MOKB’s Week O’ Movies : Until The Light Takes Us

Week O’ Movies marches on. Here at MOKB, we’re pretty lax in our coverage of Black Metal, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know our Darkthrone from a hole in the ground. Fans have been buzzing for months about the October 19th DVD release of Until The Light Takes Us, filmmakers Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell’s look at the bizarre and tragic events that occurred within the Norwegian Black Metal scene in the 1990s. As someone how has been treated to an advanced screener, I’m happy to say it’s worth the wait.

Setting aside the music and copious violence, Until The Light Takes Us is, at its core, the story of two men, Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell (Darkthrone) and Varg ‘’Count Grishnackh” Vikernes (Mayhem, Burzum), their relationship and the relationship of each to the genre they helped sire. Interviews with Vikernes, for whom Black Metal was a means of political and cultural rebellion, are conducted from his cell within Trondheim Maximum Security Prison, where he is serving a life sentence. Standing in stark contrast to Vikernes’s physical confinement, Fenriz is a man confined with himself, moving ghost-like through modern society still of the belief that his music is an artistic, rather than political, statement.

In addition to interviews with Fenriz and Vikernes, the film draws from many sources to tell the story, including Norwegian news broadcasts, rehearsal and performance footage, and cameos from members of Immortal, Mayhem and Satyricon. There’s also plenty of music from Boards Of Canada, Black Dice, Burzum, Darkthrone and Gorgoroth among others. It goes without saying that there’s enough murder, suicide and arson to supply a month’s worth of CSI episodes.

While far from a comprehensive history of this oft vilified genre, and technically a little rough around the edges, Until The Light Takes Us is nonetheless a fascinating and sometime poignant look at two of the Black Metal movement’s catalysts. Highly recommended for anyone looking for something a little out of the ordinary for their next dinner-and-a-DVD night, so throw it on your Netflix queue, or buy a copy for your undeserving brother. And if you dig the movie, why not invest in the filmmakers’ follow up project, The Egg? Haven’t you always wanted to tell people you were a producer?

MOKB Week O’Movies
Monday : On The Road With David Bazan
Tuesday : Dust Radio – A Film About Chris Whitley

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