Varg Vikernes

Varg Vikernes
Varg Vikernes
Background information
Birth name Kristian Larsson Vikernes
Also known as Count Grishnackh, Greven
Born 11 February 1973
near Bergen, Norway (age 38)
Genres Black metal, death metal, dark ambient, classical, neofolk, electronic
Occupations Musician, songwriter, writer
Instruments Guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer, keyboards, vocals
Years active 1987–1998, 2009–present
Associated acts Burzum, Mayhem, Old Funeral, Darkthrone, Uruk-Hai, Satanel, Kalashnikov

Varg Vikernes (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈʋɑrɡ ˈʋiːkəɳeːs]; born 11 February 1973) is a Norwegian black metal musician, writer, philosopher and religious, political and nationalist activist, arsonist and convicted murderer.

Vikernes was born near Bergen, Norway. In 1991, he founded the one-man music project Burzum, which quickly became popular within the early Norwegian black metal scene. In 1992, he joined the band Mayhem and adopted the stage name Count Grishnackh. Around this time he became affiliated with the Heathen Front and had several writings on Germanic neopaganism published.[1] In Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, director Sam Dunn described Vikernes as "the most notorious metal musician of all time".[2]

In 1994, Vikernes was convicted of the murder of his Mayhem bandmate Øystein Aarseth, known by his stage name Euronymous. Vikernes was further convicted of four counts of arson involving the burnings of historic churches, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. Having served almost 16 years of his sentence, Vikernes was released on parole in early 2009.[3][4]



Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the August 1993 murder of Øystein Aarseth (aka 'Euronymous') of Mayhem and for the burning of three Christian churches in Norway (he was also suspected of burning a fourth). He was eligible for parole in spring 2008, after serving 15 years in prison, but his application was denied.[5] A June 2008 newspaper article mentions that Vikernes is married and has a daughter, born in 1993, and a son, born 2007.[6] In a 2004 interview, Vikernes said that he has a daughter (whom he has seen twice since 1993) and that he had "never been married".[7] In a 2008 interview, he referred to his two children as well as an expected third child.[8] In connection with his parole in March 2009, Vikernes announced that he would be settling on a small farm in Telemark with his family.[9]

Background, childhood and adolescence

Vikernes does not have a published biography (authorized or unauthorized), but some information can be gathered from interviews he has given and from articles on the web page Michael Moynihan, one of the authors of Lords of Chaos, has been described as "quite active in the propaganda support network for Vikernes."[10]

In the interviews printed in Lords of Chaos, Vikernes discusses his background and childhood. Lords of Chaos also includes an interview with his mother, Lene Bore. In the 2004 interview, Vikernes mentions that "she is working in a large oil company".[7] He also claims his father is an "electronics engineer",[7] whereas his brother, who (according to the Lords of Chaos interview) is "one and a half years older",[11] is a "graduate civil engineer".[7]

In the Lords of Chaos interview, Vikernes recalls an incident from his childhood: When he was about 6 years old, the family moved for about a year to Baghdad, Iraq, because Vikernes' "father was working for Saddam Hussein",[12] developing a computer program. Since there were no places available in the English school in Baghdad, the young Vikernes went to an Iraqi elementary school during this time. According to his interview, Vikernes here became "aware of racial matters".[11] Corporal punishment was not uncommon in the school, and on one occasion Vikernes had a "quarrel" with a teacher and called him "a monkey". But as Vikernes perceived it the teachers "didn't dare to hit me because I was white".[11] Vikernes' mother also recalls how they "spent a year in Iraq", and that "the other children in his class would get slapped by their teachers; he would not."[13] She mentions that this created problems, but generally she "has no good explanation" of how Varg developed his views.[14] Vikernes reveals slightly more in his interview. When asked about his father, he says that he "had a swastika flag at home"[12] and that his father was hysterical about it. However, Vikernes feels that his father was a hypocrite, because he was worried about Vikernes "being a Nazi", whereas he too was "pissed about all the colored people he saw in town".[12] About his mother, Vikernes says that she was "very race conscious", in the sense that she was afraid that Vikernes "was going to come home with a black girl!"[15] At the time of the interview (1995), Vikernes still had a positive relationship with his mother, but "very little contact" with his father.[12] His parents are divorced. Vikernes' father is said to have "left about 10 years ago",[12] which would have been 1985, when Vikernes was 12.

