A feature length documentary chronicling the history, ideology and aesthetic of Norwegian black metal – a musical subculture infamous as much for a series of murders and church arsons as it is for its unique musical and visual aesthetics.
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After resenting any form of metal in my teen years, I've recently come to respect Black Metal as a legitimate form of artistic expression. Therefore, I found this doc to be very informative but not particularly well-made. There's way too many scenes showcasing the people being interviewed in their own environment and I personally would have enjoyed more from MAYHAM.
Re-watching this confirmed my first impression from years ago that this film is inferior to the subject matter it presents. Some may argue it need not present new ideas or perspectives on the material, but the reality is that even as a chronicle, it is flawed and vague. It is hard to tell what the film is using for plain shock and what it is criticizing. But in the end I support it as a fan of black metal.
would have liked to seen a more..hm...developed picture of the history of norwegian black metal...the film seems to skip through the history very quickly and focuses primarily on varg (which is ok because he IS a total character) and his bad acts but neglected his nationalistic/xenophobic politics completely...still an interesting watch and good to see that it wasn't anything like lords of chaos.
Condensing the surprisingly fertile black metal scene to nothing more than the sum of its most adolescent and repugnant scandals, Until the Light Takes Us comes off like the curious hipster project it really is, not just ignoring the global evolution of black metal but failing even to spotlight major Norwegian bands (how do you leave out Emperor?) Tabloid filmmaking at its worst.
I like this quite a lot. I especially like how the film was objective in its subjectivity. I mean, it's amazing how it didn't manipulate the viewer into liking/hating a particular character but instead let the characters do that themselves.
Not the best thing if you want to get informed on the subject. For that, I'd suggest internet research and acquainting yourself with the seminal artists/albums of the genre. It was made more for fans, though the opinions and insights expressed here from the artists are absolutely indisposable, something other black metal docs don't have.
P.S. Frost's segment is one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen.