Black metal murders: a history


The violence that erupted from the Norwegian black metal scene of the early ’90s still has the power to chill the blood. The horrifying moral vacuum at the heart of the scene is illustrated by the suicide of Per Yngve Ohlin (aka Dead), vocalist with the band Mayhem (pictured here years after his death) in 1991. His body was found by bandmate Euronymous, who calmly took photographs of the gory scene, one of which emerged on the sleeve of a bootleg Mayhem live album.


The suicide of Mayhem vocalist Dead has given rise to some of the black metal scene’s darkest legends. He shot himself in the head, having written a suicide note that read simply: "Excuse all the blood". Upon finding his body, bandmate Euronymous made a necklace out of fragments of his skull. Pictured here is Maniac, who replaced Dead as Mayhem vocalist.
Pic: Redferns


The burnt remains of the wooden church of Brumunddal in Norway. The fire-burning was thought to be inspired by fascist ideas being expressed in heavy metal music.

Bandphoto Agency Photo

B15 055581 01.09.1996



The notorious Norwegian black metal scene returned to the headlines recently. Varg Vikernes, infamous frontman of Norwegian black metallers Burzum and convicted murderer, is set to be released from prison after serving 16 years of a 21 year sentence. The singer, who formerly styled himself as Count Grishnackh, was jailed for the killing of Ã


Some of the bands implicated in black metal’s darkest chapter are still active today – most notably Emperor, whose drummer Faust was recently released from prison after serving 14 years for the fatal stabbing a homosexual man in Lillehammer, Norway on 21 August 1992. Faust is no longer in the band, but guitarist Samoth (jailed in 1994 for church-burning) is.
Pic: Redferns


Varg Vikernes, aka Burzum’s Count Grishnackh, as he appears today, having served 16 years of a 21-year prison sentence for the murder of Ã