There is some evidence that Vikernes was involved with the skinhead scene in Bergen before he became a part of the black metal scene. Goodrick-Clarke introduces Burzum as the "musical vehicle" of the "ex-skinhead" Vikernes.[1] According to the Encyclopedia of White Power, "Vikernes first became involved with the extreme right as a National Socialist skinhead while he was an adolescent."[16] When he is asked in the interview in Lords of Chaos whether he hung out with skinheads in Bergen, Vikernes boldly replies: "There were no skinheads in Bergen."[17] He mentions, though, that he had short hair at that time and that he was into weapons, that he liked the Germans and hated the British and Americans.[17]

Early musical career

Vikernes had been learning the guitar since he was 14.[17] When he was about seventeen, Vikernes came into contact with the members of the Bergen death metal band Old Funeral. He played guitar with them during 1990–1991 and performed on their Devoured Carcass EP.

In 1991, Vikernes began a solo musical project named Burzum, and quickly became involved with the early Norwegian black metal scene. During 1992–1993, he recorded four albums as Burzum.

Vikernes has stated that for the recording of these early albums he used an old Westone guitar, bought in 1987 from an acquaintance.[18] He used the cheapest bass guitar there was in the shop and he borrowed drumsets from Old Funeral, Immortal and "another musician living nearby".[18] On Hvis lyset tar oss, he borrowed Hellhammer's drumset, the same one Hellhammer used to record De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas by Mayhem.[19] He used a Marshall amplifier, but for the recording of Filosofem he used the amplifier on his brother's stereo and some old fuzz pedals.[18] For vocals, he would use whatever microphone the sound tech handed him, but during the recording of Filosofem he intentionally used the worst mic they had, a headset mic.[18] On the track "Dungeons of Darkness" he used the large gong at Grieghallen for background noise (Euronymous assisted him by beating his fists on it).[18]

In 1992, Vikernes and Dimitrios Faust joined the black metal band Mayhem.

Arson of churches

On 6 June 1992, the Fantoft stave church, dating from the 12th century and considered architecturally significant, was burned to the ground in an arson. By January 1993, arson attacks had occurred on at least seven other major stave churches, including one on Christmas Eve of 1992.[1] Vikernes was found guilty of several of these cases: the arson and attempted arson of Åsane Church and Storetveit Church, respectively, in Bergen, the arson of Skjold Church in Vindafjord, and the arson of Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo. He was also charged with the arson of Fantoft stave church, although the jurors voted not guilty. The judges called this an error but did not overthrow the whole case.[20]

The charred ruins of the Fantoft stave church as seen on Burzum's 1992 EP, Aske.

Vikernes was rumored to have been motivated both by paganism and theistic Satanism, but has denied he was ever a Satanist.[21]

In an interview with Michael Moynihan, Vikernes made a statement about the church burnings that hints at a heathen rather than a Satanist motivation:

I am not going to say that I burnt any churches. But let me put it this way: There was one person who started it. I was not found guilty of burning the Fantoft stave church, but anyway, that was what triggered the whole thing. That was the 6th of June and everyone linked it to Satanism ... What everyone overlooked was that on the 6th June, 793, in Lindesfarne in Britain was the site of the first known Viking raid in history, with Vikings from Hordaland, which is my county ... They [the Christians] desecrated our graves, our burial mounds, so it's revenge.[22]

Echoing this sentiment, he writes in Vargsmål: "For each devastated graveyard, one heathen grave is avenged, for each ten churches burnt to ashes, one heathen hof is avenged, for each ten priests or freemasons assassinated, one heathen is avenged."[23]

When asked whether the church burnings were linked to Odinism or Ásatrú he replied: "The point is that all these churches [i.e. church burnings] are linked to one person ... who was not Øystein obviously. All the church burnings, with the exception of Stavanger, because that was another group (who, by the way, have also turned into nationalistic pagans)."[24]

Murder of Øystein Aarseth

In late January 1993, Vikernes was interviewed by a journalist from Bergens Tidende. Vikernes had requested the interview in order to gain publicity for the black metal scene and for Aarseth's record store Helvete. However, the interview led to a police investigation and Vikernes was put under arrest for a week. Aarseth decided to close his record store due to this negative attention.

