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What Swedish death is all about - 98%

KingZombie666, October 1st, 2014
Written based on this version: 1990, Cassette, CBR Records

This band is among the best “specimens” from the Swedish death scene. When I first came across Nirvana 2002, back in 2007, I thought it was yet another “new” death band. I said “Nirvana 2002”; they want to emulate the US grunge band, what a bunch of posers. But, fortunately, I was dead wrong.

Disembodied Spirits is by far one the best demos in Swedish death metal ever. It makes no preambles; it goes directly to the jugular, biting with the otherworldly strength of a recently reanimated corpse! The ambience is heavily distorted and decadent; also it possesses a well played and balanced mix of punkish melodies with brutal blast beats accompanied by perverse buzz saw riffling that generates a very aggressive environment that goes in crescendo as the record progresses. The drumming is very powerful and technical and the voice is deranged and grave-like.

Slumber is a tricky name for a very fast and pounding song. The mood created is accelerated by the tremendous drumming, somewhat contained by the riffing. It packs a tremendous amount of power. Around the second part of the song, that relentlessness has ceased, and a screechy funeral-like solo begins, only to be properly broken by a roaring from the dead. Brilliant.

The second song is aptly called Zombiefication. This track is grim, and unrelenting. You can almost conceive it as unstoppable force that fully encompasses and infects your ears and brain. The lyrics are just about that; they’re about a certain guy waking up from the grave amidst a process of Zombification. The drumming is unyielding, hitting with full strength while the guitars accelerate the already fast-paced buzz saw riffing ending it with twisted and shrieking solo. It is among my favorite death metal songs of all.

The closing track has doomier moments and includes the traditional cadence riffing one is more accustomed to listen in Swedish death. We can hear yet another magnificent solo that is then followed by a waltz like musical arrangement. The song ends with butchering drumming. Disembodied is one of the finest examples of what a primitive sounding death metal band should be like; yet it is also creative, brutal and technical. A lot of effort has been put in this demo and it has certainly paid. I would recommend it to all kinds of metal fans, for it is a masterpiece of musicianship that ought not to be overlooked.

98/100.

The Essence Of Pure Swedish Death Metal - 85%

spacecorpse1, May 30th, 2008

This demo has a sound that instantly takes you back to the roots of the Swedish Death Metal scene. It's got a crusty nastiness to it that just obliterates your face with it's vicious teeth grinding, limb amputating chainsaw riffs.

One of the most incredible features of this recording are the vocals of Mr. Orvar Safstrom, who was once a session vocalist for the mighty Entombed. This guy is one of the few belchers that has a sound and style of his own. When you hear him with Entombed, on this demo, or anywhere else you instantly know it's him. I love how you can hear him breathing heavily into the microphone during breaks in the music.

There's just something about demos like this one that perfectly shows off the true essence of the death metal genre in all it's intentional ugliness. This is like a musical embodiment of an old gritty 70's horror film like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, whereas one of the new era of death metal bands would make something more like a modern day remake of the said classic film, but how could anyone argue as to which version has the most heart and creepy atmosphere?

This demo is a short but painfully sweet excursion into the bloody chainsaw hell that was the swedish scene back in the early 90's. A country and an era in death metal that's arguably it's most true to artistic form that it ever was.

Death metal the way it should be done... - 88%

robotiq, October 17th, 2007

Almost universally recognised as one of the finest death metal bands never to produce an album. Perhaps this is a shame, but hidden gems like this demo demonstrate the genre's depth and quality in ways that obvious classics cannot. This is especially true for death metal, where so many bands mask their mediocrity beneath distortion, incomprehensibility, and pretensions of extremity.

Nirvana 2002 are an enigmatic cross between the first Entombed and Dismember records. The rampant, deranged approach of the latter collides with the grooving mid-paced riff-combinations of the former. They enhance the atmosphere with well-placed keyboard breaks and a conceptual approach that lies closer to spirituality than to gore. The vocals are an effective mix of rasping and growling, the thick guitar tone is typically Swedish, the songs are complex and multi-dimensional, but remain raw and full of youthful enthusiasm.

I discovered this band in about 2001, which was a decade after they had been buried by time and dust. They sound as vigorous and fresh as they ever did, but my appreciation of the songs themselves has grown with every listen, which is the mark of a genuinely good band. Their Promo '91 and the compilation track from 'Projections of a Stained Mind' arguably kick even more ass than this demo, but this is still essential.

Why couldn't there be something more? - 92%

GangstaMonocle, March 4th, 2004

I am going to start off by saying that Nirvana 2002 is responsible for what is one of the greatest Swedish brutal death metal demo tapes ever. Why the hell couldn’t they have pulled it together and gotten at least one album out?

The three track demo opens up with Slumber, which is my favorite track. It opens up fast and furious and assaults your ears with extreme prejudice. This song, as with the rest of the demo, shoots first and asks questions later, all while chewing bubble gum and taking names. The solos are amazing and the riffs as a whole will give you whiplash.

The second track, Zombiefication, is a little more plodding in its delivery, but crushing nonetheless. Demo ender The Awakening of... is an excellent finish, and may be the strongest song overall.

All in all, this is one of the greatest things to ever come out of Sweden. The solos are fast and bluesy at the same time, and the riffs will give you tetanus and tear your head off at the same time. The vocals are venomous and rough, on par and sometimes better than Grave. If you are ever lucky enough to find this tape, or MP3s, get them, it will be well worth your time. The greatness in this demo does however make you ponder the question, ‘What if they hadn’t broken up?’ Swedish death metal might’ve had a whole new outlook, that’s what might’ve happened.