he founding members of Deathstars knew each other from childhood after growing up in Strömstad, Sweden. The members consider their act, Deathstars, to be an evolutionary version of black metal act, Swordmaster founded back in 1993. Originally featuring former Dissection drummer Ole Öhman (a.k.a. Bone W Machine), guitarist Emil Nödtveidt (a.k.a. Nightmare Industries), vocalist Andreas Bergh (a.k.a. Whiplasher Bernadotte) and Erik Halvorsen (a.k.a. Beast X Electric) on guitar.
The band's name brings up the image of Star Wars, however it in fact is supposed to be an amalgamation of "death metal" and "stars". The act calls Kiss as an early inspiration, and have been compared to Rammstein, The Kovenant and Marilyn Manson.
By the time their debut album, Synthetic Generation first surfaced in March 2002 on 'LED Recordings' (later on 'Nuclear Blast') their style underwent a radical change from basic black metal. These changes could be seen on the band's two demo EP releases of Razor End and Black Medicine, released the year before. On October 1, 2003, bass player Jonas Kangur (a.k.a. Skinny Disco) joined the group; previously he was only present for live sessions.
Plans to commence recording of the second album, however, were delayed as due to their gear being stolen when returning from the 'Wave Gotik Treffen' festival in Leipzig, Germany in June 2004. However, by October they were back in form to support to the resurrected Dissection at their Stockholm Lilla Arenan gig before undertaking the recording of their next album in early 2005 at the band's own Black Syndicate Studios; that album, Termination Bliss, would arrive in January of 2006 but not before parting ways with guitarist Erik Halvorsen in August, citing, "lack of enthusiasm". Limited edition variants of the album were released with a "Driven On" remix of the track Blitzkrieg by Mortiis.
During this period there was outside band activity with both Emil Nodtveidt and bassist Jonas Kangur securing production credits on the Dissection album Reinkaos; Deathstars also remixed the track Vyperpunk on Dope Stars Inc.'s Neuromance album. As well, the band supported Cradle of Filth on their 2006 tour through Europe. In September 2006, the band announced that Eric Bäckman a.k.a. Cat Casino) was now a full-time guitarist in the act.
Deathstars then opened shows for Korn on their European tour throughout January and February 2008. Deathstars also headlined shows on the side between the dates they performed with Korn. But Öhman would not be present for that tour due to personal reasons. Bergh attributed this to the fact that the drummer "had to take care of his family back home". Fellow Swede Adrian Erlandsson, who had also played the drums for Cradle of Filth, filled in on the drumming duties during the tour.
For the next upcoming studio album, Nödtveidt wrote the song Via The End when he heard of the suicide of his brother, Jon Nödtveidt. The release of this album was delayed, however, originally scheduled for release in spring 2008 and titled, Deathglam. After Metallica released Death Magnetic, Deathstars changed the new album's name to Night Electric Night and jokingly said that Deathstars was the actual inspiration for the signature font and the track name Cyanide on the aforementioned Metallica album. The joke went further when Bergh stated that the new album would be titled Master of Muppets (a play on the famed Metallica album, Master of Puppets).
In May 2008, 'Nuclear Blast' released an "ultimate edition" of the band's second album Termination Bliss called Termination Bliss Extended containing a CD and DVD. The CD component also featured one bonus track, Termination Bliss (piano Version), but did not include Blitzkrieg (Driven On Version). The DVD included all their music videos and special "making of" them documentary. They had also released a single DVD entitled Termination Bliss EXTENSION. Night Electric Night would subsequently be released in May, 2009.
Throughout 2010 Deathstars continued touring Europe to support Night Electric Night, and in late May, 2010 Deathstars played four shows in South America. Later the band would re-release Night Electric Night as a two CD and DVD set, with the second CD containing remixes and two unreleased songs and by 2011 a tour of America and one in Europe with Rammstein would commence. On October 24, 2011 Oscar Leander a.k.a. Vice), become the new drummer.
By July 2013 the band parted ways with guitarist Bäckman, who wanted to focus on other things in life; the band would continue as a four-piece for the time being. On June 13th 2014 the band released their 4th studio album, The Perfect Cult.
Long time drummer Oscar 'Vice' Leander would leave in 2017; he had joined back in 2011.
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Deathstars, 6 October 2006.
Photo by: Luca De Santis
CC BY 2.0
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