Det Svarte Alvor (1994)

From the ancient archives, an English translation of Det Svarte Alvor (1994), resurrected in the bowels of the Old Internet:

DET SVARTE ALVOR / Darkest Sincerity .. or .. The Black Seriousness

The following text is a translated transcript of the program showed on
Norwegian television a while back.



* Everything written within […] are comments by Henry Leirvoll.
* Everything written within (…) are mostly written by the original
translator – but some also by Henry Leirvoll.


The Cast is presented like this,

* C= Commentator
* AB= Abbath [Immortal]
* A = Anne Schatten [Bookstore keeper]
* D = Demonaz [Immortal]
* E = Einar Engelstad [aka Engelen / ‘The Angel’ – music shop keeper]
* H = Hellhammer [Mayhem]
* I = Ihsahn [Emperor]
* J = Jon Jarle Haugen [Musician]
* K = Kris [Garm – Ulver]
* O = Odd Kristian Reme (The church city commission)
* S = Snorre Seim [From “Zonen”]


Beginning ..

Satyr running up the stairs to the old Mayhem-rehearsal place – now
rehearsal place for several different bands – In Oslo …

C: It is mostly about music, about Black Metal; a style where the Norwegian
bands has been leading the last years.

(Satyricon playing)

(church sitings)

C: It is also about a new type of crime, with background in strong,
anti-ecclesiastical attitudes. And it is about young people, seeking to the
darkest, most gloomy thoughts and symbols we know. Some of these, call
themselves satanists.


Title – DET SVARTE ALVOR (Darkest Sincerity / The Black Seriousness)


(watching Immortal getting ready for concert – they walk down the stairs of
GARAGE PUB (Bergen) – playing)

C: The band Immortal from Bergen, doesn’t see themselves as satanists
today. – They play something they call “Holocaust Metal”. They compare
their shows with a theater – themselves, they have the roles of demons.

(in the pub – daylight still Garage)

D: When we go onstage, we go on stage to spread .. cold, and to shock, and
to get out aggression .. and to do a fucking raw show.

AB: We do things onstage which you normally do not see done. It’s as simply
as that; we shock.

C: Is this an image, a role, or is it serious?

D: Let’s put it this way .. I wouldn’t call it an image, as long we work so
fucking much with it as we do. But .. We have never gone out and said
anything we do not stand for. We do not write about satan and god .. and
all that other crap all the other ones write about. – I think most of the
people come to our concerts to see what it is all about.

AB: Yeah

C: But the parents are frightened?

D: Yes AB: No

D: Some of them – but we haven’t had any trouble with that. AB: Yeah…

D: But we don’t give a shit – we do what we want.

(concert again – still Immortal)


(Satans Bibel – Satan’s Bible; Anton Szandor LaVey)

C: Most of the ones who play Black Metal has looked through this book, by
Anton LaVey.

(Anton talking)

C: Anton LaVey started the Church of Satan in California, in 1966. Here
[referring to what is happening onscreen] he is performing a marriage. He
wanted to rebuild the strong and proud human being, and to free it from the
christian withered “next-love”. Through rituals, we wanted to conjure forth
the dark instincts in the human being. Even though it may not go deep,
LaVey’s type of satanism has influenced the Norwegian Black Metal scene.


(shadow of Ihsahn – Emperor)

I: A satanist .. it is very hard to define who is a satanist and who is
not. It is more a category you must set for yourself. There are many
different attitudes and ways to pratice satanism.

(LaVey again … then Ihsahn)

I: I am a satanist. – I can’t point my finger at anything concrete Why I am
a satanist, except to look at my own attitudes and thoughts – also my own
moral values. If anyone else wants to call that satanism, nor not, is up to
them. But then again, it isn’t important to me what other people wants to
categorize me as.

(song – Hymne til Satan / Inno a Satana (the lyrics are the same as in the

I: You can’t play Black Metal without a satanic basis/foundation.

(holding up the Emperor LP)

I: It is that the whole thing is based on.

C: Must the message be evil?

I: Yes, if not – it isn’t Black Metal.

C: Why is darkness, melancholy, and death so fascinating?

I: Well .. It is something I find appealing – emotionally appealing. I
cannot answer why.

(showing Ihsahn’s room)

C: Like this, can a boys-room look like in this “Heavy-Rock” enviroment.

C: But isn’t he afraid to become very melancholic/sad, and ill from all of

I: I am not afraid of it .. you see it coming. The expressions just go on,
and .. one starts to live more and more by those thoughts and feelings. In
the end, that is all that is left – but nontheless .. it is so important to
me that I will never take any absence from it.

C: Do you have many friends?

I: No. … Not real friends. Relatively very few.

C: Do you think that is ok, or what do you think about that?

