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Until the Light Takes Us 2008
Description: Chronicles 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 special musical and visual aesthetics. This is the first (and only) movie to truly shed light on a movement that has heretofore been shrouded in darkness and rumor and obscured by inaccurate and shallow depictions. Featuring exclusive interviews and verité with the musicians, a wealth of rare, seldom seen footage from the "Inner Circle's earliest days, Until the Light Takes Us explores each aspect of the controversial movement that has captured the attention of the world. This is the film that gets inside the minds and hearts of black metal's musicians.
Released: 12 Aug 2010 Director: Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell Writers: N/A Actors: Fenriz, Varg Vikernes, Euronymous, Hellhammer Genres: Documentary, Music
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Until the Light Takes Us Reviews:

Although I'm not what you'd call a large fanatic of the melody stage at the core of this movie - I don't own a single one of the records - I've been aware of bits & pieces of the storyline over the years and had enough of a casual interest to catch a screening of the documentary at an AFI screening. I was happily surprised by a several general aspects of the movie - the general nice movie quality, the unlabored presentation of the characters, and also the unexpected soundtrack. As other reviewer says: "the melody for this film was very appropriate ... a mix of black metal and ambient music, making the film very simple to watch while still putting you within the dark atmosphere." I'll add that this ambient melody helped create the metal segments seem all the more heavy-hitting and abrasive. A wise choice. It's refreshing, as in situation of Until the Light Takes Us, when a documentary doesn't judge it's subjects, especially when the urge to justify their approach (aka cover their ass) gotta have been present. The viewer benefits most from this in the interesting present-day clips of Fenriz and Varg Vikernes (Burzum) and the unforced comparison of the two and the time they are given the time to reveal themselves, both nice and terrible (and very bad) through their own words and ideas. Although this doc is unmistakably about a metal scene, it's also got a wealth of insight to the power of the entertainment news media to re-define the reality in methods they're irresponsibly probably not even aware of.


"until the light takes us" does for the Norse black metal stage what temple's "the filth and the fury" did for early u.k. punk, in that it attempts to retrospectively and yet accurately paint a picture of a so-called extreme melody stage crashed by its own strict ideology, media over-exposure, and the inexperience of youth. indeed, many parallels exist between British punk and Norse black metal, not the least of which revolve around corrupt in-scene bosses, misguided fan-boy attempts at emulating the supposed actions of the originators of the particular movement, and a stated ideology lashing out vs a generalised societal target at odds with the very well-being of mankind.however, whereas our British protagonists used the very rails of pop culture to drive the roller coaster vehicle of punk into the parlour rooms of staid English families from brixton to Liverpool, black metal kept its sounds and photo underground during its prime years, leaving only the charred remains of norway's Christian past to give the confused public any tip of its existence. eventually, of course, the media seized keep of the scene, the music, and its participants, and all but re-wrote the happenings into a cartoonish mythology over the past fifteen years. the core authors of Norwegian black metal have been loathe to give much insight into the impetus behind their actions or ideology in the mainstream media in anything but print, and most of that has been twisted.Aaron aites and Audrey ewell have gone to nice lengths to treat a history long the topics of hysteria and misrepresentation with the venerability and respect due a topics so weighty. for while in the globe at large, black metal, if known at all, is a comical footnote to massive metal - a category known largely for its "heavy metal parking lot" beer-swilling fans; in norway varg vikerenes is known as the Norwegian Charles manson, and the stage associate with rape, murder, arson and the knife. the movie is well balanced, with shots in austere art galleries, forests, pubs, and launch air markets. the storyline line is neither rushed nor over-indulged, and over all the movie makers test to maintain a certain neutrality, leaving the audience to judge for itself what to create of these decidedly revolutionary and publicly misanthropic individuals.there are surprises for all audiences. those unfamiliar with the history of the stage will receive a clear picture of what probably transpired in a violent youth stage notorious for satanism and murder in norway between 1989-1994. for black metal devotees, prepare for a treat - rarely seen footage of early, core bands, interviews with many of the musicians who mattered, and untainted interviews with varg himself. prepare for a movie with none of the cringe-worthy material you might have previously associated with the sensationalism, ignorance or low-brow blundering of the vbs "true Norwegian black metal" fiasco. interviews with another characters in the stage create for a much various impression than one might otherwise hold."until the light takes us" is that rare monster of the underground documentary world; a real portrait of the topics in glistening oils a la van Gogh, rather than some coney island boardwalk pencil caricature.


Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell turn out to be finished apologists for Vikernes. There is no mention of his role in the Heathen Front. No confrontation about his earlier writings in neo- nazi zines. It's as if his Odinism somehow exists outside his racist, pure-blood nationalism and eugenicism. It's cool to bag on Christians, god knows they've bagged on us for about 1500 years now, but Vikernes' true extremism goes fully unexplored, though the filmmakers are fast to labor the mission that he's not a satanist, which any black metal fanatic knows. Look, the burning of Christian churches, the suicide, the murder, and the subsequent media feeding frenzy that launched Norwegian black metal onto the globe stage, it's all interesting stuff, and there are some territories where the record gotta be corrected. But this is over- correction. This is essentially a propaganda piece for Vikernes that in no method addresses the full and true picture of him or the movement. I'm not looking for demonization, I'm looking for basic, totally realized non-fiction. It's not here. If you're not familiar with the early 90's Norwegian black metal movement and the mayhem that went down in it, then you could check this out. But just know that when you're being charmed by Vikernes, as the filmmakers seem to have been, you're being charmed by a very dark guy indeed. This is too loose to be journalism, too soft to be sensationalism, and too clumsy to be of much test to anyone.



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