Just before the turn of the millennium, nearly 100 churches have been torched and desecrated by adherents of Black Metal, the most extreme form of underground music on the planet.
In an escalating unholy war, Black Metal bands and their obsessive fans have left a grim legacy of suicide, murder, and terrorism spreading from Norway to Germany, Russia, America, and beyond…
I read this book nearly a decade and a half ago; I was kind of surprised how much of it I’d forgotten. At the time, (late teens/early twenties) a lot of it was probably lost to me or just didn’t stick. Despite the fact that I’ve got close to 200+ books waiting to be read, I had the urge to go back through this one. I felt much more engaged this time, probably because I’m more aware of and affected by the view points and politics this book covers, as well as familiar with many of the bands discussed. The grammatical errors though, shesh! Sooo, many misspellings and forgotten words. Despite that, the context was still well written even if Moynihan did spend a disproportionate amount of time devoted to Varg Vikernes.
I’m aware the black metal underground supports and preaches hate; homophobia, racism, sexism, extremist far-right and neo-nazi views, which are all positions I will not get behind. Granted, these perspectives come from a country with standards and a history very different from my own, so I can’t begin to relate or understand. But then, these are children dabbling in adult ideologies and then piling on contradiction after contradiction until they don’t even know what their own opinions are anymore. Insecure, angsty teenage boys; outcasts that lashed out with church burnings, boasting about Satan, and admitting to murder and other creative ways to appear extreme and evil … then had to barrow money from their mom to put their album out, lol.
Goddammit, their music is good though!
Reading some of these interviews by Varg and Øystein was an eye roll fest, but also highly entertaining and even a bit adorable in a I-want-to-pinch-your-corpse-paint-clad-cheek kind of way. Sensationalism, immaturity, and pomp. Although, Varg has some pretty intriguing viewpoints on the old Nordic religions, he definitely used his knowledge to morph and mold the Norwegian Black Metal underground into what it is today.
Isn’t Satanism about self-indulgence as opposed to self-destruction? Though there’s a freakishly fine line between the two, I prefer to keep a little levity and humor shrouding the inevitable, festering nihilism and existential despair beneath.
He was a very special person, a good friend. Very shy, very quiet. He didn’t talk to many people. He stuck to himself and a few people he knew. I got to know him in 1987 when he was recording a demo with his former band Morbid, and I got him in touch with Euronymous and he joined Mayhem in early ’88, because his band Morbid was folding. He and Euronymous had the same ideas about music and the stage show, so they fit well with each other. Dead had extreme views about everything: he talked about being non-human, not belonging on earth. He told me stories that he was almost dying when he was a kid, because he was sleeping so deeply and his face turned blue, and he wanted to die when he was only two or three years old. They couldn’t wake him when he was sleeping; I think it was something between deep sleep and unconsciousness.
Dead’s the only one I feel like I would have had a natural affinity towards.