I wasn’t listening to underground metal in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Years later, when I began to discover what I had missed, Entombed’s Left Hand Path and Dismember’s Like An Ever Flowing Stream were among the albums that first really hooked me and started me down my own musical left hand path. Once I realized that I was at the tip of an iceberg, I began reading to try to get better educated about the early Swedish death metal scene, and it wasn’t long before I came across the name Nirvana 2002.
The band’s original name was Prophet 2002, and the members then later changed the name to Nirvana. After discovering the existence of Seattle’s Nirvana upon the release of that band’s first single, they took the “2002” from the first name of the band and tacked it onto the new one.
Nirvana 2002 were only active from 1988 to 1991, releasing a quartet of demos and a 1990 split with Appendix, Authorize, and Fallen Angel. But the band had a lot to do with establishing the signature sound of what we would now call “old school Swedish death metal”, though the school was just getting started when Nirvana 2002 were alive. Daniel Ekeroth, the author of Swedish Death Metal, wrote that they were “one of the purest examples of that typical fat Swedish death metal, with crushing guitars and straightforward song structures.”