Dimmu Borgir Frontman Speaks To Las Vegas Mercury
Band Photo: Dimmu Borgir (?)
Norway may seem like a quiet, peaceful land of fishing villages and ski hamlets, but beneath its icy charm lurks a long history of pagan rituals and Viking bloodlust. Although not always obvious to outsiders, this dark history has had a profound influence on Norway's national character, feeding the collective anxiety and terror reflected in Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's all-too-familiar painting "The Scream."
Perhaps this same angst fueled the development of black metal--the sonic scourge of the country since the early '80s. Influenced by the quasi-satanic (but largely theatrical) heavy metal of British acts like Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate, black metal festered in Norway's winter darkness and eventually became the inspiration for countless church burnings and a series of grisly murders. Although Dimmu Borgir was not at the center of the movement, it did survive much of the chaos and destruction reaped by bands such as Emperor, Burzum and Mayhem.
Yet as a recent interview with the Mercury revealed, Dimmu Borgir frontman Shagrath isn't particularly troubled by the wanton destruction reaped by his fellow Norsemen. In fact, Shagrath is disarmingly blase about the series of events that virtually held Norway hostage at the beginning of the '90s.
Mercury: Since you witnessed it firsthand, how many of the stories about the black metal underground in Norway were true and how many were just legends?
Shagrath: You mean, as far as the criminal activities? Most of it was true, I think. A lot of churches were burned. A few people were killed. It was really a lot of hassle for us because we were always in for questioning with the police.
Source: Las Vegas Mercury
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