The sound of black metal, laden with distorted guitars, double bass, and vocals that sound as if uttered from the Devil himself, has come to serve as the soundtrack to the movement it inspired. Driven by an ideology steeped in anti-Christian sentiment and misanthropy, this underground movement resulted in a rash of horrific murders, church burnings and suicide. These real-life horrors are largely unknown to those not well-versed in the genre, with many assuming the connection between it and horror are focused solely on corpse paint, black clothing and humorous photographs taken in snowy landscapes while holding giant weapons.

While several documentaries (such as Murder Music: A History of Black Metal) and books (such as Lords of Chaos) chronicle the infamous black metal scene, none of them have received much mainstream popularity. Although only receiving a limited theatrical release, Pretty-Scary reports that Until the Light Takes Us, a new documentary on the musical sub-genre, will be screening in New York City on December 4th and a week later in Los Angeles.

Unlike other films or books that explore the same subject matter, filmmakers Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites took it to the extreme and lived in Norway among a number of black metal of musicians. This allowed them to study and ultimately present the unseen side of the infamous yet misunderstood movement. From the official website:

"Part music scene and part cultural uprising, black metal rose to worldwide notoriety in the mid-nineties when a rash of suicides, murders, and church burnings accompanied the explosive artistic growth and output of a music scene that would forever redefine what heavy metal is and what it stands for to other musicians, artists and music fans world-wide. Until The Light Takes Us goes behind the highly sensationalized media reports of "Satanists running amok in Europe" to examine the complex and largely misunderstood principles and beliefs that led to this rebellion against both Christianity and modern culture."

Although I have yet to see the film, I am a huge fan of black metal. The details of its horrific past are straight out of a horror film, from Mayhem vocalist 'Dead' blowing out his brains with a shotgun and leaving a note that says nothing more than "Excuse all the blood," to the rumors that suggested guitarist 'Euronymous' made a stew from his brains. This only cracks the surface of the underground black metal movement, and I for one an incredibly intrigued to see this new approach toward it.


CATEGORIES Movies, Features, Horror