If you’ve been following me on this site, you may have come to the realization that I’m a fan of albums that mark a pivotal time in a band’s musical journey. I love it when a band decides to change direction, and try new things, or change their style even if it doesn’t work out in their favor. It’s the mark of every great band; the desire to transcend and evolve despite how their fans may react to it. For Dissection fans, it seemed that ‘Reinkaos’ was definitely one of those albums, because even though it was very much a Dissection album, it was also a drastic change in creative direction. But what fans didn’t realize was that this album was much more than that. It wasn’t until Dissection frontman Jon Nodtveidt committed suicide that fans began to understand what ‘Reinkaos’ truly was. It was the album Jon wanted to be remembered for. It was the final chapter in his twisted saga.
Jon Nodtveidt was deeply involved in the occult, specifically the Misanthropic Luciferian Order, or “Temple of the Black Light”. Jon wasn’t one of these typical atheist musicians in the industry who use satanic imagery for shock value and attention. He believed in Lucifer as an actual deity, and devoted his life to the spiritual constructs and practices of the M.L.O. ‘Reinkaos’ is a window into this particular ideology, and that’s what makes it such a fascinating album. Not only did Jon desire to accomplish something great on a musical level with ‘Reinkaos’ before he died, he was also trying to accomplish something on a spiritual level. The lyrics consist of various invocations of Lucifer and other Anti-Cosmic deities, along with different formulas linked to their power. ‘Reinkaos’ was designed specifically to be a vessel and a conduit for the power of these deities.
Now let’s take a look at ‘Reinkaos’ from a musical perspective. I’m not entirely sure, but I think the only real thing Dissection accomplished with this project was the release of a great metal album. Unlike Dissection’s two previous albums, ‘Reinkaos’ is a true Gothenburg style, melodic death metal album with not a trace of anything resembling black metal except for Jon’s vocals. This album is mid-tempo with solid guitar riffs, flowing melody and driving rhythm. ‘Reinkaos’ lacks some of the technicality and intensity of Dissection’s early work, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Musically, this album is more soulful, and it reflects the passion Jon had for both music and his spiritual beliefs. In my opinion, the biggest reflection of the passion Jon put into this album are the guitar solos. The solos are beautiful, and each one flows seamlessly into every song. ‘Reinkaos’ is a work of brilliance, and in my opinion a tragically overlooked melodic death metal album. It’s every bit as good, and in some ways better than anything that’s come out of the Gothenburg metal scene.
Notable tracks: “Black Dragon”, “Beyond the Horizon” and “Maha Kali”.
Who was Jon Nodtveidt? Jon was a man of passion with an extreme personality. He believed in living life to the fullest, and he was a brilliant musician. He was also a dangerous, hateful, deranged lunatic and murderer. Jon’s heavy involvement in the occult had a devastating effect on his perception of reality and his life. Jon saw his life as one of great accomplishment and triumph. That may be true in some capacity, but through the eyes of a sane individual, his life was chaotic, sad and ended in tragedy.
If you want to learn more about Dissection and the Jon Nodtveidt saga, check out my December 21, 2016 article “Dissection and Delusion”.
Experience ‘Reinkaos’ right here.