There has been much controversy and mixed opinions surrounding Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground since its 1998 release. Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind’s book is probably the most notable of its kind, offering much insight to the life and crimes of our favourite black metal artists.
Though some see it as intelligently written, well structured and in-depth, others see it as a misinterpretation of the scene. It has been accused of possessing false information and pushing the underground scene closer towards a trend movement.
What better way to convert something obscure to become mainstream than to produce a film with the same name and ‘storyline’?
Lords of Chaos: a story involving the TNBM scene, with actors retelling the intriguing, but violent tales of music, murder and arson. Will it shock or compel?
Acclaimed Japanese director Sion Sono is confirmed for the direction of the film, while shooting in Norway will begin in the midst of September. In an interview with 3:AM magazine Sono shares his thoughts on the book and his ideas for the film.
It has been said that main man Varg Vikernes has threatened to kill the people who make the film. Sono feels that the threats and danger involved are proof that the film will be a modern and contemporary one.
There is one response from the interview that I question the most. When Sono is asked if he likes black metal or death metal, he simply replies:
“No. I’m studying it now. I’m listening every day. But I love Mahler, Beethoven, Mozart. Frankly, I don’t like black metal. Yes, sometimes ten minutes sounds good, but I soon get bored. Honestly. Frankly.”
If this is the case, why create something that you know nothing about or feel no passion for? Despite the fact that he enjoyed the book and wrote a script that pertains to a ‘normal’ audience, does his genuine interest for the culture exist? More so, does he plan on respecting Norway and portraying its history in an appropriate manner?
Many originators and members of the black metal scene have lashed out against the book and film. In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, Satyr of Satyricon stated:
“Now that the focus on black metal finally has shifted towards the actual music, this gossip journalism in the shape of a book is made into a movie. Since ‘Lords of Chaos’ is an incredibly bad book, I can only assume the movie will be bad as well.”
In the same interview Frost spitefully adds: “This is a parasitic phenomenon.”
Personally, I did not hate Lords of Chaos. It was an enjoyable read. I was not at Euronymous’ apartment when he was murdered, nor did I witness the burning of Åsane church. The only ones who will truly know every detail of the events are the ones who were involved.
Who really wants to see a legendary metal scene go to waste or receive more unwanted attention that it doesn’t deserve? Will it bring black metal justice or will it offend many?
With all of this in mind, us headbangers will have to see for ourselves.