I: Yes, it doesn’t bother me. I am on a completely different level than the
others. It is very difficult for people like myself to communicate with all
the other “ordinary” youths .. to us there isn’t any value or meaning in
what they do – they have another reason for living than we do. – They are
what I would catagorize as “soulless people”; they are too involved
in/engaged with simple materialistic things.


(song – still Inno a Satana) (man turning off the stereo)

J: They have within their enviroment carried it long way. They are well
known outside the country. If it had been a band which belonged to another
style, had had another public, these guys would have beeen often to see in
music-magazines and music-periodicals… They have been doing a serious
musical basis-work. They have obtained their own expression, and for this
work, and their experience, they received “The local youthculture
scholarship” in 1991. And that was an encouragement and a stimulant to keep
on with the serious work that they had started.

(picture of Emperor – song .. Inno a Satana)

C: But the band developed after a while into Black Metal direction, and now
three of the members are charged with, and sentenced for burning churches
and other crimes.

J: When it has come forth afterwards, as a part of the image to this band,
these boys, they have been involved in philosophical or ideological
directions that most of us take absence from. I can imagine that public
persons in the municipaility and in political organs have questioned
themselves: “What were we helping to do at that time?”.

(Haugen plays piano)

J: Grieg has written a song called “To a Devil”, and Klaus Egge has written
so called devil music. Wagner, or Faust, reappeares in the opera literature
from hundreds of years back, so to involve themselves, a little, in these
mystical powers and to fetch some inspiration from there for their musical
work – is not so special for These boys [I think he means .. that it didn’t
first start with Black Metal – it has been done for centuries]


(Ihsahn’s room)

C: Now three of the members in your band are inolved in criminal cases.
What does this mean for the band, and for you?

I: It has both negative and positive effects, really. Of course it will
make much complications and stuff with consideration to imprisonment – and
that it will be a diffucilt time for the band in that period. But we have
also gotten a very big publicity at home and abroad, so that gives us a
bigger area to spread our thoughts.

(showing magazines+)

C: So, is that positive?

I: Yes

C: Do you think it’s ok to burn churches?

I: Personally I wouldn’t have done it because of the consequences it could
have had for me. But what others do .. I think that each individual should
decide their own destiny. The reason why I haven’t got a personal
connection to this is that I haven’t the need for the phyiscal destrictive.
And in that way I have a little different direction than maybe others in
the same enviroment in Norway, because maybe I think a little more in the
spiritual level.


(in bookshop)

C: Do you have Anton LaVey’s “The Satanic Bible”?

A: We haven’t got that book anymore; we had it earlier, but because of all
the church fires we have chosen to cut that book out.

(showing church fires – mentioning churches that has been lit)


(in church with Kris(now Garm) of Ulver)

K: The church is Norway’s authority number one .. and to burn a church
shows the Norwegian people some kind of protest. – It shocks people.

C: What is wrong with the church and christianity?

K: Christianity is a weak, inconsistent, pathetic religion – made for weak

(song from Ulver)

K: Christianity doesn’t have a meaning, as a word at all, compared to what
it once was and represented. We have to remember that christianity mainly
was a force-adjusted religion in Norway, and as the sons of Odin, we see it
as our duty to take back that which once was ours. We have chosen to adjust
ourselves after the martial, proud, strong god idols our pagan ancestors

(Ulver music)

[lyrics … :
I do not wish for a saviour
I do not lack a father
I do not need a crown of thorns
To be a king!]

C: You play in a group whose name is Ulver (eng:wolves). What is it that
you want?

K: We want to spread “Trolskhet” (the old eerie feeling of trolls and
elves?) and old Norwegian thoughts to our listeners. We use our music as a
way of reflecting a fairytale age. The fairlytale age’s belief, and not
least it’s superstition.

C: Would you call this satanism?

K: No, absolutely not. It has nothing to do with satanism at all.

C: You are not engaged in that?

K: Well, I have had my periods (looking down to his ring), but it is not
what I use in connection with the band. But I have, of course, been
interested and involved in more satanic music earlier, but that has now
changed, so …

C: But do you have any contact with bands who use more satanic lyrics and a
satanic message?

K: Absolutely.


(interview with Hellhammer – Mayhem)

C: Some say they’re very attracted to the dark, but it’s not like that with

H: It’s not like that with me.

C: You are there because of the music?

H: Yes.

(Hellhammer playing drums)

H: I have been into many other styles of music within the 12 years [he has
been playing] too. It hasn’t only been Black Metal the whole time. And
today, I don’t just play Black Metal; I play many other styles too.

