|Director:||Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell||Country:||USA|
|Writer:||Original Format:||35mm, MiniDV|
|Dir. of Photography:||Odd Reinhardt Nicolaysen, Audrey Ewell||Print Source:||Field Pictures|
|Producer:||Audrey Ewell, Aaron Aites|
|Cast:||Varg Vikernes, Gylve Nagell, Harmony Korine|
This stunning documentary about black metal intimately charts the malevolent music genre's transformation from a fiery, anti-commercial, and ultimately deadly underground music scene, into high art.
There is certainly something rotten in the state of Norway: Satanism, the killing of “faggots”, the burning of churches, and lead singer Dead shooting his brain out with a shotgun, prompting an interviewee to opine how “Dead was dead in a bed”. It can only be one thing: Black Metal.
This documentary concentrates on some of the key players in the Black metal underground scene and investigates the scene’s influences, characters, art and the often-disturbing belief systems that are present in this morbidly engaging world. We hear the case against Christianity and its inherent disrespect for other cultures. American imperialism, consumerism and the tabloids also get it in the neck.
Often the music takes a back seat to the sensational events that are discussed. But there’s enough to sate anyone from the darkside. The main Norwegian bands featured are Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, a wave of metal acts that take their cue from metal veterans Venom and Celtic Frost – with that regimented sound of distorted guitars, double-kick drums and the kind of vocals that make one want to eat one’s own ears.
A healthily objective viewpoint is achieved by New York directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell, who take matters pretty seriously, though at times, it’s the interviewees who seem to find the bizarre incidents almost amusing.
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