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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Why "Until The Light Takes Us" matters

02 09 10 - 19:27

Brett Stevens on Until The Light Takes Us:


I think this movie is solidly excellent.

No single movie is going to be to everyone's tastes, and I'm sure if I knew more about movies I could critique camera angles, pacing, color balancing and all that film school critic stuff.

But I think "Until the Light Takes Us" stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of content, content, content.

Think about this: when "Lords of Chaos" (the book) came out in the middle 1990s, people immediately jumped all over it for focusing too much on the tabloid aspects of black metal, like murders, church burning and Nazism.

Far too many people have come up to me at shows and said, "You know, I don't really like how that book missed the whole point. Black metal isn't about burning churches, although that's part of it, or being a twee Nazi like Varg. It's about the music, and the music's about a feeling."

Well, "Until the Light Takes Us" explores that feeling. This is a movie that ties up emotions with ideas, and shows us how black metal got birthed out of that.

It's not a fanboi movie. If it were a fanboi movie, it would get into all the gory details about how black metal formed, all the crap bands that failed at first, then the few lucky ones who pulled ahead of the bunch. We'd hear a lot about record collecting, spikes, drinking, living on welfare, and Dead blowing his head out.

Or you could go Sam Dunn about it, and interview every insignificant black metal band on the planet, and miss out on the big seven (Darkthrone, Mayhem, Immortal, Emperor, Burzum, Gorgoroth, Enslaved) that really defined black metal as we know it.

But either way, no one except black metal fanatics wants to watch that -- and they already know all that stuff. "Until the Light Takes Us" isn't a movie for record collectors, black metal fanatics, and fans of obscure black metal bands.

It's a movie for anyone interested in what black metal meant as an artistic movement that came out of nowhere, grabbed us by the chest and made us give a damn for a few minutes before we went back to our jobs, and made us think about what black metal meant. Black metal is a feeling. That feeling made the music happen, and it's why today those classic bands still capture our imaginations.

As for the rest, hell, you've got Hot Topic for your black metal/zydeco crossover bands, and you've got "Lords of Chaos" for the gorey details, so who cares? This is the kind of movie you can turn on, sit someone in front of, and say: "This. This is why it matters, and this is what it means to me."

I can't think of anything else like it. - Brett Stevens at MetalSucks.net


If you didn't catch why this movie is so great, pre-order it now to get it on September 28, or get it via Netflix to your home. Or you could read our interview with the filmmakers, or even read our review of it.

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