Black Metal Documentary:: Until The Light Takes Us

Until The Light Takes Us is a documentary on the Norwegian Black Metal scene captured by directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell who moved to Norway and lived with the musicians for several years. The scene itself is infamous for the numerous church burnings and murders which occured in the early nineties. Much of the footage involves interviews with Darkthrone’s Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell and Burzum’s Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes, with the latter seen in prison for the murder of Black Metal pioneer Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth. These articulate men hold the view that Christianity is responsible for all the world’s problems with added resentment exacerbated by the blooming of American businesses like McDonald’s in Oslo circa early nineties. Both concerns fueled a reaction against the erasing of native Norwegian culture, leading to the destruction of many ancient churches in the land. This also brought on copy cat burnings by kids who left satanic grafitti in their wake, ultimately confusing the message of Black Metal. Varg is vehement that the church burnings were a result of their aversion to the erasing of Norwegian culture, not Satan worshipping.

The genre itself involved metal’s own lo-fi movement, often using sub-par equipment to reflect the dark, greyness, and cold of the artist’s vision. Not nearly as anemic and forgettable as America’s own lo-fi indie nineties, Black Metal is also known for face painting and stark monochromatic record covers. Finally, I must be part Norwegian as I prefer some space between me and the next guy in line as well.


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