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LORDS OF CHAOS - Impressions Between Truth and Lies...

Added 16 March 2019, 1:57 PM

 When the release of “Lords of Chaos” became known by Metal fans throughout the world, the main idea was “why in the blazes is there a film about an underground band, after all?”

Let’s try to explain in few worlds: it is a turning point. Maybe the reader can have doubts, so it’s not complicated: there are few giants in Metal today that deserves a film. Obviously there are many documentaries talking about the greater bands and about the smaller ones. MAYHEM itself has, at least, two documentaries about the band.

Maybe it’s a different idea: MAYHEM has a strong romanticism behind its name. All the dark ambiance of the first years of the 90's, for many, was shrouded by a veil of secrecy. In those days, the internet was just a crawling baby and the available information only came with great delays and in zines and mags. Some miss those days just for a romantic insight, and those who lived thanks the technological advances in many moments.

About the film itself: “Lords of Chaos”, as was said since the beginning of the divulgation, is based on truth and lies (let’s say the truth: it was based on the book written by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind). There aren’t many sources about what happened back in those days. Only some points are clear, and to make a screenplay under such fractured sets of information isn’t so easy. There are obvious complains and nasty words from many guys about the film, but none of them can take the appeal of it, even being the greater part of fans that only were born years after the events of the film (and believe in only one version spread by the internet).

 The direction of Jonas Åkerlund is amazing. He is the former drummer of BATHORY (he is the guy that recorded the drums tracks on the tracks for “Scandinavian Metal Attack” compilation), and became a awarded producer who worked with names as CANDLEMASS (their video for “Bewitched” is one of his earlier works, and there is Per “Dead” Ohlin in the middle of the Metalheads), but the fame came when he worked with ROXETTE. And METALLICA, PRODIGY, MADONNA, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, U2, RAMMSTEIN, BRITNEY SPEARS and LADY GAGA are some of the artists that worked with him, so his professional skills are far above the needed to make such kind of film.

The actors: besides some personal criticism of many people, the cast of the film really did a great job. Rory Culkin as Euronymous and Emory Cohen ( he is awarded on 2012’s Los Angeles Film Festival as the Best Ensemble Performance in a Narrative Competition with “Four”, and 2015’s Hamptons International Film Festival as the Breakthrough Performer) as Varg Vikernes, and Jack Kilmer as Dead, the little appearance of Arion Csihar as his father (Attila Csihar) just to name few of them, did excellent performances, creating the right emotional ambiances with great dialogues (Euronymous and Varg scenes are amazing, including the growing tension between both of them). The scene of a tormented Faust killing Magne Andreassen is really impacting, as it was the one where Dead commits suicide. There are so many lovely and perfect scenes that it’s a hard work to name the best ones. Drama, terror and even hilarious moments can be seeing (Varg in his underpants using corpse paint as he’s having his breakfast, or when he is drinking milk with chocolate, or Euronymous walking using underpants on the street and screaming with the old lady, the reaction of Attila to Varg’s idea for blowing up of Nidaros Cathedral, are the ones that can make anyone laughs a lot).

The scenarios and ambieaces: another perfect work from Jonas and his crew. Helvete store and its cellar, the churches that were burnt, even Euronymous’ Cockatoo (that can be seen on an old picture) are there. All is perfect as it was back in the beginning of the 90's.

 The problem and main source of the complaints resides in the story. Ok, you believe in someone’s version of what happened in those years, but as the film say: it’s based on truth and lies. To make the screenplay, as is already written above, is not like telling a story, but to make images. So the gaps between the points must be fulfilled, and they were in a very good way. Ok, the lack of explanation about “Deathcrush” era, the absence of Maniac, Manhein and Messiah recordings sessions, and some deeper points about Dead’s age are points that needed to be on the film as well.

The reactions: as everything that encircles Black Metal, “Lords of Chaos” caused many complaints on internet, some from musicians. A personal opinion from this writer: if you didn’t like it, that’s OK; if you liked it (as I liked a lot), that’s OK as well. The others opinions cannot guide our own opinions.

The last words from this article: love it or hate it, but “Lords of Chaos” came to be one of the first films that tells a bands/scene history, and on March 22th, “The Dirty” (the film about MÖTLEY CRÜE’s career) will be on Netflix. Let’s hope it’s a new phenomenon that’ll unleash a new Metal invasion throughout the world.
Edited 05 December 2022

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