Video: Norwegian Black Metal Culture

Norway is home to "black metal," an intense and violent music genre. Peter Beste visited the country 13 times in seven years to photograph the brutal scene, and his work appears in True Norwegian Black Metal. He took us through some of his favorites from that work.

WARNING: Some of these images can be disturbing to sensitive viewers.



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wtf?! the video wont play all the way through it keeps stoping when he starts talking about the gorgoroth show in poland

Sent by tyler | 5:01 PM | 5-2-2008

Long live the Vikings!
The incredible and artistic expressions
from the Fatherland are gifts too be appreciated.
Intence people with high musical standards and theatrics combined with true Viking roots make them honorable and decent heroic icons. - AX *-<

Sent by AX ATTAXX | 5:31 PM | 5-2-2008

Hmpf... Peter bestes photos are great but he is to fixed on Gorgoroth. A great band and so on but there are a lot of other Black Metal Bands which are also very interesting and important (f. e.: Tulus, Jotunspor, Taake, Kvist, ...)

Sent by V. G. | 6:05 PM | 5-2-2008

I am beyond impressed! This is the first time I've heard that Ghaal is a painter! No wonder he is so brilliantly eccentric. I can relate and I mean this as a compliment. And to live in the beautiful Norwegian countryside, with nature at it's peak. Just a dream for me. I would like to hear other people's insight if that is all right. Many thanks!

Sent by arcana | 6:26 PM | 5-2-2008

Its true he spends a lot of time with Gorgoroth but part of that is he wanted to photograph Black Metal Artists in corpse paint and when he did this project the greats like Immortal, Satyricon, Darkthrone, Emperor were no longer wearing corpse paint. Personally I dont want to see Horgh or Fenris without corpse paint anyway... not a pretty picture. But I agree for documentary purposes other artists philosophies should be explored, not just Gaahl, who is an enigmatic character, (and certainly NOT the most INFAMOUS Black Metal Artist) but more of a B-List Black Metal personality.

Sent by Isa | 6:56 PM | 5-2-2008

Mr. Beste is obviously stuck on Gorgoroth but they also are the kind of band stirring enough controversy for a photographer to be curious about. It must be a little boring to picture Fenriz' (Darkthrone) ugly mug forever. Ghaal took the game and had fun with it I guess.

Still, all this coverage of the Norwegian Black Metal scene more or less killed the mystique around it and its original appeal went away with it. Luckily there are other Black Metal scenes worldwide who are less into the spotlight and whose integrity remains unexploited by the media.

Check out Qu??bec's rising Black Metal scene whose bands are none the less extreme and whose musicians are not less involved in their craft. The natural surroundings are also there and musically they're pushing further traditions as much as exploring new ground.

Sent by Eric Syre | 7:45 PM | 5-2-2008

arcana - you should see the documentary "True Norwegian Black Metal" on youtube - part 1-5:

Here you'll see more of Gaahls paintings and his house. Interesting

Sent by Jonas | 6:43 PM | 5-3-2008

*shrug* Black Metal is pretty cheezy, anyhow. Not like we needed these pics to confirm that.

Sent by angsty | 11:45 PM | 5-3-2008

And I thought I wasted the past seven years. Heroic Viking comparison??? Try opening up a book, you might learn something. Maybe Beste could spend the next seven years documenting the dead or soon to be Norwegian Nazis. And by the way, they too still believe in the "Father Land". Paradise? I don't think so.

The pictures: poorly executed, lacking the depth of eye/emotion connection. It doesn't take seven years to peal away the layers, unless there's nothing there to begin with.

Sent by gagme | 8:42 AM | 5-5-2008

I'm almost 40 yrs. old and I've been into metal for as long as I can remember. Just this weekend I attended a Black Metal show with Norwegians Dimmu Borgir and Keep of Kalessin and the Polish kill-machine Behemoth. Black Metal is absolutely fantastic - brutal, uncompromising stuff that gives no quarter to its enemies. I realize that most people don't "get" it, but those are exactly the type of people we hope never get it. We black metal folks prefer to lurk on the periphery, and most people don't have the stomach for the fringe. Hails!

Sent by B.J. | 9:13 AM | 5-6-2008

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