On August 10, 1993, Vikernes and Snorre Ruch traveled from Bergen to Aarseth's apartment in Oslo. Upon their arrival a confrontation began, which ended when Vikernes fatally stabbed Aarseth. His body was found outside the apartment with twenty-three cut wounds – two to the head, five to the neck, and sixteen to the back.[25]

The entry on Varg Vikernes in the specialized Encyclopedia of White Power mentions that the murder has been "variously described as a power struggle between rival leaders of a satanic circle, a conflict over a girl's affection, or a dispute over a record contract".[16] Vikernes himself contends "that Aarseth planned to kill him and that he was striking first in self-defense".[16] On his website, Vikernes elaborates that Aarseth had plotted to torture him to death and videotape the event – using a meeting about an unsigned contract as a pretext.[26] On the night of the murder, Vikernes claims he intended to hand Aarseth the signed contract and "tell him to fuck off", but that Aarseth attacked him first.[26] Additionally, Vikernes defends that most of Aarseth's cut wounds were caused by broken glass he had fallen on during the struggle.[26] After the slaying, Vikernes drove to a nearby lake to dispose of his bloodied clothes before he returned to Bergen.[27]

At the arrest of Vikernes, the police found 150 kg of explosives and 3,000 rounds of ammunition in Vikernes' home.[28] According to Encyclopedia of White Power, Vikernes has stated that these explosives were "intended to blow up Blitz House, the radical leftist and anarchist enclave in Oslo",[16] a plan which "was reportedly on the verge of execution"[16] and only prevented by Vikernes' arrest. In an article originally published in 1999, Kevin Coogan points to Vikernes' planned attack in the Blitz House as a possible motive for the murder of Aarseth. Referring to the passages of Lords of Chaos quoted above, Coogan writes: "LOC offers strong evidence that Vikernes, who came from a divorced family and was raised by his mother Lene Bore, was a fascist well before he became a metalhead." Then he, too, mentions Vikernes' intent to "destroy an Oslo-based punk anti-fascist squat called Blitz House",[10] and concludes: "Vikernes may have felt that he had no choice but to kill Euronymous before bombing Blitz House because 'the Communist' would almost certainly have opposed such an act".[10] Though on Vikernes' website, he refers to the creators of "Lords of Chaos" as being unreliable sources.

The media speculated that Euronymous and Vikernes had conspired to blow up Nidaros Cathedral, which appears on the cover of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Vikernes denied this allegation in a 2009 interview, stating "I was getting [the explosives and ammunition] in order to defend Norway if we were attacked any time. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union could have decided to attack us. We have no reason to trust neither the government, the royal family or the military because of what happened last time we were attacked. We are left to ourselves".[28]


Vikernes' trial began on May 2, 1994. During the court case, the 22-year-old Snorre Ruch, who drove Vikernes to and from Øystein's apartment and stood outside during the incident, was put on trial together with Vikernes and sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment, the maximum sentence in Norway. He was found guilty of murdering Øystein Aarseth and the arson of four churches, one of which involved Jørn Tunsberg of black metal band Hades Almighty. In a controversial display, Vikernes smiled at the moment his verdict was read, an image that was widely reprinted in the news media.[26]

Vikernes asserts he did not take part in any church burnings. He described the trial thusly:

They presented one witness in each case who claimed I had burned this or that church, and that was it. "Guilty". Just like that. This process was repeated four times, and I was found guilty of kindling four churches, three of them having burned to the ground. There was not a single piece of physical evidence in any of these cases. I was convicted solely because of the testimony of one single person in each case.

