Varg Vikerness denounces black metal and minorities, thus demonstrating he’s an idiot

Apparently, I can’t follow my own advice.

Several months back when it was announced Norwegian black metal boogeyman Varg Vikernes was being released from prison, I suggested the best thing the metal community could do was ignore him. The hope was Vikernes would fade quietly into obscurity so the metal community wouldn’t be tainted by his loony outbursts.

Well, naturally that was too much to hope for, because now the man is free and shooting off his mouth. If Vikernes simply wanted to diss modern black metal and talk up his upcoming musical project, that would be fine. But no: The doofus had to fire off a rant filled with racist and homophobic garbage.

So it’s time to respond. Silence is consent, after all – and we don’t want the entire metal world to be tainted by Varg’s nutball rants.

If you’re not up on your black metal history, you might be wondering, “Who is Varg Virkernes?” At one time he was Count Grishnackh, bass player for Mayhem, Norway’s most important (at the time) black metal band. In addition, Vikernes also produced several albums of his own as Burzum.

The big deal is this: In 1993, Vikernes stabbed to death Mayhem guitarist Euronymous, who was the founder of the Norwegian black metal scene. A variety of reasons have been floated for the crime, ranging from a dispute over a girlfriend to the theory that Virkenes believed Euronymous wasn’t truly as “evil” as he claimed. Motive is immaterial now: Vikernes stabbed Euronymous 23 times and was arrested a short time later. He was convicted of murder and arson for his involvement in three of the many church burnings that swept Norway during the black metal years. Then, he was sent off to rot in a Norwegian prison until he was paroled earlier this year.

In prison, Vikernes became a Nazi sympathizer and wrote his own version of “Mein Kampf,” called “Vargsmal” – which I guess means “Varg’s War” or “Varg’s Battle” or something equally epic sounding … as if stabbing a guy 23 times is the foundation on which great philosophy is built.

Anyhoo, all those  years in prison apparently haven’t mellowed Vikernes’ unsavory bigoted beliefs. Here’s a bit of blog entry Varg wrote a few days ago about the upcoming Burzum album “Den Hvite Guden,” – which translates as – wait for it – “The White God.” The post was picked up by Blabbermouth.net.

“As you might already know, my dear ladies and gentlemen, and others individuals too, I am no friend of the modern so-called black metal culture. It is a tasteless, low-brow parody of Norwegian so-called black metal anno 1991-1992, and if it was up to me, it would meet its dishonourable end as soon as possible.

“However, rather than abandon my own music, only because others have soiled its name by claiming to have something in common with it, I will stick to it. The ‘black metallers’ will probably continue to ‘get loaded,’ ‘get high,’ and in all other manners too behave like the stereotypical Negro; they will probably continue to get foreign tribal tattoos, dress, walk, talk, look and act like homosexuals, and so forth.”

Oh boy. What a load of crap.

For the record, I do own the Burzum album “Filosofem” and think it is a very strong piece of ambient black metal. “Filosofem” was the best piece of music Vikernes ever produced and it’s hard to ignore the influence the album had on other black metal bands … but let’s also be completely honest: “Filosofem”  isn’t in the same league as Euronymous’ best work on Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.” Euronymous apparently had more talent in his finger than Vikernes had in his entire body. My theory on the murder: Vikernes killed Euronymous out of professional jealousy.

Nevertheless, I acknowledge Vikernes is … well, was … an important figure in the creation of the black metal sound. Unfortunately, he’s also a racist, bigoted dolt.

When you look at Norway’s demographics, it seems obvious Vikernes knows absolutely nothing about cultures other than his own. Norway has almost no minorities … which is a another way of saying they’re all white as ghosts up there by the North Pole.

Varg grew up surrounded by light-skinned people like himself. He’s never experienced any other culture than his own. He’s ignorant.

Does ignorance excuse racism, however? No. Ignorance is cured through education – by consciously working to learn about cultures and ways of life that are unfamiliar to you. Racism can be based on ignorance – but it also involves a deliberate decision to not educate yourself about other cultures. That’s not valiant or laudatory: That’s hiding your head in the sand, or in Vikernes’ case, in the snow.

If Vikernes wants to be ignorant and willfully delusional, no one can force him to do otherwise. But it would be nice if Vikernes didn’t blast his pig-headed stupidity all over the Internet: Somewhere out there, someone is going to read Vikernes’ screed and paint the entire black metal community with the entire racist brush. That’s not what metal fans need, because it’s not an accurate picture of who most of us are. 

