The Protagonist


The Protagonist, from Sweden and on the Cold Meat label of course, has impressed me with beautiful bombastic neo-classical music. The Protagonist only released one album so far, but made it already to my favourites. Mastermind is Magnus Sundström, who earlier had a more industrial project called Third Eye, that made amongst others a nice split abum with Negru Voda. The Protagonist came to my attention through some contributions to various compilations. Two great tracks were featured on the already legendary double-cd “The Absolute Supper”. Other tracks could be found e.g. on “The Dark Ages”, “Storm the Palace” and “Riefenstahl”. After I attended a great concert at a Cold Meat Festival in Waregem, Belgium, I expected a lot from the debut album.

Well, I must say, all my expectations were fullfilled by “A Rebours”. On this mostly instrumental album some guest-musicians are involved, like Arcana’s Peter Petterson and Mark St. John Ellis of Elijah’s Mantle. The album “A Rebours” is named after the French fin-de-siècle novel by J.K. Huysmans (1884), with the decadent esthete Des Esseintes as the main character (the protagonist). Most tracks on the album are inspired by various literary and cultural sources. On two tracks Marcus Ohlsson plays cello, but most music is performed by Sundström alone. I’m already looking forward to future releases… Magnus Sundström has also started an industrial side-project, which he named Des Esseintes.


  • A Rebours (CMI, 1998)
  • Interim EP (Cold Meat, 2005)