Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Until the light takes us ... or the spawn of an affluent western society

Ok ... so I have been holed up on the couch nursing a pair of painfully infected tonsils feeling generally miserable ... as such, the mind naturally turns to lighter matters like the subject of Black Metal, for instance ... so thanks to my friend in the hardcore fridge D, I watched "Until the Light Takes Us"

And like most of the country and the western, the more I delve into the hardcore scene in all its variants, the more I'm convinced that this genre will forever elude me ... I can't come at it musically or lyrically, although I appreciate alot of the cover art, the looks (trend based or otherwise) and indeed the passion (which can lead down some pretty warped pathways as the doco clearly illustrates) of both its purveyors and indulgents.

The doco essentially tells the tale of 2 (I gather) influential Black Metal artists: the rather earnest and slightly uncomfortable Glyve Nagell of Darkthrone and the articulate but self-delusional Varg Vikernes who recorded under the moniker of Burzum.

You warm to Glyve straightaway ... although he does scream tech support!! And has the inflections of someone educated in the private school system or its equivalent .. he gets busted by customs on a train early on in the film for having teargas in his bag ... first alarm bell for me ... why the hell in Oslo would you need teargas ... I ask you .. if not for effect ... and if that is the case then this is a massive FAIL!

I can see how you could be attracted to Varg in a sot of perverted serial killer way ... but this guy is one hell of an obsessive meglomaniac and an extreme spouter of cod philosophy so rank its like he's brewing fish sauce everytime he speaks ... but make no mistake ... Varg is a murderer ... he received Norways maximum penalty of 21 years jail for this crime and also 4 counts of arson.

He recounts the time when Mcdonald's first opened in Norway and how they gathered all the arms they could find (its the gun toting west in this pocket of Scandinavia) and took pot shots at the windows in effort to preserve the ways of old - i.e. an idyllic time when the community was homogenous (alarm bell!) - which somehow turns around into a defiant act of burning down churches, some of them heralding back to the 12th century because to create something new, you have to get rid of the old ...??

If that was the strongest act of defiance that your bourgeouis anger and self-righteousness can invent, it is no wonder that Varg vented his frustration in a fatal act of violence ... all I could think of was white anglo saxon - never worried about a roof over their head or food on the table - I can't imagine something like black metal ever emerging from somewhere like China ... can you? They're too busy struggling to survive for all of this existential angst ... and in some ways I'm not sure if they're any the poorer for it.

Oh and dude from Mayhem, killing a "faggot" ... not cool!! Oh and dude from Satyricon ... self mutilation? ... *yawn*!!

And now that I have angered most of the dissasociated yoof of today (and I don't think they're off crying into their Facebook/Apple produce cornflakes as a result), all that is left for me to say is that the most metal I'll ever get is Kate Bush's The Dreaming lp.


  1. So, a minor bit of QC. Varg's real name is Kristian Larssøn, and his band was called Burzum. Originally a proper band it is now indeed a solo project (mainly because no one wants to work with the neo-nazi sociopathic nut bar). He did change his name officially to Varg Vikernes (I guess the shame/irony of being a black metal kid called 'Christian' was too much). He recorded under the moniker Count Grishnackh.... for the mmorpg fans living in their mother's basements you'll recognise the Tolkein reference.
    All that aside I do agree with most of what you've said, but as a fan of the music (not the ideals its too often associated with) I think you need to read Lords of Chaos (http://feralhouse.com/titles/books/lords_of_chaos.php) for a less one sided veiw of the scene/phenomenon.

  2. Anonymous (ahem!) you're my very first comment on this new and hopefully improved blog! Thank you for the minor bit of QC. I am tempted to say "whatevs" but then I'm not being true to myself because although this genre of music does "elude" me, I am fascinated by the back story. So I am interested in tracking this book down ... perhaps anonymous you could proffer a copy that I could borrow?? (oh and welcome by the way ... please to enjoy the pleasures of the interhole!)


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