Until the Light Takes Us (2008)

The title for this film is a translation of Burzum’s fourth album. Do you not know who Burzum is? You may walk away from this movie — with no past knowledge of black metal — believing that sole member Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes is a pretty intelligent, level-headed fellow. Then you remember, “Oh yes. He stabbed his rival Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth twenty-three times and also was broken out of jail by white nationalists. Yet — you can find plenty of photos of me wearing Burzum shirts, if you look on social media. And I own all the albums. And, well, I have no easy answers when it comes to black metal.

That’s a cop out. I get it.

If you think that gangster rap — with it’s need to prove who was real and who was fake, leading to actual murder — is crazy, you’re about to get an awakening. This film may jump around a bit to give you a balanced accounting. That said, it’s a million times better than the excoriable Lords of Chaos.

Once upon a time, in the basement of what would one day be a Benetton, a bunch of people would meet to talk about bands they liked. And that turned into a contest to see who could be legit and the most evil. As these things turn out, things went a bit far. The kind of far that involves murder, burning churches and intercine warfare, which ended up with — as we began — Varg and Euronymous proclaiming that they would kill one another.

Pretty much everyone in the scene gets a part, like Mayhem vocalist Per “Dead” Ohlin, who lived up to his nickname and whose suicide supplied a ghoulism album cover photo as well as supposed jewlery made from his skull fragments. Perhaps Fenris from Darkthrone comes off the nicest of anyone in this, as he seems like someone who genuinely just loves music.

The thing I dislike most about this movie is the sound and editing. They had the opportunity to get interviews with some people that have been very difficult to track down and yet, you can barely hear them at times and the imagery on screen rarely matches up. It’s incredibly frustrating.

That said, I was shocked that Bård “Faust” Eithun appeared, despite only being seen in shadow. After stabbing Magne Andreassen outside Lillehammer’s Olympic Park, he spent almost ten years in jail. One of his many bands, Thorns, put out several influential demos and their lone 2001 album is incredible.

Yeah. Like I said, I got no defense.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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