Per Yngve Ohlin (partially lost photos of suicide of Swedish black metal singer; 1991)
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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its discussion of a real-life suicide, the aftermath and photos.
Per Yngve Ohlin (January 16th, 1969 - April 8th, 1991) Also known as "Pelle" and "Dead" was a Swedish black metal singer who served as the vocalist for Mayhem from 1988 to 1991.
Background[edit | edit source]
Per Ohlin (nicknamed Pelle) was born on January 16th 1969, in Sweden. As a young child, he had suffered from sleep apnea and had allegedly wanted to die at a young age. At the age of ten he had suffered internal bleeding caused by a ruptured spleen due to a severe beating from bullies. Per was rushed to the hospital where for a while, he was declared clinically dead. However, paramedics managed to successfully resuscitate him. A few years after this incident, Per had developed a fascination with death. This fascination would later inspire his stage name, "Dead." In 1985/1986 Per formed the metal band Morbid and released the demo December Moon. Despite releasing a demo tape, The band split up as per wasn’t happy with the fact that the band wasn’t going anywhere. In early 1988, Per would move to Norway, so he could join the band, Mayhem.
Mayhem[edit | edit source]
Per would join Mayhem in early 1988. He would move into a rehearsal house that was shared between him, Oystein Aarseth (AKA Euronymous) and Jan Axel Blomberg (AKA Hellhammer). It has been widely documented that Per and Oystein did not get along with each other. Jan recalls an incident where Per left the rehearsal house to sleep outside because Oystein was playing synth music, a genre of music that Per hated. To further antagonize Per, Oystein would follow him outside and begin to shoot into the air with a shotgun that the band members had owned. Varg Vikernes of Burzum recalls an incident where Per had stabbed Oystein during an altercation.
Suicide[edit | edit source]
On April 8th, 1991, when Per was left alone in the band’s rehearsal house, he had taken a hunting knife and slit open his wrists and neck. He would then write a suicide note. Immediately after writing the note, he took a shotgun, aimed it to his head and pulled the trigger.
Oystein, who had to enter the house through an open window, was the first person to find Per’s corpse. Oystein would then visit a nearby store to purchase a disposable camera. Once he had made it back to the rehearsal house, he took numerous photos of Per’s corpse. One of these photos was sent to Warmaster records and was used on the album cover The Dawn of The Black Hearts.
According to the book Lords of Chaos, one of the other photos consisted of Per "sitting half up with the shotgun on his knee." However, this, among other photos of Per, were destroyed by Oysteins’ father, shortly after his (Oystein’s) death, in 1993.
Availability[edit | edit source]
The aftermath of Per’s suicide is pictured on the Dawn of The Black Hearts album cover. However, Per’s brother, Anders Ohlin has requested that the album cover not be spread around, in fear that his children may see it. Furthermore, the website discogs blocks any marketplace selling of the album. In 2017, the album was reissued and the original cover was replaced with an image of Mayhem’s bassist Necrobutcher.
The album cover.