(Kris from Ulver in record store – holding up Darkthrone’s “Under a funeral
moon” LP)

C: The band Darkthrone is after many people’s meanings the front Norwegian
Black Metal band. The group Mayhem is also well known. The album “De
Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” was recently released in memory of �ystein
Aarseht/Euronymous, who was killed in August last year.

H: There are different sides to satanism as well. I am not a satanist
myself, so I can’t really say anything special about it.

(Mayhem: “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” – Satan’s mysteries – inside playhall)

H: It’s our last vocalist Dead (Pelle) who wrote the lyrics. It can be very
difficult to understand them, really. He was a pretty special man. He
committed suicide a couple of years ago. I know this much that one of the
lyrics, “Freezing Moon”, is about to make people listen to the song and
commit suicide. – Not that that is My purpose with the music at all…

C: So you didn’t mean that serious, or was it a encouragement?

H: Those are the lyrics – Pelle meant it of course. But I don’t go
consistent into getting people to kill themsleves in that way. Even if I
gladly see that my enemies die; that doesn’t matter to me.

C: But aren’t you afraid to encourage people to commit suicide, don’t you
think that is wrong?

H: Pelle would in any case be very happy for that. (slight laughter)

(pictures from graveyard)


(showing fanzines)

C: This music enviroment has its own network, a simple printed matters,
work as contact-magazines for the different bands. All these magazines are
published by Norwegian youth, but they are written in English, with
thoughts for interested readers all over the world. And the magazines are
mostly about music. They present new and old bands, and what they stand
for. But there are also other reading materials here; LaVey often turns up.
This can get us to wonder how big the iunterests are for him, and for
occult questions in the whole.


C: Have you tried to practise any magic, ritual magic, before?

K: Well .. heh .. No, nothing directly occult.

C: LaVey writes alot about that.

K: Yeah, I have of course experimented with ouija-boards and so on, a
couple of years back, but nothing in excess of that.


(people with ouija-board)

– I call heaven’s highest hights, and hell’s deepest abyss: I ask, can
anyone hear me? …

C: Very few of those we spoke to were involved with rituals, in excess of
little but play at the boys room.


(showing fanzines)

C: Another disreputable ritual magician also turns up in these magazines:
Aleister Crowley.

(in bookshop)

C: You sell alot of Aleister Crowley here, who buys these books?

A: It is a certain type of people, you can see them when they arrive; they
are usually dressed in black – then I know which shelf they are going to.

C: The shelf for magic?

A: Yes.

(showing Crowley books)

C: But the acquaintance with Crowley and his ritual magic, or his form for
satanism, doesn’t seek deep in the Black Metal enviroment.


(showing fanzines again)

C: Back to the underground magazines, the so called fanzines. Here we meet
the occult Hitler, and we meet women prestend through so called sadistic

K: When it comes to these fanzines, the main role is to spread the smaller
bands’ message. But they are also attitude forming, and again function as
entertainment for the readers; and those who read this are people like us.
It’s obvious that much of the material in a ‘zine can be manipulating, and
infuence youth, yes.

C: But you don’t see that as unsafe..?

K: No, not really. I see that as the readers’ own responsibility.


(at Carcass/No Place To Hide concert – Ravn from Mysticum selling demos)

C: Kris and the others think it’s new-recruitment, and increasing interest
for the Black Metal genre. And outside the concerthalls, they have found a
market for their articles. They have little sense for young teenagers
“play-satanism”, but they are good to have as customers.

– Boy w/Cannibal Corpse shirt translating for the commentator.

C: Sepultura – what does that stand for?

– Boy w/Sepultura shirt: Grave.

C: Pantera – what kind of band is that?

– Boy w/Sepultura shirt: Death Metal.

– Girl w/Entombed shirt: Entombed .. I think it means “buried” .. or .. it
means “buried” – and it is a Swedish band. They don’t play much on the
satanic image – they are more themselves, and they play very good.

– Boy w/Morbid Angel shirt: Morbid Angel? The vocalist there is more or
less a satanist, but it isn’t exactly satanic thing ..

C: But you like it?

– Boy: Yes, I like it. And I also have a picture I can show .. (shows back
print of shirt).


(showing “Zonen”, Stavanger…)

C: In Stavanger in february, the band Gehenna – or Hell – was going to play
in the activity house “Zonen” [The Zone]. The church’s city commission
protested. “The message reminds too much of fascism,” they said.

O: The war as an ideal – skulls as symbols. The strong shall conquer the
weak. There are many ideological features in fascism which obviously has
its parallel, spiritually said, to the satanic movement. And to make the
satanism’s fascism visable is very important, because it will also put many
other people, not only christians, in positions to understand that satanism
is a dangerous direction which is important to gather and fight against.

(Gehenna live)

S: It was much writing about this concert, and the persons around it, in
the papers. Therefore we held an extra-ordinary meeting, where the
management came up with the press release that they took strong distance
from symbols and lyrics which mentioned satanism.

