Sundance Film Review: ‘Lords of Chaos’

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival Welcome to Norway, a country known for “seal clubbing and a very high suicide rate,” says guitarist Euronymous (Rory Culkin). It’s 1987, and thanks to his bandmates in Mayhem (there’ an upside-down cross dropping from both M’s), his homeland will soon be infamous for a rash of church burnings and three deaths, all in the service of Norwegian Black Metal, a guttural, screaming barrage of rage that celebrates all things evil. “ Lords of Chaos ” director Jonas Åkerlund knows this scene. In the early ’80s, he co-founded the Swedish metal band Bathory, then made his way to America to shoot ground-breaking music videos for everyone from Rammstein and Prodigy to Lady Gaga and Madonna. He’s got range, and that comes through in this funny, occasionally frightening anthropological dramedy about how insecure boys hound each other to be really, really bad. Euronymous, a slender, swaggering kid with glass blue eyes, vows he’s evil incarnate. He’s merely evil adjacent, no matter how much he spouts off about satanism and heckles old ladies on the streets of Oslo. With Mayhem, and later his own record store and label, Euronymous shaped the Norwegian Black Metal scene. […]

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