One thing you can't say about Norwegian black-metal acolytes: when it comes to Satanism, murder and suicide, they're not exactly Hot Topic dilettantes. Or that's evidently the message of Until the Light Takes Us, the documentary opening tonight at The Belcourt. Here's Matt "Evisceratør" Sullivan on the movie in this week's Scene:
The film's narrative revolves largely around two figures -- Darkthrone member Gylve Nagell (better known as Fenriz), and the then-incarcerated Varg Vikernes. As sole member of the band Burzum, Vikernes dubbed himself Count Grishnackh, released a few records, burned some churches -- and oh yeah, murdered the guitarist for Mayhem. These events have been well-documented, most notably in the surprisingly academic book Lords of Chaos by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind, which serves as something of a black-metal Rosetta Stone.
Though a number of its subjects criticized the book, Lords of Chaos highlighted their contradictions without glossing over the anti-Semitism and racism that seeped into the scene's more radical pockets. But where the book elaborates on Vikernes' tendency to adopt extreme right-wing ideology and retroactively ascribe his actions to it, Until the Light Takes Us simply allows him to deliver unchallenged his well-rehearsed account of the murder of Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth. His criticism of Christianity as a "Jewish religion" also goes unchecked.
Huh. Sounds like child's play compared to what's going on in the Belcourt's other side.