documentary review : Until The Light Takes Us (2009)

Rejoice black metalheads! Not many are interested in taking up the black metal scene as a subject on which a documentary/movie can be made, but Until The Light Takes Us is another valuable addition to the short list of black metal documentaries. Released in late-2009, the movie is based in Norway. It has musicians who lived through the early-nineties Norwegian period telling us exactly what happened then. I always repent the fact that I was not present at the right place at the right time. The movie has answered most of the prickly questions that I had accumulated in my mind concerning the scene. And the sources of my answers could not get more authentic.

The opening sequence has Gylve Fenriz (Darkthrone) preparing himself for a shot. And the best part of it is I can already feel the right vibes. The movie traces the entire journey from the roots of Norwegian black metal through the controversies that brought Norway to everyone’s attention back in the early nineties, the reason behind arson, and the truth behind the murder of Euronymous (Mayhem).

from the docu : fenriz

Why this documentary is different from the other documentaries out there? – the movement that we know today as the True Norwegian Black Metal includes a couple of events that we have always been reading about. If I have to summarize the events it would include the church burnings and hatred towards the protectors of cross, Euronymous (Mayhem) opening a records store called Helvete, Dead (Mayhem) committing suicide, the killing of a homosexual man by Faust (Emperor), and Varg murdering Euronymous. Until The Light Takes Us makes the protagonists recall the events. The featured artists are Varg Vikernes (Burzum), Fenriz (Darkthrone), Hellhammer (Mayhem), Abbath (Immortal), Demonaz (Immortal), Garm (Ulver), Frost (Satyricon), Bjarne Melgaard (visual artist).

from the docu : varg

For me this movie is special for a simple reason that Burzum has got maximum footage. We are taken inside the maximum security prison where Varg had been kept until he was released this year. I would want to thank the makers for bringing out the real Varg and most of all his sense of humor. A very pleasant personality his wit makes you want more of him. Moments when you get a chilling doze for your senses include the part where Burzum tells you how it is to stay confined for so long and ofcourse the uncanny silence when he confronts stabbing Euronymous in the skull.

the makers : aaron aites and audrey ewell

The documentary has been well directed by Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell and has a personal touch to it. The production has also been handled by the duo. Norway has been depicted as we know it to be, absolutely enchanting. Background score has to be fine as we are talking black metal here. The song that appears to be the theme track of the movie is The Ballad of the Broken Birdie Records by Múm. I remember looking for the track after the movie. Enough said, too much of praise tends to spoil the watch. Buy the movie, download it or just steal but it needs to be watched. Well if black metal is your thing then I bet you already have watched this one.

Rating : 4/5

Check out this article on the Flaming Skull E-Zine here : The Flaming Skull E-Zine : August 2010 issue

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category : Polls

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About Itihas Shetty

Is a verbomaniac. And a human being. And that's where the problem begins. View all posts by Itihas Shetty

25 responses to “documentary review : Until The Light Takes Us (2009)

  • Rohit

    I recently watched this Documentary…and its worth watching 🙂

  • chagrynn

    “…and the truth behind the murder of Euronymous (Mayhem).”

    It´s Varg´s “truth”, nothing more, nothing less… still can´t believe that there are people out there who take his account for what really happened after all the countless different versions, revisionisms and whatnot he has come up with over the years.

    The documentary should rather be named “Until the liar takes us”

  • shreyas

    Trve Black Metal Cvlt Movie!

  • Rohit

    @ chagrynn …Varg is Murderer…but you can’t deny the fact that he is a musical genius too…Some of his early works creates an atmosphere which takes you out of this world.

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  • chagrynn

    @ Rohit

    You know what, believe it or not, but even if he hadn´t murdered Euronymous I couldn´t care less about his music. Do you think Burzum would have been hyped beyond believe if the murder, church burnings, etc. hadn´t happened? I doubt it. In other words, I don´t consider Vikernes a “musical genius” – there are other people who can pull off this kind of Black Metal a lot better.

    • Itihas Shetty

      dude just bcoz u have a blog that is wholeheartedly dedicated to bash Varg doesn’t mean u go around preaching that he is bad or wrong .. what he did in his personal life is his thing but we are talking about his music and he sure has gone places ..

      why are you going on talking about the murder he did .. didnt you watch him say that he killed Euronymous coz he had the same fear of getting killed .. So there was every possibility that Burzum would have been dead today but I’m glad that is not the case ..

    • Gaurav Singh

      That’s a very amateurish post.
      Firstly, i dont get it how can you be so sure of the theory you are perpetuating through your site, which i gather, you must have heard or read somewhere, and which quite obviously won’t have any backing evidence and hence would be a mere SPECULATION, like the rest of “the countless revisionisms” :P. It’s ok if you don’t like his music but making a blog about it, that’s just plain LAME.

      “there are other people who can pull off this kind of Black Metal a lot better.”

      😀 lol….

  • Gaurav Singh

    I wonder why this didn’t get a 5/5, this is the best account of the “black metal movement” and by far the most authentic one. Kudos to the directors for putting all of it as it should have been, instead of all the speculating and conspirator bullcrap that other documentries and books have been doing regarding Black metal.