(Gehenna live)

C: Zonen has made a decision – are you satisfied?

O: Yes, I am satisfied, because now Zonen has established themselves as an
anti-fascist, anti-satanic zone in the city.

C: But shouldn’t a community have room for many different opinions?

O: Yes, they should, but the space in this case have to mean Will to
cooperate with all powers who wants to defend life. Satanism and fascism
isn’t willing to defend life; it has life as their major oponent. It states
death cult and death as its highest value, it states that the strong shall
suppress the weak. And this is misunderstood tolerance, if anybody think
that this shall go uncontradicted.


(in record store – Bergen)

C: In Bergen there has been many church fires. But there are devided
opinions to whether there is a satanic enviroment in the city or not.

E: Enviroment? – No. You can find one or two who sits at home reading “The
Black Book” for themselves, but if you mean an assembly of three or four,
the answer is definately no.

C: But do you think it’s dangerous?

E: No! Ok, It has showed a few bad examples, one shall not deny that. But
that were five to eight people who exaggerated their role. All these things
gets dangerous if you go too much into yourself, get pointed as an
outsider. But the religion in itself .. to the degree you can call it a
relgion, the enviroment is generally completely harmless, and today they
are at any rate harmless, because today nobody dare to touch anything with


(music .. Ulver)

H: The most important thing to me, is to do what I want for myself. –
That’s what I do anyway.

I: Generally I want to get away from the general society, and maybe go to a
smaller one where the surroudnings suit me. Just to live in my own world.

C: But it will have to be electric guitars there?

I: That probably has to be there, yes.

(Ulver – “Ulverytterens Kamp”)

The End



The Credits…

* musikk – Norsk Black Metal og Arvo P�rt “Stabat Mater”
* kamera – Geire �ge Jensen
* lyd – Berger Bergersen, Jon Ekstr�m
* redigering – Tor Sannerud
* elektronisk lyssetting – Trygve �. Andresen
* produksjonsleder – Anne Berit �sterholt
* regi og programoppleg – Gunnar Gr�ndahl

G3 NRK 1994



* music – Norsk Black Metal and Arvo P�rt “Stabat Mater”
* camera – Geire �ge Jensen
* sound – Berger Bergersen, Jon Ekstr�m
* editing – Tor Sannerud
* electronic lighting – Trygve �. Andresen
* production leader – Anne Berit �sterholt
* directing and programming – Gunnar Gr�ndahl

G3 NRK 1994

This was last edited 29th november, 1995

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13 thoughts on “Det Svarte Alvor (1994)”

  1. kool AIDS says:

    poppy released a >metal album. sounds like mkultra (not the band [they were actually good] but the trauma based mind control expirements).

    1. Things that make Kafka blush says:

      That shit is actually better than whatever David Lynch is doing nowadays.

  2. Thewaters says:

    Ihsahn comes across as such a pretentious fag in this documentary. It is hilarious…..

    Holocaust Metal? Bad optics, bad optics….

    1. Belisario says:

      I actually think he is the most articulate and independent-thinking voice in the whole film. The Immortal guys also come across as quite sincere and honest.

      On the other hand, Hellhammer gets quickly portrayed as the simple-minded chap he has always been, and the poser role gets cheerily assumed by the “I’m into everything but actually I’m not into anything specific” wannabe-star Garm from Ulver.

      Nice film, I had read about it but didn’t watch it until now. Thanks for sharing this! It is clearly driven by a mere desire of finding out if the musicians are actually satanists or not, but it paradoxically ends up being more objective and gets deeper than other documentaries motivated by sheer admiration.

      1. Svmmoned says:

        In my opinion it is amazing how much Ihsahn is on point so early in his life. Even if he chose to wrap it in confusing terminology.

        1. I agree. We should forgive a fellow for not having the right words, but having the right ideas at the right time.

          1. Thewaters says:

            No forgiveness (without bloodshed)….

          2. Thewaters says:

            My original observation was not aimed at his ideas, nor his words.

    2. Queerbait Rising says:

      He was a campy fucker.

    3. The black metal use of “holocaust,” as in Immortal’s case, goes back to the original meaning, signifying the destruction of everything by fire.

      1. Svmmoned says:

        Immortal…and fire? Nah.

  3. Anonymoose says:

    It’s official. Metal-Archives no longer allows users to sell NSBM or RAC:

    1. Go figure. If NWNprod forums was the cheerleader for three-note droning black metal, Metal-Archives is cheering for the suburban loser contingent who just want black metal to be more like Sonic Youth. They have no ideas that they are tools of a dying system, just like the Red Guards were oblivious until it was their turn to bow before the muzzle.

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