5 Songs, 21 Minutes

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About Nonexist

The origins of Sweden's Nonexist date back to 2000 when Arch Enemy vocalist Johan Liiva (also of Carnage and Furbowl) decided to exit the band and form a metal outfit of his own after the release of Burning Bridges. Hotshot guitarist Johan Reinholdz of Andromeda was brought on to form the creative core of Nonexist. Reinholdz and Liiva began writing the material for their debut, and soon drummer Matte Modin (a veteran with discs from Defleshed and Dark Funeral to his credit) was brought on to finish the new band's recording lineup. The very talented and versatile Reinholdz made the recruitment of a bass player unnecessary, as the musician prepared to pull double instrumental duty in the recording studio. The group recorded their debut Deus Deceptor for New Hawen records (and Century Media in the North America) with producer Tommy Tägtgren (who has worked with many outstanding European metal outfits including Marduk, the Forsaken, Skyfire and Electric Hellfire Club) and this initial offering was issued worldwide in May of 2002. The real surprise of Deus Deceptor is the performance of Reinholdz who delivers some fine progressive death metal riffs and arrangements, especially on the release's two instrumental selections. Liiva and Modin do a fine job, but despite Liive's leadership position, it's Reinholdz who shines the brightest. The riffs on Deus Deceptor are absolutely huge, first-rate examples twenty-first century melodic death metal, and Tägtgren captures some of the best sounds of his career, yet the music didn't quite matches up with Andromeda and Arch Enemy. This is probably due to the lack of experience the members had working as a unit. The talent of everyone involved still could not be denied, and many followers of the Swedish metal scene anxiously awaited news about the future of the group. In addition to Reiholdz's and Modin's continuing commitments with other acts, Liive himself had yet another side project, Hearse, that had the potential to draw his attention away from the more promising Nonexist. Arch Enemy fans and reviewers in general received Nonexist warmly, but without a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, and commitments by all three members, and the lack of a touring lineup prevented the group from giving the project all the support and attention necessary to fulfill the outfit's potential. Rumors continued through 2002 about the addition of a bass player (Liive had fulfilled that duty with Arch Enemy but the vocalist declined to fill that slot in Nonexist) and second guitarist, but the group failed to put together a lineup during the spring and summer. ~ Vincent Jeffries

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