.
The Satanist decides about his life and his death and prefers to go out with a smile when he has reached the height of his life, when he has accomplished everything and aims to transcend this earthly existence. But it is definitely not satanic to end one’s life because one is sad or miserable. The Satanist dies strong, not from old age, illness or depression: he chooses death before dishonor! Death is the orgasm of life! Life, therefore, must be lived as intensely as possible!
With this Satanist will, Jon Nödtveidt fulfils his destiny. On August 13, 2006, the leader of the Dissections committed suicide in his home in Stockholm. A gunshot to the head. Next to him there are a satanic grimoire and other ritual objects. The Dissections cease to exist.
In 2001, Slayer Magazine of Jon “Metalion” Kristiansen interviewed two important members of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order. A long interview, during which Noxifer – pseudonym of Frater Nemidial – and Tenebris – pseudonym of Jon Nödtveidt – illustrate the principles and aims of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order. Here are the most significant excerpts.
“Misanthropy and contempt for society are essential elements of true Satanism”.
“Music and Satanism are, of course, two completely different things but, being a Satanist, Satanism naturally influences my music in an extraordinarily dark way. I see my music and words as a way to express both my consciousness and my subconscious, praising the darkness. So, for me composing is a spiritual experience. Something dark and sacred. These so-called “Black Metal Satanists”, who pass the music in the foreground and Satanism in the background or third or even do not give it space, hurt me”.
“The MLO sees in Satan, Lucifer, Set, Apep, Kingu, Typhoon, Ahriman, Samael, The Black Light, Angra Mainyu, Sirte, Loki, Devil and Shaitan, some of the names that describe the driving force of the angry Chaos that contrasts and fights the demiurge and the cosmic order. Satan was the first Anti-Cosmic emanation of Chaos that manifested itself after the creation of the cosmos.”
“Christianity is an important target, as important as the other pro-cosmic religions that worship the demiurge. Those who voluntarily submit to the slavery of enslaving religions, such as Christianity, become one with cosmic energies, and the black fire that once burned in their souls is now extinct. The pro-cosmic religions support the aims of the demiurge and their function is to repel the black flames of Chaos that burn in the cosmos. This hateful world in which we live today is shaped by the moral values of the enslaving religions, and this fact alone should push all those who possess a bit of Chaos within them to fight against these religions and reduce all these buildings of lies to ashes.”
Yusef ben Meddour is, unwillingly, the victim of the most extreme wing of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order. Few followers, a handful of individuals, yet so lethal.
Two human sacrifices? It is without doubt a reading of the facts that blends well and is in keeping with the statements made by Jon Nödtveidt and the principles of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order, now Temple Of The Black Light. Yusef ben Meddour is the sacrificial victim in honor of that anti-cosmic Satanism advocated by the MLO: an extreme gesture, certainly not shared by many people of the MLO but, in the role of Vlad and Jon, the murder constitutes the ultimate purpose of the MLO. We are not talking, in fact, about an extemporary homicide, dictated by a momentary rage, by a raptus. The two, as we have seen, had been devising for a long time to kill.
On the other hand, there is the sacrifice of Jon Nödtveidt. A ritual suicide, a real sacrifice.
Death as the orgasm of life.