Time in prison

During his time in prison, Vikernes recorded two albums (Dauði Baldrs and Hliðskjálf), which are composed of dark ambient songs.[29] Vikernes was denied access to an electric guitar, bass guitar or drums, and instead used a synthesizer. In 2000, Vikernes terminated his musical project because of what he perceived to be negative notoriety. He believed that his philosophy was constantly misinterpreted by an ignorant fan base that was too closely related to black metal and Satanism.[30] Through his website, he indicated that he intended to continue Burzum after his release from prison, stating: "I will publish a few books, possibly using a pseudonym in order to stay anonymous, and perhaps a Burzum album or two, but that's it".[31] Regarding the style of his next album, Vikernes stated on his website: "[A future album] will, as far as I can tell, sound much like the old albums, whether I like it or not, because I'm incapable of making music that doesn't sound rather 'Burzumic'."[32]

In October 2003, Vikernes failed to return to his low-security prison in Tønsberg, Norway after having been granted a short leave. He was found riding in a stolen Volvo car, which, according to the media, contained an unloaded AG3 automatic rifle, a handgun, numerous large knives, a gas mask, camouflage clothing, a laptop, a compass, a GPS device, various maps and a fake passport (it is thought that Vikernes came to be in possession of this equipment by means of a military barracks). For this thirteen months were added to his sentence, and he was then moved to a maximum-security prison in Trondheim. He was subsequently moved again, this time to Tromsø Prison.[33][34]

When Vikernes was convicted, it was possible to be released on parole after serving 12 years of a 21-year sentence, but in 2002, before he became eligible, the Norwegian Parliament extended this to 14 years. In June 2006, after serving 12 years, Vikernes was denied parole by the Department of Criminal Justice for this reason.[8] His lawyer, John Christian Elden, has complained that the policy change is a form of retroactive legislation. Article 97 of the Norwegian constitution prohibits any law being given retroactive force.

Varg Vikernes was denied parole again in June 2008, although he was allowed to leave Tromsø Prison for short periods to visit his family. His full sentence would run for another seven years.[5][8][35] In March 2009, however, Vikernes' parole was announced. He had then served 15 years of his 21-year sentence.[9]

On May 24, 2009, Vikernes was released from prison on probation.


According to Goodrick-Clarke, "while in jail, Vikernes began to formulate his nationalist heathen ideology using material from Norse mythology combined with racism and occult National Socialism."[1] Goodrick-Clarke bases this account of Vikernes' beliefs on some articles that Vikernes had written for the short-lived "neo-Nazi magazine" Filosofem, published by Vidar von Herske. Goodrick-Clarke also uses the book Lords of Chaos, and a manifesto called Vargsmål ('Speech of the Wolf'), which Vikernes began to write after his imprisonment. According to Lords of Chaos, Vargsmål became available on the internet for some time in 1996, but not in a printed form.[36] In 1997, a Norwegian publisher released a paperback edition of the book; its publication was financed by Vikernes' mother, Lene Bore.[37] Vikernes has denounced the English translation of his book in an article on his website. He has also stated on the website that "Vargsmål was written in anger, while I was young and in isolation, and the book is marked by this".[38]

Political affiliation

After his conviction, Vikernes began identifying himself as a neo-Nazi.[10] The Encyclopedia of White Power describes him as "busy promoting his Odinist and National Socialist philosophy from behind bars."[16]

In a July 2005 statement on his website entitled "The Nazi Ghost",[39] Vikernes states that although he "occasionally used the term 'nazism' to describe [his] ideological foundation", he no longer describes himself as a 'Nazi'.

The reason I have been drawn to and occasionally have expressed support for 'nazism' is mainly because many of the Norwegian (and German) 'Nazis' embraced our Pagan religion as our blood-religion and they rejected Judeo-Christianity as Jewish heresy[39]

Vikernes expresses a desire to not be associated with anti-Slavic sentiments. He identifies three things which distinguish him from the "Nazis": "unlike them I am not socialistic (not even on a national level), I am not materialistic and I believe in (the ancient Scandinavian) democracy."

In the late 90s, "to avoid confusion" and "to find a term more suitable and accurate", Vikernes coined the term "odalism" based on the Odal rune. "[F]rom Norse óðal (homeland, allodium, allodial law, nobility, noble, inherited goods, fatherland, land property, distinguished family, distinguished, splendid, kin and the nation)." [40] He explains, "In it lies Paganism, traditional nationalism, racialism and environmentalism." Vikernes contrasts it with "modern 'civilization'" which he equates with "capitalism, materialism, Judeo-Christianity, pollution, urbanization, race-mixing, Americanization, socialism, globalization, et cetera". He places importance on the fact that odalism "is not a term tainted by history"; in contrast with nazism:

