You know, we in the States tend to think we’ve cornered the market on metal. But those Norwegians make Ministry look about as dark as My Little Pony. Black metal, based on a completely bonkers ’n’ bloody Viking lifestyle fantasy of death and destruction (pig’s head on a stake, anyone?) has been bubbling up in Norway for the last 20 years. It’s a combo of extreme metal, paganism, and even Satanism — and it’s redefined the meaning of “underground.”
So we were heavily impressed by “True Norwegian Black Metal,” photog Peter Beste’s collection of photos of the radical community, published by our frienemies at Vice. Beste spent the last seven years snapping pics of the scene, which he boils down to “a war against Christianity, a return to the worship of the ancient Norse gods, and the complete rejection of mainstream society.” No biggie. The bulk of the book is portraits of black metal disciples — with names like King, Nocturno Culto, and Necrobutcher — stomping through the Norwegian woods (puts a whole new spin on that Beatles track). But there are also great pics of the scene itself — bands like Mayhem and Immortal live — packed with lots of, well, pigs’ heads on sticks. Sheep’s heads, too. Oh, and can’t forget the gentleman in a loincloth covered in blood and “nailed” to a crucifix onstage.
Not for the faint of heart.
More pics after the jump.