Jim Trainer


In Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US is a 93 minute documentary on Norwegian Black Metal, a once underground sub-genre of Heavy Metal music with a nefarious past.  The film features interviews with the key players and progenitors of this scene and covers the events of murder and church burnings that are linked to Black Metal’s rise in popularity and notoriety.  Stark and barren-cold footage of Norway and a dark ambient soundtrack familiarize the viewer with contemporary Black Metal’s birthplace.  Footage of normal everyday sunny life in Norway, along with hallmark demos and recordings of the first Black Metal albums, contrast what these musicians may have been rebelling against with what their rebellion sounded like.  The film volleys between extensive interviews with Varg Virkenes and Fenriz of Burzum and Darkthrone, respectively.  In prison for the murder of Øystein Aarseth and the arson of several churches in Norway in the early 90’s, the interviews with Virkenes move the storyline along, culminating in the film’s depiction of these events.  Premiering in the U.S. on December 4, 2009, the film was screened here in Austin spookily days before the Halloween holiday.  UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US, distributed by Variance Films is also out now on DVD. 

The film hovers on the sensational just long enough to engage those unfamiliar with Black Metal and not dissuade those already in the know.  It may pique the curiosity of the uninitiated but for those in the scene it may only be of interest to the Black Metal completists among them.  I would recommend the DVD over going to the theater to see this documentary.  The extras with the DVD include a disc of outtakes which include any relevant confessions Virkenes will make of his role in the church burnings as well as an informative and humorous history of Black Metal provided by Fenriz.    Its extensive and accurate coverage and commentary from Black Metal’s prominent practitioners make the film an accurate depiction.  The film only scratches the surface, but this aids in its avoidance of any pandering to the sensational.  An excellent primer to the serious and grim realm of Black Metal.  Directed and produced by Aaron Aites & Audrey Ewell, screening in select cities throughout the U.S. and out now on DVD.

*Please check out the interview I did with 1349 here.*

  1. Love this part of the article: “Originating as a rebellion against the predictable paint-by-numbers death metal of the early ’90s (a rebellion in itself at one time) black metal is like any true art form: it has shaken and scared off its imitators. It has burned on until all that remains is its core.”

    Great images.

  2. This sounds really interesting and I probably would not have thought to add it to my Netflix list had you not written about it. Well done, sir.

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