Dixie Diamond's Reviews > Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground

Lords of Chaos by Michael Moynihan
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's review
Nov 09, 11

bookshelves: music, borrowed_books, sociology, biography, history
Read from October 31 to November 09, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I borrowed this from a mature and sensible LaVeyan Satanist and Black Metal fan who warned me that it was sensationalistic, but was still worth reading. I've also had to ask him for mix tapes since I don't know what any of this sounds like (I know enough about music to know I should be able to learn to tell the difference among bands and Metal sub-genres, but as of reading this, I'm completely unfamiliar with both).

I'm kind of exhausted.

I'm really, really, tired of Varg Vikernes.

I had fun learning some Norwegian from the newspaper headlines.

The book felt a little uneven, but that may have been unavoidable since it sounds like a lot of these guys aren't the types to give well-considered and coherent interviews to authors, if they'll give interviews at all. A little bit of nationalistic/racist/extreme right-wing ranting goes a long way, so this book should hold me for years.

I felt like there was a lot of information but somehow not a lot of analysis. I know an author should be cautious about interpreting things, but I never really felt like I understood Euronymous--starting with why he didn't just rename himself "Eurynomos" instead of sounding like he couldn't get the name right?--and I never quite felt like the whole Black Metal movement was all that . . . special. I was overwhelmed but left wanting more depth and less repetition. I don't know why this surprises me: It sounds like pretty much most other vehicles for rebellion and acting-out of adolescent discontent. The guys in it sound like the kind of privileged, bored, kids who steal cars and slip girls date-rape drugs here in the U.S.

Except for the scary few, they're kind of lame. Most of them don't even seem to understand, or at least have not thought through, the principles about which they are so vehement--the interviews with Ulver, Ihsahn, and the OTO guy, even if you disagree with them, are rational oases in a sea of ignorant raving. If three people hadn't gotten killed and several historic buildings burned, it would basically have amounted to a great, big, tantrum thrown by teenagers with too much time on their hands, too much parental coddling, and not enough boundaries.

And, sorry, but corpsepaint makes you look like a total tool.

I was actually living in Stavanger, Norway, during the summer of 1992 when the Fantoft stave church was burned, but a) I may or may not have known this kind of music even existed (I was 14-15 and a confirmed folkie), and 2) we didn't have normal TV and couldn't read Norwegian newspapers, so I don't remember hearing about it. What a terrible waste. Never mind that burning a stavekirk, of all churches, is sort of ridiculous since they're only barely Christian to begin with.

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Reading Progress

10/31/2011 page 8
11/08/2011 page 244
60.0% "Varg Vikernes sounds like a pain in the ass. I like the OTO guy, though."
11/09/2011 page 258
64.0% "I sort of think this has nothing to do with music and everything to do with Absurd being brats spoiled to the point of sociopathy."
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