The 'nazi ghost' has scared millions of Europeans from caring about their blood and homeland for sixty years now, and it is about time we banish this ghost and again start to think and care about the things that (whether we like it or not) are important to us.[39]

In other texts on his website, he embraces racism[41] and eugenics ("race hygiene").[42] However, he makes the point that following one's own culture is an equally valid and beneficial choice for all peoples.[43] Vikernes states that although he is a racist, he hates no one and that "hatred is irrational".[28]

Involvement in the Heathen Front

According to several sources[who?], during his time in prison, Vikernes became a central figure in the Neo-völkisch Heathen Front. The Heathen Front started as a group in Norway, Norsk Hedensk Front (Norwegian Heathen Front) or NHF, and grew into the international Allgermanische Heidnische Front (Pan-Germanic Heathen Front) or AHF. At the time of their publication, the article on Vikernes in the Encyclopedia of White Power[44] and Gods of the Blood by the Swedish scholar Matthias Gardell[45] considered Vikernes to be the leader (and the founder) of the Norwegian Heathen Front. Goodrick-Clarke mentions that Vikernes underlined "his role as chieftain of his Norwegian Heathen Front" with the writing of Vargsmål.[46]

In a 2009 interview with Vikernes, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet pointed out that he has been linked to neo-Nazi and racist groups during his time in prison.[28] Vikernes replied: "I have never formed or been a member of such organizations. The only organization I am a member of is Riksmålsforbundet" (The Society for the Preservation of Traditional Standard Norwegian).[28]

When he was asked about his involvement in the AHF in a 2004 interview published on, Vikernes pointed out that it was Antifa groups who "repeatedly wrote" that the NHF was a Neo-Nazi group and that he was their leader, claims which he describes as "persecution".[7] He also said that "the [Norwegian] secret police claimed adamantly" that he was the leader of the Heathen Front.[7] Vikernes then continued by stating that, as a result of these claims, he left the Heathen Front, to see what "the Antifa/Monitor morons and the secret police would do". In practice, Vikernes stated, he never was a member of the group, since, being in prison, he could not participate in their activities and he had not ever "met half of them".[7] If he would want to write articles for their magazine, he could do that, regardless of whether he was a member or not.[7]


Vikernes has written lyrics for several songs by Darkthrone that make use of themes from old Germanic folklore. In these, Satan is referenced as an aspect of the Germanic god Odin in the context of an 'eye' that is a source of light (i.e. the sun), there are also mentions of a 'spear' and a 'hall of battle', which are also masked references to Odin. This was done with the double meaning of Odin as the 'adversary' of Jewish and Christian tradition. Many have thus inferred that Vikernes is or was a Satanist, though he has stated many times that he is opposed to Satanism as he considers it to be a reactionary form of Christianity.

According to Vikernes:

Christianity was created by some decadent and degenerated Romans as a tool of oppression, in the late Roman era, and it should be treated accordingly. It is like handcuffs to the mind and spirit and is nothing but destructive to mankind. In fact, I don't really see Christianity as a religion. It is more like a spiritual plague, a mass psychosis, and it should first and foremost be treated as a problem to be solved by the medical science. Christianity is a diagnosis. It's like Islam and the other Asian religions, a HIV/AIDS of the spirit and mind.[47]

Vikernes now embraces a "modern scientific worldview resting on a foundation made up of the Pagan values and ideals: loyalty, wisdom, courage, love, discipline, honesty, intelligence, beauty, responsibility, health and strength."[48] He draws a direct connection between both race and intelligence and intelligence and religion, denouncing theism as "mental enslavement" fit only for "inferior races".[48] Vikernes goes on to say "If it is supposed to serve a purpose Paganism needs to be an ideology, not a religion".[48] Despite accusing mainstream theists of holding onto "Stone Age misconceptions", Vikernes still holds that religious myths should be turned to in areas where science has not yet achieved a complete understanding of the natural world—such as the origin of life and where we go after death, if anywhere at all.[48]

In addition to Vargsmål, works by Vikernes on his personal world view include Irminsûl and Germansk Mytologi og Verdensanskuelse ('Germanic Mythology and Worldview').[citation needed]

