Until The Light Takes Us

Published:  April 6, 2010
Until The Light Takes Us

The Norwegian Black Metal scene has always been one of pure fascination and one surrounded in a veil of intrigue, violence, savagery and murder.

Marry all that with a sound that is so raw, malevolent, and brutal in its structure, timbre and delivery and you have a movement that was destined to remain ostensibly underground yet always, controversial.

Directed by Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell Until The Light Takes Us is as raw, lo-fi and underproduced as the musical genre itself. The film features interviews with the key perpetrators of the Norwegian Black Metal scene, Darkthrone’s Gylve Nagell and the imprisoned Varg Vikernes, incarcerated over the murder of a fellow bandmate.

It isn’t a new story. The Norwegian scene had been covered extensively in the 1998 book Lords Of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground where this bastard genre spawned from the tail end of the Thrash Metal movement of the early 80′s.

Darkthrone's Gylve Nagell

Darkthrone's Gylve Nagell

The entire Norwegian scene gained notoriety moreso from the church burnings, Satanic vandalism and murder than from the deliberately awful musical stylings. Let’s face it, as musicians the entire scene was pretty naff, but as arsonists, now that’s where these temper-tantrum tough guys excelled at.

The film explores a grim world of art, music, arson, murder, religious and cultural rebellion. The streets of Oslo are permeated with every modern American gaudy icon you can imagine from McDonalds to Levis. And centuries ago, another invasion stripped the nation of its Nordic culture and history as Christianity’s stranglehold took hold and has yet to let go.

It’s a fascinating insight into the genre and director’s Aites and Ewell pretty much let the protagonists of the movement relay their views throughout the course of the film without any sort of rebuttal or counter argument. And it works.

Screening at ACMI
Friday April 9 9.30pm

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