I don’t listen to National Socialist Black Metal and I know no metalheads who are also racists. None. Zero. Yes, I know metal fans who dislike hip-hop music, but hating a form of music isn’t the same as hating a culture or people based on superficial differences in skin color.

While metal was once predominately a white boy’s genre, that has changed quite a bit over the years. Look at bands like God Forbid, or Suffocation or even Living Colour (who may not exactly be metal, but are certainly heavy). Metal isn’t weakened when it draws on other cultures, it’s made stronger. Sepultura, Orphaned Land and Acrassicauda prove that traditional Arabic and South American music can be blended with metal to create something powerful.

Across Africa, I imagine metal bands are working with traditional African music to create a unique style of their own. If those bands already exist on the Web, let me know, because I’d like to hear them.

As for Vikernes’ jibe about homosexuals, I have two words: Rob Halford. In a fight (without Vikernes’ trusty knife, of course), I imagine the Judas Priest frontman would beat Varg V. black and blue and then stuff his scrawny ass down a garbage disposal. When Halford came out, the metal world didn’t throw a fit. We shrugged, moved on and welcomed Halford back when he finally reunited with Priest.

Perhaps I’m sheltered, but I don’t know any homophobic metal fans. Neither do I know metal fans who hate Jews, Arabs, Native Americans or people from Asian or Central-South American cultures. We’re smarter than to fall for that crap … largely because metalheads are usually outsiders and underdogs themselves. We don’t hate the “other,” because we identify ourselves as part of the “other.” To be corny as hell, metal accepts all cultures, creeds and sexual orientations under its black umbrella of unified outsiderness. We have difference preferences in metal subgenres … but we’re all united under the music. There’s no other musical culture in the world that can make that claim, but we can, with complete honesty.

Again, if Varg wants to hate gay people, no one can really stop him … but good lord, keep your homophobe garbage to yourself. Dummy.

Black metal doesn’t need Vikernes soiling our name. I hope he keeps disowning us, because I don’t want us to be dirtied by the association.

In short. Vikernes, shut up and go away. That is all.

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8 Comments

  1. well said my friend!

  2. It’s sad, but in my country about 70% black metal fans are racists and homophobics who respect skinheads and their ideology. Some of them are teenagers who later grow up and get educate, but not all of them.

    • sounds stupid, in my country(colombia) there are plenty of these shitheads believing themselves nazis and making so called “identitary rock bands” which are full of xenophobia and fascism.I always laugh when i see these idiots trying to play metal they suck so much that they call themselves raw black metal or grindcore bands to hide their stupidity

      you can easily find these asses on the web
      bands like:
      -Dark Wisdom Horde (so called pagan black metal, its singer is a racist poser)
      -Desecrate (death metal , nazi sympathisers)
      -Cruciatus (shitty grindcore full of nazi lyrics , its drummer is in the UNSC)

  3. Finally, someone says what most people think of that asshole. Yeah he helped out with blackmetal, but if he hadn’t done that someone else would have. The modern bm scene is so different from his vision, thanks to sarcofago and all those early bands. I say thanks asshole, but we’ll take the wheel from here on.

  4. Racism isnt neccessarily ignorance..sometimes it is yes. I think its more Generalizing hatred..which again may be cured through education.

    “I hate all blacks because their stupid”, well…not all are stupid.
    “I hate whites because of european colonization”…well…not all of us are Imperialists.

    But for varg being an idiot..im not so sure. Hes said some intelligent things but its just his racism and homophobia that blankets out his Intelligence.

  5. I’ve said this for years about the loser. He’s not worth the metal community even paying attention to. He’s a fucking coward that stabbed a man in the back of the head. Every time he opens his mouth he vomits ignorance that damages outsiders view of the metal community. It’s not so much that he needs to disown us as that we need to collectively disown him.

  6. Fundamentally, I don’t like Vikernes because I don’t like his music, by my taste it’s crap. I find his idea’s about race and sexuality very irritating, as I am a Metal fan who prides myself on being pro-equality and accepting of people as individuals. I hate him because he tarnishes my beloved form of music, with his disgusting ideas. He also is an insult to Paganism. However one critique of your article, I don’t know how true it is, but Vikernes claims to have spent part of his childhood in either Iran or Iraq(I forget which). Personally I think Vikernes is willfully ignorant and a depthless controversy junky.

  7. The guy also denies the Holocaust happened. I personally don’t mind his music but would hate to be face to face with him.


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