In the past few years, a Norwegian heavy metal movement has gradually moved into the realm of legend; real life events, including, suicides, murders and church burnings, both horrified and mesmerized the public when they were occurring in the early 1990s, and since then the participants have become mythic figures in the metal subgenre they helped birth, black metal. (For a fantastic chronology on the birth and rise of black metal, check Brandon Stosuy's piece in The Believer's most recent music issue.)
Emperor, "The Loss and Curse of Reverence" video
Until the Light Takes Us, which sees its world premiere tonight at the Arclight Hollywood as part of AFI Fest 2008, is a feature length verite documentary that features the words, stories, film clips and photos of those who created black metal and remain at the center of the movement, which has spread into a worldwide phenomenon. Those include Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell of Darkthrone, Barzum's Varg Vikernes, Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg of Mayhem, Immortal's Abbath and Demonaz Doom Occulta, among many others. (Curiously, Harmony Korine is listed in the credits as starring in the role of "unexplained.")
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Fenriz, of Darkthrone, in a clip from Until the Light Takes Us
New York filmmakers Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites spent two years in Norway researching and filming this documentary, which has been the buzz of the metal underground for the past year. This eagerly anticipated premiere will no doubt reverberate and add to the mystique. According to AFI's website, tickets remain available. I'd snag one pretty quick; this should sell out.