The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'black metal'
My visit to Norway (which I had booked some weeks in advance), of course, was one week after the massacre in Oslo. As such, one of the sculptures in the centre of town, a flat granite slab, had become a memorial, and was covered with flowers and notes. Other than that, the mood didn't seem muted, shocked or apprehensive. A poster elsewhere advertised an event happening on the island of Utøya that weekend; I was told that this has not been cancelled, the island not been turned into a Norwegian Ground Zero, a cursed ground belonging forever to infamy. The Norwegian people, it seems, are not ones to let evil triumph, or even to let evil change their lives.
A short distance from the centre of Bergen is the Fantoft Stave Church, a wooden church built in the 13th century, and incorporating much traditional Viking imagery into its decor. (The overall effect is eerie; from some angles, it looks almost like a Japanese shrine, only austerely monochromatic.) Or rather an exact replica of the original church, which became famous for having been burned down by a Satanist connected with Norway's infamous Black Metal scene in 1992. The church was rebuilt, pretty much exactly as it was, with no acknowledgement of its misfortune save for a security camera and chain-link fence (and, of course, black-metal graffiti faintly scratched into an observation platform outside the fence).
It's interesting to think about how much of the interest in the church comes from its recent history. While the church does attract interest from those interested in mediæval ecclesiastical architecture or Norwegian traditions (it's not used for regular church services, though sometimes weddings are held there), it has also become a symbol of Black Metal taken to spectacular extremes. (A while ago, an artisan in Bergen made candles shaped like stave churches, in a limited edition of 666.) Meanwhile, many visitors to Bergen take the tram to Fantoft to see the church; it's debatable how many of those would have gone had it not been immortalised by its earlier destruction and resurrection (somewhat of a recurring motif, it could be argued). So, on one hand, the Satanist who torched it scored somewhat of an own goal in his quest to obliterate Norway's Christian heritage; on the other hand, a large part of the church's new-found fame is tied in with the fiery excesses of rock'n'roll gone malignant.
For what it's worth, I have posted photos from Bergen here.
Impaled Northern Moonforest is an Acoustic Black Metal act, and has songs for downloading, with titles like "Lustfully Worshipping The Inverted Moongoat While Skiing Down The Inverted Necromountain Of Necrodeathmortum" and "Entranced By The Northern Impaled Necrowizard's Blasphemous Incantation Amidst The Agonizing Abomination Of THe Lusting Necrocorpse". They sound exactly as you imagine them to.
What do Norwegian Black Metal and American Neo-Conservatism have in common? See here.
The similarities dont stop there. Whereas Vikernes and other Black Metalists saw heathen Norway in a life-or-death struggle for existence with the Semitic tribes Judeo-Christianity, Perle and Frum see Judeo-Christian America under threat from Islam. And both have the same solution: War, dude!
To be fair, Vikernes and another Black Metalist murderer, Hendrik Mobus, come off as far more interesting, intellectual and complex with their second-rate Nietzschean ideas mixed up with D&D mythology, whereas Perle and Frums war manifesto is surprisingly dull and sparse. Indeed, on each page the words are spaced so far apart you could drive a fertilizer-packed white van between each line. I read it in one sitting and came away with only one memorable line, in which they disparagingly called Belgium "Frances pilot fish." On the other hand, Perle and Frum have used their influence over Bush to rack up a far, far higher corpse-count than the hapless Norwegian dirtheads, so they more than make up for their lack of aesthetic flair or stylized corpse paint with genuine blood on their hands.
Norwegian Black Metal legend Varg "Count Grishnackh" Vikernes, almost a decade into a 21-year prison term for murder and arson, was arrested driving a stolen car. The former Burzum frontman stole the car at gunpoint whilst on day leave from his minimum-security prison, and drove towards Oslo. It is not clear what he planned to accomplish.
Norwegian Black Metal musician breaks into church, decapitates corpse; presumably just to remind the world that Norwegian Black Metal isn't dead. He then took the head to a party to show off.
The Norwegian black metal scene claims another casualty: Concertgoer hit by flying sheep's head at Mayhem show. The dead sheep in question was being dismembered on stage as part of the show, when the head flew off the lead singer's knife and hit 25-year-old Per Kristian Hagen, fracturing his skull.
"My relationship to sheep is a bit ambivalent now. I like them, but not when they come flying through the air," Hagen told The Associated Press Monday from his hospital room. He is expected to recover.
Mayhem member Rune Eriksen, whose stage name is Blasphemer, said the incident was unfortunate. "The whole thing was an accident, but maybe it would be an idea for another show," he said.
Eriksen offered Hagen a free ticket to the next Mayhem gig in compensation; this doesn't seem to be good enough for Hagen, who is suing the band for assault and battery. (via bOING bOING)
A new menace is threatening the impressionable youth of Malaysia; the menace of black metal, heavy-metal music with Satanic subtexts. It is not clear how Malaysian Black Metal differs from the Norwegian variant (presumably it'd be more anti-Islamic than anti-Christian, for one), or whether the menace is so far just headbangers getting down to imported Burzum CDs, but clerics say thay have found evidence of heavy metal fans being involved in Satanic activities. the Malaysian government, meanwhile, is taking firm steps to nip the problem in the bud, including ordering radio stations to play less heavy metal and requiring touring bands to submit videotapes before playing concerts. A committee of government-appointed clerics has called for a total ban on black metal music and associated imagery, and some schools have reportedly began strip-searching students for tattoos linked with the subculture.