The Nationalist Identity of Norwegian Black Metal

The Black Metal scene in Norway in the 90’s was partially based in etho-nationalism as many members of the community espoused ideals of national purity and heritage and national pride. The basis of their argument was that Norway, which for thousands of years had been predominately catholic, was culturally a Pagan society and culture and had had it’s heritage and culture wiped out by christianity and saw christianity as a threat from foreign invading forces. Christianity coming from a more south eastern culture it did eventually become the predominant culture throughout Europe during the Roman Empire. This belief is summed up in an interview with Varg Vickernes during his last year in prison he states “where ever the protestants catholics or the christians came they destroyed that culture” 1. This belief is one many in the early Norwegian Black metal scene espouse and feel that there is still a war between Nordic and European culture and Christianity. Varg goes on to discuss how there is a sense of traditionalism and tearing down the fabric of modern society and talks about issues with the consumerist nature of modern Europe and the push against the National traditional culture. 2
This interview which there is a link for in the documentary section of this site is the most in depth into the minds of those responsible for the wave of violence within the early Black Metal community in Norway. While it is not the only information out there it is far more reliable than most as the early interviews with Varg or others within the community are still talked about as just exaggeration for the sake of scaring people or gaining notoriety as well as the fact Varg has been the most outspoken on the issues and was the most publicly recognized as an influential figure in the movement and was tried and convicted in court while many others involved died before that could happen or did not garner as much or any attention in the media.

Notes:

  1. Varg Vikernes Talks About Christianity, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkPmvEVM40A&app=desktop.
  2. Aaron Aites, and Audrey Ewell. Until the Light Takes Us. Documentary, 2009. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFfB3QXVHRE&app=desktop.

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