“Lords of Chaos” is a slightly exaggerated dramatization of the true story of Norwegian Black Metal pioneers ‘Mayhem’. It shows the creation of the band and the journey they went on through their controversially early career.
If you’re familiar with the band’s history, then I’m sure you know what’s up. If not, Mayhem has become notorious for their live shows featuring decapitated animals, body mutilation, and the complicated history of replaced members.
Without sounding too cryptic, this film is brutal and goes to some dark places. For example, and this is early in the film so I don’t find it much of a spoiler, but the band is known as the metal band whose ‘lead singer blew his own head off.’ What pushed that momentum further is the fact that the guitarist photographed his corpse and it was used as a future album cover. (Again, these are true stories).
And that’s just the end of the first act. Afterwards we go on a journey through nihilism, church burnings, murder, and dramatic tension. They wanted to be known as the most hateful, disgusting band in existence, and they’ve earned quite the reputation.
If you enjoy extreme metal, blood, or nihilistic world views, then this movie has something for you. But it’s depictions of the events that unfolded are harrowing and the camera does not shy away. It’s a wonderful examination of the mentality of late 80’s/early 90s Norway and the music scene it’s government created.
If you have the stomach for it, this film has a bit of everything. As soon as I finished watching it, I immediately wanted to put it back on. The ending is breathtaking and the journey is vicious.
“Lords of Chaos” is currently streaming on Hulu.
‘Til Next Time,
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