So Dimmu Borgir announced this week that they fired keyboardist Mustis (Øyvind Johan Mustaparta) and bassist ICS Vortex (Simen Hestnæs) from the band. I was very displeased upon hearing this news, as Vortex is one of my favorite metal musicians of all time and Mustis is definitely the best keyboardist Dimmu has ever had.
Mustis soon released an official statement telling fans he was fired by text message and that he was taking legal action against the remaining members of Dimmu for not properly crediting him on compositions he did for several songs during his tenure with the band. Vortex followed with a statement telling fans that he would continue with future music plans, and expressed his support for Mustis in his legal case, calling the keyboardist "the true creative force in Dimmu for the last ten years."
Today, the remaining three fulltime band members - vocalist Shagrath and guitarists Silenoz and Galder - fired back with one of the longest press releases I have ever read. They mocked the statements released by Vortex and Mustis as false, and offered up several incidents involving both band members (although never naming which of the two perpetrated the different events) as evidence that the band was better off without them. The band concluded by saying that their forthcoming album, due out next year, would offer testimony to the fact that the "creative force in the band is highly intact" and that the album would retain the sound Dimmu is known for, even without Vortex and Mustis.
After reading all the statements from all parties, I will offer these thoughts. First of all, I firmly and truly believe that the truth cannot be found in any of the statements given, but somewhere in between all that, and it will remain that way most likely. Therefore, I give no creedence to any of the press releases except discussing current facts (those being that Mustis is filing a lawsuit and Vortex will continue with his other bands).
Second of all, I think the statement by Shagrath, Silenoz, and Galder is the epitome of pettiness and derision. They offer up these incidents of wrongdoing by Vortex and Mustis as evidence that they did not belong in the band, but their wording gives testament to their true intentions. The re-telling of those stories is full of language that lacks any objectivity and exclusively acts to smear their reputations. Contrary to that, Mustis and Vortex issued statements that did not attempt to influence opinion in not-so-subtle ways, but rather offered their view of the story and detailed their plans for the future. I applaud this action, and hope that they do not respond to the statement by the band in any way, so as to maintain their professional attitude.
Third of all, the fact that the band members were also unwilling to point out which incidents occurred with Mustis and which occurred with Vortex in their statement shows that they are truly motivated by petty revenge. I expect no less from Shagrath and Silenoz, who have proven throughout the years that they are elitist and they lord their roles as founding members of the band over every other band member. I am disappointed to see Galder's name on this statement, but if he has chosen to side with the other two in this, I'm sure he has his reasons. The fact that drummer Daray does not appear as part of this statement shows just how elitist Shagrath and Silenoz have become, and how much Galder is letting them get away with it.
In summation, I am seriously disappointed by the fact that this even occurred, and I don't think Dimmu will be nearly as good now that Mustis and Vortex are gone. However, I wish the two of them best of luck and hope that they succeed in their individual endeavours. As far as the band goes, I hope that the new album does retain the Dimmu sound, but if it doesn't, we will see Shagrath and Silenoz revealed as frauds, which I would revel in.
Here's some links if you want to explore this topic further:
ICS Vortex's MySpace
Dimmu Borgir's MySpace
Mustis' Statement on Blabbermouth
ICS Vortex's Statement on Blabbermouth
Statement from the band's management on Blabbermouth
Statement from Shagrath, Silenoz, and Galder on Blabbermouth