Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Euronymous Was a Huge Douchebag

I'm reading Lords of Chaos, a recounting of the exploits of the Black Metal kids in Norway in the early 90s and their crazy, church-burning ways. The thread of unintentional comedy running through the story is thick with fibers, because these were a group of individuals who took themselves far too seriously. By the time the two journalists wrote the book at the end of the decade, all of the major players (Ihsahn and Samoth of Emperor, Hellhammer - even Varg Vikernes to an extent) had realized most of their views from the time were at best extremely immature, so they spend a lot of time backtracking, but if there was ever a reason not to combine adolescents and celebrity, the whole Black Circle scene exemplifies it to a T.

The one major player who wasn't around to interview in the mid-90s was, of course, Euronymous, who had had the misfortune of getting himself perished. As a result, Lords of Chaos has to rely on existing source documents and the recollections of others for material for their chapter on Euronymous, or - as I like to call it - the Exploration of a Douchebag. Because really, when you come right down to it, that's what the man who, for all intents and purposes, founded the scene really was: a charismatic guy with a lot of extravagant ideas and public persona built on the world's biggest see-through facade. Really, it's a testament to the average Black Metal kid's naivaite that someone didn't stab him sooner, because I can't imagine talking to him for more than few minutes without calling him on all of his bullshit (my favorite story relating to this mismatch between who Euronymous was and who he pretended to be was when he said in a letter that Deicide, Sepultura, and Napalm Death weren't extreme enough and then ended it with a death wish for all trendy people and the word "Aaaaargh!," coming off like a whiny emo kid on a LiveJournal blog). Also, look at this picture: how could you not want to punch him in the face on sight?

I guess the whole reason for this speaking ill of the dead - besides the inspiration garnered from Lords of Chaos - is the sharp contrast between the biographical Euronymous and the Euronymous of my previous experience, taken from interviews with Ihsahn done at the end of the last decade that I read in 2000. The respect Ihsahn had for his late friend was palpable and from his words I developed a mental picture of someone with a far steadier hand and mind than the one I've read about in the past few days.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest you to watch the "Once upon a time in Norway" movie on Youtube to get a far more accurate Euronymous' portrait than the one made in the sensationalist book of Moynihan which is interesting but too prevaricated for my taste.

Eric said...

Happy to. I find the whole subject pretty fascinating anyway, so I'm happy to see some more viewpoints.