Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh my god. Or: The craziest news no one cares about but me that I’ve heard in a long time


While on the phone with my brother Brad, trying to troubleshoot how to watch Michigan play Clemson in the first round of the NCAA tournament (with me living in Austin and him living in St. Paul, both of us got stuck with the Texas v. Minnesota game on TV), he mentioned that he had read that some Black Metal musician was being released from prison, but he didn't know who. I assumed it was Gaahl, former lead singer of Gorgoroth, because it seems like that guy is either going to or being released from prison every other week. But no, it wasn't Gaahl. It was Varg Vikernes! VARG VIKERNES IS BEING PAROLED! Hide your children, foreigners, and social progressives!

For those who don't know, here's a little background. Black Metal, and specifically Norwegian Black Metal, is a subgenre of extreme metal that has gained global notoriety for its almost cartoonish level of violence, sometimes on stage, but mostly off. Various musicians have been arrested for a variety of violent crimes that include murder, arson (specifically church burnings), kidnapping, and torture.

Varg Vikernes ascended to the dubious level of being the quintessential representative of all dangerous and violent actions in the Black Metal scene. Varg was not only a founding member of the scene in the early 90s, but was also member of the godfather of all Norwegian Black Metal bands, Mayhem. Performing under the pseudonym Count Grishnackh, Varg performed with Mayhem and released large amounts of music via an assortment of solo projects, establishing himself near the top of the Black Metal music and social world.

In 1993 Varg viciously and repeatedly stabbed Mayhem band mate Øystein Aarseth (stage name Euronymous) to death in the hallway of Aarseth's apartment building. When Varg was arrested, police found a massive cache of explosives complete with plans to blow up a leftist organization, Blitz, in Oslo. In 1994 Varg was charged and convicted of murdering Aarseth and for his involvement in a number of church burnings. Varg's infamous reaction to receiving the maximum sentence of 21 years was to simply smile.

Since his arrival in prison, Varg has continued to record and release music, mainly as Burzum, one of his solo incarnations. He has also written extensively on a number of far right wing topics, reinventing himself as something akin to a fascist, white-power thinker. (Though that Guardian article makes it sound like Varg has abandoned the right-wing philosophizing and is embracing humbleness.)

And now he is being released from prison after serving 16 years of his sentence. Crazy. I can't believe that they are letting him out early. Unless he has undergone some sweeping personality changes in prison, the guy is batshit crazy, racist as hell, and obviously dangerous. But what do I know? (Admittedly, very little.)

I've heard some Mayhem, but nothing from Varg's days, nor have I ever heard any of Varg's solo stuff. It's my understanding that arson, murdering, and hardcore xenophobia aside, Varg is an extremely talented musician. But I think I'll just stick to my Emperor and my Melechesh and my what have you, and try to keep my distance from people like Varg.

Thank you for reading this installment of "The craziest news no one cares about but me that I've heard in a long time." Here's a picture of Varg when he found out that he got that vacant apartment in your building. Enjoy!

14 comments:

Brad said...

What

Anonymous said...

I wish people wouldn't swallow all the lies about the BM scene and Vikernes so easily, let alone come up with lies of their own.

Things like "Though that Guardian article makes it sound like Varg has abandoned the right-wing philosophizing and is embracing humbleness." ...

Scott said...

Wait, are you saying that I'm lying or the Guardian? Because I'm pretty sure it's fairly common knowledge (or at least publicly available knowledge) that members of the Black Metal scene were responsible, at one time, for things like church burnings and murder. As far as those quotes from Varg in the Guardian, I am skeptical about how non-crazy/racist/dangerous he is these days. So I'm a little confused as to what you're calling me out on...

But from what I can tell, Anonymous, you're commenting from Norway. And I've always been curious what the Norwegian take on the Black Metal thing is (I asked a Swedish guy I knew, but he seemed to not really care one way or the other). I mean, I just read about this stuff, there aren't too many Black Metal bands in Austin (there was one, once, but they left because they didn't have much of a following in town).

Anyways, it's always been my impression that even in Norway the Black Metal scene is pretty small, albeit visible. Just curious what most Norwegians think about the whole scene (though, it's my understanding it's not nearly as crazy as it was 15 years ago). So if you're out there Anonymous, and in fact in Norway, come back. Tell me stuff.

And Brad? Yup.

Molly said...

Yeah, no one really does the "BM scene" justice, I agree.

Also, and I realize this should probably go in the comments section of the LtROI, but I'm too mad to follow protocol. Your review of the vampire movie is also riddled with second-hand lies. For example, "There are so many things that can be said about Let the Right One In." Really, Octopus Motor, really?!

Scott said...

I guess Anonymous isn't coming back. Sigh...

As long as he's gone, I just want to point out that calling it the "BM scene" just makes it sound like he's talking about a "Bowel Movement scene".

And I challenge you, Molly, to say less than "many things" about LtROI. Challenge you!

sølvi skaran said...

Varg Vikernes might not be the most stable guy, but I think the media has blown BM up to be something more extreme than it really is. The musicians were judged and hated because people who didnt know anything about their music just believed in everything they read. Not all of them are crazy and dangerous, so we should focus on the music instead. Here in Norway BM is getting bigger and bigger, and groups like Satyricon and Enslaved are travelling around the world. Both of them are going to "normal" festivals (im going to one of them actually:P) and people who listen to them arent always the stereotypical fans.

Scott said...

I totally agree with you about the music. I really like Emperor and Melechesh (of course, they're not Scandinavian). I like what I've heard from Satyricon, too.

I didn't mean to imply the whole scene is violent or dangerous, just that for a time there was a pretty sensational fringe element.

Unfortunately Austin's lone black metal band (Averse Sefira), took off years ago. They vowed never to come back, and they appear to be sticking to that promise.

Anonymous said...

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Thanks

Anonymous said...

Yet another person swallowing the lies of the media. Varg isn't ''batshit insnae'' as you called him or not even necarilly racist. he just reconizez the true facts that some races are superior to others. It's a known fact that Negroes have a lower average IQ then whites, for example. I don't see how reconizing the true facts is racist...

Scott said...

Does it count as some kind of dubious internet milestone now that anonymous racists have shown up to say crazy things on my blog? Could it be, my very first troll?

Anonymous said...

You fucking moron.. 50% of this is bullshit. Probably just created by your judgmental pathetic ass. Please kill yourself you fucking cunt.

Scott said...

This is probably pointless, but what exactly is "bullshit?" Because, you're not the first to call "bullshit" on this post, and you're also not the first to leave absolutely zero explanation as to what you mean.

So bring it on, I'll needlessly argue with the anonymous internet about a topic I openly admitted that I know relatively little about.

Anonymous said...

Lol, I've never read your blog before, was just browsing for Varg infos after a friend told me about him, but your reactions to random trolls remind me very much of me.

So, keep up the good work. :D

Anonymous said...

"police found a massive cache of explosives complete with plans to blow up a leftist organization,"
Come on now. He definitely burned churches and killed at least one guy, but this is just a lie.