Influence of Vidkun Quisling

Vidkun Quisling, Nazi collaborator minister-president of occupied Norway between 1942 and 1945 and involuntary originator of the term quisling-regime, had developed an extremely obscure esoteric doctrine labeled 'Universism'. An online article[49] about him mentions that the only "modest intellectual influence" he ever had with this doctrine was "on certain extreme strains of Norwegian black metal music". This impression is indeed given in Lords of Chaos. In the interview there, Varg Vikernes is faced with the question whether Quisling's religion was pagan or Christian.[50] Moynihan & Søderlind write: "Vikernes has discovered his predecessor in Vidkun Quisling."[51] At one point, he temporarily took the name 'Kvisling',[52] but he explained this choice in Vargsmål:

One of my foremothers was called Susanne Malene Qisling. She was born 06-02-1811 and dies [sic] 10-05-1891. Qisling means "that which stems from a division of kingly descendants" [...]

Vikernes stated in an interview, "They [the Norwegian government at the beginning of World War II] ran like chickens, leaving Norway, with absolutely NO authorities, and when Vidkun Quisling tried to bring order back, he was thanked with a bullet in his heart after the war."[53] This is the only known instance of Vikernes mentioning Vidkun Quisling, besides Lords of Chaos; on Vikernes does not mention Vidkun Quisling at all.[54]

The Lord of the Rings

From an early age, Vikernes was fascinated with the fictional realm of Middle-earth created by J. R. R. Tolkien. His stage name Grishnackh is taken from that of an orc in The Two Towers. The name Burzum, meaning darkness, was taken from the Black Speech inscribed on the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings. The inscription read "Ash nazg durbatulúk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul" or in English "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Additionally, before settling for Burzum, the band was initially named Uruk-Hai, a breed of orcs within the fiction.

Vikernes interpreted The Lord of the Rings on his website, allegedly showing the connections to paganism in the books.[55]


Lords of Chaos

American journalist Michael Moynihan wrote a book entitled Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground with co-author Didrik Søderlind that is concerned with the events of the early black metal scene in Norway, a book many of the participants of the Norwegian black metal scene[who?][citation needed] have accused of misquotation and distortion of facts. One extensive review has been written by Kevin Coogan, author of a biography of the neo-fascist writer and activist Francis Parker Yockey. In Lords of Chaos, as Coogan writes, "Moynihan suggests that Vikernes is an avatar of a long-repressed Odinist archetype analogous to what Jung claimed for Nazi Germany in his famous 1936 essay on Wotan."[10] The book's thesis about black metal as a "rise" of this Odinist archetype is factually problematic: "LOC's musings about fascism and black metal largely hang on a thin evidential thread, Varg Vikemes."[10]

There is also a review of this book available on Burzum's official website,, that is allegedly written by Varg Vikernes:

I dare say the vast majority of all the statements made in this book are either misinterpretations; taken out of context; misunderstandings; malicious lies made by enemies; a result of ignorance; extreme exaggerations; and/or third-hand information at best. This includes the statements attributed to me!... [The authors] have no insight into or even good knowledge about the subjects discussed and ... don't understand one bit what black metal was about in 1991 and 1992... [They] have managed to fill the heads of a generation of metal fans with lies.[56]

Satan rir media

Torstein Grude created a Norwegian documentary entitled Satan rir media (Satan Rides the Media), to which Vikernes has given a more positive review. As its title implies, the movie focuses on the often hysterical media coverage of the church burning cases and the black metal scene in general. In the film, Vikernes accuses Finn Bjørn Tønder (a journalist who writes for Bergens Tidende (BT)) of deliberately informing the police about his identity after he had completed an anonymous interview. Vikernes was arrested only hours after the interview, one day before it was published, and was released after a week in prison due to lack of proof. In the film, Svein Erik Krogvoll (head of criminal investigations, Bergen Police District) evades the question whether Tønder preserved Vikernes' anonymity by stating "It was all OK and legal".

According to Satan rir media, it was also the BT who gave Vikernes the name "Greven" (The Count). However, Vikernes has said in Vargsmål that "the reason I chose this name was not to have a tough name. The word 'count (greven)' comes from the Latin word 'comites' that means partner or companion. I am the true Germanic folk's 'partner' and 'companion' and with that I chose this title".