  • chagrynn

    @ Itihas Shetty

    Where have I been “preaching”? I just stated an opinion, that´s what comment boxes are for if I remember correctly. I didn´t promote my blog in this comment in any way, I just put the address in the comment box (and why not since it asked for homepage). Not my responsibility if you click and read it. No-one asked you to.
    So, yes Vikernes has stated many times that Euronymous planned to kill him first – that doesn´t automatically make it true, you know. People tell a lot of bullshit if it fits their agenda.

    • Itihas Shetty

      preaching here meant talking about Varg with a negative image of his in mind dude.. we both do not know what exactly happened then right .. what I said in my previous comment just implies that I am not for Varg or Euronymous but neither am I against them so I am not biased .. but you have something against Burzum and lots for Euronymous ..

      well, you are right about comment boxes and mentioning your homepage but lets make it simple why do you hate Vikernes so much?

  • chagrynn

    @ Gaurav Singh

    Well, how I can be so sure of my theory? Just read the quotes I put up there and see for yourself. It´s Vikernes´ OWN words I am comparing, nothing more, nothing less.
    If you don´t see how he changed his mind and statements over the years it´s not my problem.
    Also, I didn´t make this blog simply because I don´t like his music…

  • Gaurav singh

    @chagryn well, i admire your fire and zeal to prove your point but thats about it, there not much substance there. You are doing the same thing that you accuse others of, you tell me i should not believe what varg is saying, but then you go ahead and base your SPECULATIVE theory on some quotes, which are crdited to varg by the MEDIA, and you got no way of knowing whether it was indeed spoken by him or not. Hence, instead of being a bitch about it, just accept the fact that ‘we can never know for sure, wht rally hppened back then’.

  • chagrynn

    @ Itihas Shetty

    Hm? Actually I said so in my second comment; to quote myself:

    “…I couldn´t care less about his music.”

    • Itihas Shetty

      alright alright buddy .. what I am particularly interested in knowing is the reason for your hatred .. come on now, spill it ..

      • chagrynn

        @ Itihas Shetty

        Simple – because he murdered Euronymous and because of anything that followed due to it. The mass-commercialization of Black Metal wouldn´t have happened (at least not THAT fast and not that extreme) if it wasn´t for the murder.

        By the way, I never made any secret out of this opinion on my blog.

  • chagrynn

    @ Gaurav singh

    Well, actually I base my, as you call it, “speculative” theory mostly on quotes taken from articles from Vikernes´ OFFICIAL website (Burzum.org), from Vargsmal and other sources that were definitely written by HIMSELF. Maybe you should just accept the fact that Vikernes is a notorious liar. And even if he was a “musical genius” or whatever wouldn´t change that fact.

    • Gaurav Singh

      What you are doing is an extreme form of READING between the lines :|, it’s like if i say, i want to go out, you will tell me, i hate my home, now that may be true and then it may not be true, that in my book is called SPECULATION. Although, i haven’t gone through all the stuff on your blog but i suppose it will be more of the same “a Varg quote followed by your misintrepretations” thing . You should ask yourself, whether you hate Burzum because he is a LIAR or you hate him (for watever reasons) and then want him to be a liar by quoting, misquoting watever, and i suppose most probably the answer would be the latter. Moreover, if you have watched this documentary, i suggest you listen to FENRIZ & also HELLHAMMER and what he has to say, and i presume he has nothing against Aarseth, because afterall he was in his band. Again, i am not taking any sides here, i just believe the words from mouth and not on paper.

      P.S. Lords of Chaos is a huge pile of bullcrap so pls stop quoting from it, you cant take the authors seriously, if they could have the vivid imagination of linking Black metal with Nazi flying saucers !

  • chagrynn

    @ Gaurav Singh

    I am not reading between the lines…like for example when he said in “Vargsmal” that he stabbed Euronymous 15 times and then some years later (in his own official article) he said it was more like 4 or 5 times – how exactly is that reading between the lines?

    I am not so much interpreting Vikernes´ quotes actually, I compare them. But as you said yourself you haven´t gone that in-depthly through my blog; you should actually do so and see for yourself. Alright, so Lords of Chaos is a pile of crap – so skip all the quotes that I have taken from this book and take all the others only (from Vikernes´ own official articles or from old interviews in fanzines), it remains the same. Unless of course you consider the creators of all the old fanzines as “lying journalists” as well…lol.

    Bottom-line, even without the quotes from Lords of Chaos there are enough quotes from other sources that show his changes of mind.

    The probably biggest bullshit I have ever read would have to be the “It is -obviously- impossible for me to leave fingerprints with my right thumb when I hold the knife in my right hand.”…from one of Vikernes´ OWN articles. Well, take a knife into your right hand and see for yourself that this is absolute and utter bullshit.

  • Shreyas

    Okay.

    After reading this whole conversation , I’d just like to put out a simple question.

    “What will you do if you are being planned to kill, and you know who it is that has planned to kill you?”

    a.Be a pussy and run away /Hide.
    b.Confront him/her and take things head on.
    c.Dont confront and plan his/her killing instead without confirming.
    d.Be a douche rat and go to the Police/mummy/daddy .. whoever for Protection , cuz you aint got enough balls.
    e.Kill yourself and save him/her the trouble.
    f.Follow option (b) and hope that one day when all this is over and you have served your time in the slammer , some guy will make a blog about why you did what you did and why you said what you said.

    —————————-
    🙂

  • Tymecu

    Good evening

    Thanks for sharing, I have digged this post

  • Augustine

    Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

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