Written by: Dipesh
Yngwie Per Ohlin (Dead)
(January 16, 1969 – April 8, 1991)
Suicide is probably the consequence of fear to face the present and the future, an attempt to end life prematurely because it doesn’t go through the intended paths and seems to worsen everyday. But, what about people who have no fear of death? People who have already died many times before….
In 1991, Yngwie Per Ohlin (Dead) tried to cut his pulse veins open with a kitchen knife and then blasted his head off with a shotgun which belonged to Euronymous. The vocalist of early Mayhem and Morbid, Dead is regarded as one of the most obscure and weirdest characters in the whole Black Metal scene. He himself often stated that he was not a human but a creature from another world. And his introverted, depressive, withdrawn and silent character complemented what he often said about himself. As he mentions, during his childhood, he would usually have deep sleeps and reach to a state of unconsciousness. He also reported many near-death experiences where he returned back to life after reaching at the other world. He adopted the stage-name Dead because he considered himself already dead and claimed that he would die very soon.
After leaving the Swedish Death Metal band Morbid because of his discontent with the commercial viewpoints of other band members, Dead joined Mayhem in 1988. With Dead, Mayhem turned from a “hobby band with shitty lyrics” to a more sinister and meaningful band that would begin a whole new era of Black Metal and produce albums of the caliber of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. His ideas of afterlife, decay, individualism and the supernatural combined with Euronymous’ increasing “godfather” image influenced many youths to join the wave of Black Metal. The Inner circle, Helvete and the corpse paint movement found their origin because of Dead (not ignoring Euronymous). The lyrical concepts of Dead which related to matters beyond this world: the supernatural found their way in De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, the legendary album that defined Black Metal itself. He had written all the lyrics for the album and was supposed to be the vocalist for the album before he shot himself dead.
Many musicians try to act different from themselves in a stage. Either under the influence of drugs or with the wrong conception of “stage-performance”, they perform strange antics which contradict their normal life. Dead’s stage performance, unlike others was a part of what he was. He often mentioned that “if it was Gore, it had to be real”. With routines of self-mutilation and sacrifices, Dead was again “not human” in stage. With blood streaming and pig heads flying everywhere, the Mayhem live performances with Dead as the vocalist (most notably Live In Leipzig) were strange and haunting for anyone.
With Mayhem themselves bluntly replying “He died for the scene” when asked about Dead’s suicide, the nihilistic scene of the 90′s Black Metal showed no emotion for his death. Yet, as an initiator of the Black Metal movement and a creator of such masterpiece as De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, he will always be remembered. The “ultra-nihilistic” approach of vocals which was later followed by Attila and the self-mutilation followed by Maniac found their roots in Dead. I will refer to Dead as the tr00est one amongst millions of others who wanted to look tr00. Unlike some iconoclasts who write endless stories about what brought them to suicide, Dead’s suicide note simply read “Excuse all the blood”. While Mayhem and its other bandmates have been part of so much popularity over the years, the name of Dead lies like a face in stone, buried by time and dust.