Satan rir media claims that by emphasizing the Satanist angle, the Norwegian news media unwittingly created a mass following for Burzum and Vikernes, both in Norway and internationally.

Until the Light Takes Us

Vikernes is one of the central figures in the 2009 documentary film Until The Light Takes Us. Interviewed in prison by American directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell, Vikernes explains, in great detail, the circumstances surrounding both the creation of black metal and the murder of Euronymous.

Influence on other church arsons

Vikernes's actions allegedly inspired Kalle Holm to burn Porvoo Cathedral in Finland.
  • Novak Majstorovic, then 19-year-old guitarist of the metal band Schwarzreich, was charged with arson and burglary in relation to the burning of a 100+-year-old Uniting Church in Ascot Vale, Australia in August 2004. He was convicted and sentenced to three years in Youth Detention. In all media depictions of the event, he is said to have been heavily influenced by Burzum. However, he has stated on several message boards across the internet that the influence does not stretch beyond the superficial, and that the media has overblown his statements to the police to suit their own ends. He claims that the arson had very little in common with Vikernes' attacks. Majstorovic was released in August 2006. His current whereabouts are unknown.[57]
  • Kalle Holm, an 18-year-old Finn known to have played drums in several Finnish metal bands, has stated on his website that he was influenced by Burzum. He set fire to the Porvoo Cathedral in Finland in May 2006: the roof of the church burned, but the ceiling, vaults and interiors survived undamaged. The attorney's claims that the motives behind the arson were related to a "hatred towards Christianity" were overruled in court. He was sentenced to three years and two months of imprisonment without parole.[58] The sentence was later doubled to six years and six months by the Court of Appeal.[59]
  • The Winnipeg Sun reported that three people were convicted on June 27, 2006 of arson in a fire that destroyed the Minnedosa United Church in Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada on February 12, 2006. One was sentenced to three years in prison, the second to two years and the third to two years less a day. All three were ordered to pay CAD $1.2 million in restitution. Justice officials said the church was set on fire on February 11, Vikernes' birthday.[60]



As Burzum:

Other appearances:


  • 1997 – Vargsmål
  • 2000 – Germansk Mytologi og Verdensanskuelse
  • 2001 – Guide to the Norse Gods and Their Names
  • 2002 – Irminsûl
  • 2011 – Sorcery And Religion In Ancient Scandinavia


