In an interview with Norwegian news site The Foreigner, legendary black metal producer Erik ‘Pytten’ Hundvin — whose greatest effort lies in producing classics by Burzum, Emperor, Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Immortal and Mayhem — answers questions about the whys and wherefores of the genre.
These kids just wanted to challenge the established ways of society. They wanted to revive the Old Norse culture and bring in the culture and customs of the Vikings back into society.
To Hundvin it seems the core idea was never any sort of superficial Satanism. Hundvin’s music partner Davide Bertolini agrees:
These guys believed in their music and their beliefs, which they put down as lyrics. If you hear them, you instantly feel nature in its strongest of elements.
Both believe, however, that black metal has softened over the years, with bands commercializing their sound, replacing spirit with exotic instruments.
Likewise, producer Martin Kvam notes how bands all over the world have started to emulate the original sound, but that “bands like Burzum, Mayhem and [Darkthrone] are no longer to be seen in Norway”.