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Music / Spawn of Possession

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Spawn of Possession is a Swedish technical death metal band. Characterized by their classically-influenced arrangements that are incredibly demanding even by tech-death standards, as well as their trademark "story within a song" lyrics, they have risen greatly over the years and have gradually become one of the most well-known groups in the scene.

Formed in Kalmar in 1997 by Dennis Rondum (drums, vocals), Jonas Bryssling, and Jonas Karlsson (guitars), the band was initially a studio project with no plans to ever play live. They eventually released a demo in the form of The Forbidden in 2000, which attracted a surprising amount of interest, enough so to make them reconsider their stance on live shows. They quickly drafted Niklas Dewerud (bass) to (sort of) complete their lineup, though they were still without a dedicated vocalist, as Rondum found it difficult to play drums and sing at the same time. Another demo, Church of Deviance, followed in 2001, along with a deal with Unique Leader Records, and the year after that finally brought a dedicated vocalist in the form of Jonas Renvaktar, though he arrived after the recording of their full-length debut. Cabinet arrived in the beginning of 2003 to widespread critical acclaim, and they were soon hailed as the next big thing in death metal. They toured the US on the first annual Bloodletting Tour with Gorgasm, Pyaemia, and Severed Savior, which helped increase their reach and name recognition further. The next couple years came and went with assorted touring and scattered writing for their next album. Finally, Noctambulant arrived in 2006 and was hailed as a modern-day classic, and it got to the point where one could not read a metal publication without hearing something about that album.

Unfortunately, their momentum stalled shortly after that, as Rondum left that same year, while Dewerud left the year after. The latter was quickly replaced by Norwegian bass virtuoso Erlend Caspersen of Blood Red Throne fame, but the former was a different story. With the drum throne unoccupied, the band ceased playing live shows. 2008, thankfully, ended this, as Richard Schill finally stepped in; in addition to this, Karlsson left and was replaced by a hotshot young German guitarist by the name of Christian Muenzner. More writing followed, though Renvaktar left in 2009 and was replaced by Matthew "Chalky" Chalk; with the lineup considered complete, they finally released a rough track in 2009 of new material. 2010, however, brought yet another lineup change, as Chalk and Schill both left, with the former being replaced by a returning Rondum and the later being replaced by Henrik Schonstrom. A deal with Relapse was inked sometime after that, and the long-awaited third album, Incurso, was finally released in 2012. After a European tour in 2012 with Obscura, Gorod, and Exivious, the band largely fell off the face of the earth aside from a few interviews. As of 2015, they have confirmed that a new album is in the works, but also stated that it won't be coming out any time soon. A post from Jonas Bryssling in response to a comment on the Summer Slaughter Tour's Facebook page indicated that they weren't done as a touring band, but that various circumstances (namely Rondum becoming a father and heavy work obligations in general) kept them from being able to accept offers, as they had apparently been offered a slot on this year's iteration of the tour and had to decline. Another update followed at the very beginning of 2017, where Bryssling posted a very rough snippet of a demo of a possible album track and stated that while they weren't releasing anything new within the year, the album was creeping along. Alas, it was not to be, as the band wound up folding around the end of July, ending the story of a highly influential and well-loved act on a somewhat sad note. Jonas Bryssling eventually resurfaced with a scratch track of a new project in July of 2020, but Spawn of Possession itself is dead until further notice and Retromorphosis (his new project) bears no resemblance to his previous work.


  • The Forbidden (2000) - demo
  • Church of Deviance (2001) - demo
  • Cabinet (2003)
  • Noctambulant (2006)
  • Incurso (2012)

The band contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Brutal Death Metal: Cabinet
  • Darker and Edgier: Incurso thanks to its focus on cultivating a horror movie-esque atmosphere.
  • Demonic Possession: A common lyrical theme.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The thing being summoned on the cover of Incurso, and possibly the god worshipped by the protagonist of "Scorched" as well.
  • Epic Rocking: "The Evangelist" at 9:45, "Apparition" at 8:24, and "Spiritual Deception" at 6:34.
  • Four Is Death: The fourth album never came to fruition, as they'd eventually split up while they were in the middle of writing it.
  • Grandparental Incest: The ending of "The Evangalist" reveals that the main character's mother was actually Father Dorian's daughter and he used to rape her every day until she got pregnant and gave birth to the main character, who was raped by Father Dorian... ew.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The titular "Spawn of Possession", who was the product of demonic rape.
  • Handicapped Badass: Muenzner has a nerve condition that essentially leaves him without the use of two of his fretting fingers, but he can still play circles around the vast majority of his contemporaries and has adapted his style to get around these limitations.
  • Humiliation Conga: The demons unleashed by the protagonist of "Deus Avertat" put him through this before possessing him, ostensibly just to be dicks.
  • Lead Bassist: Caspersen is a major Type A and arguable Type C due to his highly influential nature among death metal bassists in general.
  • Lead Drummer: Dennis Rondum was both the drummer and the vocalist until 2006 when he took full duty on lead vocals.
  • Light Is Not Good: The "angel" in "Apparition", which was later revealed to be a demon that commanded a man to murder his entire family. Of course, it's also possible that he was Ax-Crazy and that the being was a hallucination.
  • Motor Mouth: The specialty of Rondum and Renvaktar, especially Rondum.
  • Murder Ballad: A common lyrical theme, usually in the form of human sacrifice or carrying out terms of demonic contracts.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Cabinet is standard technical brutal death metal with a higher emphasis on the technical side.
    • Noctambulant dropped some of the BDM influence from Cabinet in favor of a significantly more complex songwriting.
    • Incurso placed a greatly increased focus on atmosphere in addition to having far longer songs and a greatly increased focus on bass thanks to Caspersen's presence.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted at one point thanks to having three different people by the name of Jonas in the band.
  • Our Liches Are Different: The protagonist of "Servitude of Souls" was a Mad Doctor who kidnapped and murdered others for the express purpose of extracting and collecting souls to infuse into his own being, which is a decidedly lichlike mission.
  • The Perfectionist: A shared philosophy between Jonas Bryssling and Dennis Rondum, and one of the biggest reasons why they ended as a band. They had both agreed that when they felt like they had reached their creative apex and fully encapsulated what Spawn of Possession was as a band, they would call it quits rather than risk treading water.
  • Revolving Door Band: For a while. Things have settled down since then.
  • Special Guest: This is essentially Christian Muenzner's role; while technically a full-time member, he records nothing but leads and does not tour with them. As for individual guests:
    • Pat O'Brien played a guest solo on "Render My Prey", while Karlsson returned to deliver a guest solo on "No Light Spared".
    • Dusty Boisjolie (formerly of Severed Savior) does backing vocals on "Dead & Grotesque", while Robbe Kok of Disavowed does the same on "By a Thousand Deaths Fulfilled".