  1. ^ a b c d Goodrick-Clarke 2003: 204
  2. ^ Dunn, Sam (Director) (5 August 2005). Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (motion picture). Canada: Dunn, Sam. 
  3. ^ "Varg Vikernes ute på prøve" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. NTB (Oslo, Norway). 10 March 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Ute av fengsel" (in Norwegian). 22 May 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Aftenposten, English edition, 11 June 2008:Too dangerous for parole
  6. ^ VG Nett, 11 June 2008: Varg Vikernes for farlig for friheten (Norwegian)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h 12 August 2004 interview
  8. ^ a b c Rune Midtskogen, "Jeg er klar for samfunnet," Dagbladet June 6, 2008 accessed January 21, 2009
  9. ^ a b Berg, Morten Michelsen (March 10, 2009). "Nå slipper "Greven" ut" (in Norwegian). TV 2 Nyhetene. Archived from the original on 2009-03-10. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Coogan 1999
  11. ^ a b c LoC 1998: 148
  12. ^ a b c d e LoC 1998: 147
  13. ^ LoC 1998: 142
  14. ^ LoC 1998: 144
  15. ^ LoC 1998: 146
  16. ^ a b c d e f Kaplan 2000: 319
  17. ^ a b c LoC 1998: 149
  18. ^ a b c d e "A Burzum Story: Part VI - The Music". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  19. ^ Teufel. "Interview with Hellhammer". Teufels Tomb. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  20. ^ "Varg Vikernes - A Burzum Story: Part II - Euronymous". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  21. ^ See 1995 Morgenbladet article "Satanism in Norway", English translation Michael Moynihan, Lords of Chaos, pp. 344-45.
  22. ^ Michael Moynihan, Lords of Chaos, p. 88; quoted in: M. Gardell, Gods of the Blood, p.306;
  23. ^ quoted after M. Gardell, Gods of the Blood, p.306, 307. Translation by M. Gardell
  24. ^ Lords of Chaos, p. 89
  25. ^ Steinke, Darcey. "Satan's Cheerleaders" SPIN Magazine, February 1996.
  26. ^ a b c d "Varg Vikernes - A Burzum Story: Part II - Euronymous". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  27. ^ Garry Sharpe-Young (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide. p. 203. 
  28. ^ a b c d e Midtskogen, Rune (4 July 2009). ""Greven" angrer ingenting ["The Count" regrets nothing]" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  29. ^ "Norwegischer Black Metal" (in (German)). Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  30. ^ "Varg Vikernes - A review of M. Moynihan & D. Søderlind's "Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of The Satanic Metal Underground" (new edition)". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  31. ^ "A Burzum Story: Part IX - The Tomorrow". 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  32. ^ Interview with Chris Mitchell (10 May 2005)
  33. ^ "Berglund, Nina. "Police nab 'The Count' after he fled jail" Aftenposten (English) 27 October 2003". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  34. ^ "Berglund, Nina. "Arrested 'Count' was heavily armed" Aftenposten (English edition) October 28, 2003". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  35. ^ "Burzum and Varg Vikernes news and updates". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  36. ^ Lords of Chaos (1998):159
  37. ^ Christe, Ian (2003). Sound of the Beast: the Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.. p. 279. 
  38. ^ "Varg Vikernes - A Comment to "Vargsmål" and other books by Varg Vikernes". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  39. ^ a b c Part VII of the autobiographical series: "A Burzum Story".
  40. ^ A Burzum Story: Part VII - The Nazi Ghost
  41. ^ With respect to what appears to be his interpretation of the Edda, though there could be another source, Vikernes writes: "This is the mythology, a pretty unmistakably racist statement left to us from our forefathers."Paganism: Part I - The Ancient Religion
  42. ^ "The mental hygiene and race hygiene practiced by the ancient Europeans also was disrupted by the introduction of Christianity." Paganism: Part VI - Hygiene In The Pagan Era
  43. ^ "[Odalism] is not only a more accurate but also a more inclusive term that can be used by all Europeans (and others too for that sake)". A Burzum Story: Part VII - The Nazi Ghost
  44. ^ "Vikernes is also the self-proclaimed leader of the Norsk Hedensk Front (Norwegian Heathen Front) and of an international heathen brotherhood he calls Cymophane." Article by Xavier Cattarinich, Kaplan 2000: 319.
  45. ^ "Advocating national socialism, anti-Semitism, eugenics, and racist paganism, Vikernes launched Norsk Hedensk Front in 1993, which soon evolved into a network of independent tribes called the Allgermanische Heidnische Front (AHF)." Gardell 2003: 307.
  46. ^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003: 205.
  47. ^ "Vikernes's thoughts about Christianity from Metal Crypt E'Zine, 10 May 2005". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  48. ^ a b c d ""Bard's Tale: part VIII: Religion or Reason"". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  49. ^ "The World According to Quisling" by Gisle Tangenes,, 19 September 2006
  50. ^ Lords of Chaos (First Edition), 163
  51. ^ Lords of Chaos (First Edition), 162
  52. ^ "Discography - Official Releases - "Daudi Baldrs" ("Balder's Dod") 1997". Burzum. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  53. ^ "The Music of Burzum and the Writings of Varg Vikernes (with 1993 interview)". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  54. ^ other than the above-referenced mention of his great-great-grandmother's name: A Burzum Story: Part V - Satanism
  55. ^ "Paganism: Part III - The One Ring". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  56. ^ ""Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of The Satanic Metal Underground" review". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  57. ^ "Johnston, Chris. "Don't simply demonise death metal" The Age 28 September 2005". Melbourne: 2005-09-29. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  58. ^ Helsingin Sanomat: Porvoon tuomiokirkon tulipalosta yli kolmen vuoden vankeustuomio (Finnish)
  59. ^ Helsingin Sanomat: Hovioikeus kovensi Porvoon kirkon sytyttäjän tuomiota (Finnish)
  60. ^ "Canadian Black Metal Arsonists Receive Jail Time - 28 June 2006". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 



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