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Until the Light Takes Us2008

  • 3.7
UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US tells the story of black metal. Part music scene and part cultural uprising, black metal rose to worldwide notoriety in the mid-nineties when a rash of suicides, murders, and church burnings accompanied the explosive artistic growth and output of a music scene that would forever redefine what heavy metal is and what it stands for to other musicians, artists and music fans world-wide. UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US goes behind the highly sensationalized media reports of "Satanists running amok in Europe" to examine the complex and largely misunderstood principles and beliefs that led to this rebellion against both Christianity and modern culture. To capture this on film, directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell moved to Norway and lived with the musicians for several years, building relationships that allowed them to create a surprisingly intimate portrait of this violent, but ultimately misunderstood, movement. The result is a poignant, moving story that's as much about the idea that reality is composed of whatever the most people believe, regardless of what’s actually true, as it is about a music scene that blazed a path of murder and arson across the northern sky.

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"The world is overstocked with flamboyantly wasted rock stars and heavily strapped rappers, but few of them can hold a guttering candle to the ghoul-boy nutters of Norwegian Black Metal." - Kurt Loder, MTV

3 members like this review

Even if you're not a fan of Black Metal this is a very well done documentary that explores the roots of a very misunderstood music genre.

top reviewer
Cast & Crew
  • Øystein Aarseth - Himself - Mayhem (archive footage) (as Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth)
  • Fenriz - Himself - Darkthrone (as Gylve 'Fenris' Nagell)
  • Hellhammer - Himself - Mayhem (as Jan Axel 'Hellhammer' Blomberg)
  • Harmony Korine - Himself
  • Per "Dead" Ohlin - Himself - Mayhem (archive footage) (as Per 'Dead' Ohlin)
  • Varg Vikernes - Himself - Burzum (as Varg 'Count Grishnackh' Vikernes)
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Member Reviews (7)

top reviewer

Even if you're not a fan of Black Metal this is a very well done documentary that explores the roots of a very misunderstood music genre.

3 members like this review
top reviewer

The biggest problem with the film, is that they really only talk about the church burnings, and the murder case. There is so much more going on within the black metal scene than that. Such is I suppose.

2 members like this review
top reviewer

It is of interest for capturing a moment of when a group of angry kids formed into disturbing counter-cultural delusion of the most vial hate. The problem with this documentary is that it feels like the makers of the film are themselves somehow enamored by this sad people. No real questions are ever asked and no real understanding is ever sought. Tragic, pathetic and dangerous -- the film follows a disturbing path that leads nowhere.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

The best part of this movie is Fenriz, charming, amusing and always the most level-headed of the original Norwegian black metal artists. This is certainly fun for the black metal geek, but not particularly deep and pretty misleading to those completely unfamiliar with black metal. The directors seem like annoying hipsters who just wanted to make a project out of hanging out with Fenriz and Varg for a couple of years. There's nothing reflective or of purpose about this documentary.

A bit confusing for new comers to the genre. Assumes a lot about the audience knowledge of the topic and leaves a lot of things unexplained. I did enjoy it and learned enough to peak my interest in the topic .... had to fill in a lot of the blanks researching online.

While definitely sparking my interest in the genre, it left a little to be desired. I thought it touched on some really interesting things but never delved very deep or gave much insight. I imagined with all of the subjects being interviewed here a little more about the genre, church burnings, murders, the music itself etc. could have really been explored more. I think fans of the genre probably get a little more out of it. They really did a great job with the atmosphere of the whole thing though and it really made me want to learn more about the scene.

Fascinating stuff.