Thursday, January 23, 2014


Back when I worked at a record store, we sold a lot of posters of a Norweigan death/black metal band called Mayhem.  I had no idea at the time that they were a band that engaged in arson, suicide, and murder.  In that order.  Let me explain . . .

The lead singer had one of the best names ever: Dead.  He liked to make himself look like a corpse, and by burying his stage clothes in the ground a few nights before a concert, he could look and smell like one.  The band all lived together in a house in the country and in 1991, Dead, took his own life in that house by slitting his wrists and shooting himself in the head for good measure.  In his suicide note he apologized for the mess and for shooting the gun indoors, and said "cheers."

Finding his band mate's bloody corpse, guitarist Euronymous did what anyone would do.  He went to a nearby store to take photographs of Dead's dead body to use for the cover of their next album.  He also took pieces of the skull to make necklaces out of to give out to black metal bands he thought were good. What an opportunist and what a straight up psychopath!  One member named Necrobutcher thought the band was getting a little nutty and left, and another departed after getting a death threats from Euronymous.  Members in the band used to burn down churches together, so if you weren't keen on that, you couldn't be a member of Mayhem either.

Then one night in 1993, Vikernes murdered Euronymous.  Vikernes claims that Euronymous planned on torturing and killing him and video taping the whole thing, and when Euronymous attacked him, he simply defended himself.  By stabbing him.  23 times.  Oddly, the courts didn't buy that story and sentenced Vikernes to 21 years in prison for a combination of the killing and the whole church arson thing.

The band would continue on with drummer, Hellhammer, as the only original member and person crazy enough to stay in a band like this.  He has abandoned the satanic imagery.  Great, right?  Nope.  They then got into Nazi and racist themes in their music.  Dang it! Then in 2003 a fan was hospitalized for a fractured skull after getting struck by a severed sheep's head that was hurled from the stage. 

In May of 2009, Vikernes was released from prison.

I'm going to Norway this summer.  I hope I don't meet any of these guys.  If everything goes to plan, I won't be involved in any church burnings, I won't get stabbed 23 times, and I won't get hit in the head with an errant sheep skull. 


What did you think, folks?  Did you learn anything today?  How did you like my book/internet
report on Mayhem?     


David Oliver said...

Good writing and a good story! I couldn't have stopped reading even if I had wanted to. And I'm not even interested in death, much less fascinated with it.

I think the moral of this story is stay away from heavy metal bands. So hopefully if you do that you will come back to Chicago with your head attached and no stab wounds.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Bands like that could only exist in a democracy. In a dictatorship, those guys would be in a dungeon, either being tortured or doing the torturing. How about trying to interview them when you're in Norway? Maybe 'Rolling Stone' would publish it.

Kenneth Noisewater said...

David: It's comments like that that keep me going, man. I had a good time writing this one. Fascinating stuff about some really deranged idiots.

Gorilla: I would love to track down one of those guys for an interview, but I would need a few bodyguards just to be on the safe side. And some holy water.

Kenneth Noisewater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Shife said...

Excellent report, Dr. Ken. The only Mayhem I heard of before your story was the dude from the Allstate commercials. Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend.

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Shifey: That actor in the commercials wouldn't last a day. They would have ate his brain during the audition.

Jimmy Fungus said...

My one friend always praddled on about how people who lived in Norway and the other Scandinavian countries were genetically superior as far as being level headed, mild mannered, and less prone to violent behavior than the rest of humankind. What a load of horse sh*t that was!

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Jimmy: Yeah, they might be pretty liberal and chill people, but their crazies are crazier than anywhere.