I watched the black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us last night, and I was captivated, absolutely stuck the the screen from the first second. Fenriz is an interesting enough guy; he's certainly seen a lot and been through a lot, both inside the black metal "scene" and out, but I was (not surprisingly) more interested in Burzum's Varg Vikernes. The first thing that struck me about him was the passion and intensity that he spoke with. I found him to be very intelligent, articulate and even friendly. This shouldn't really be a shock, I guess; no one has ever really contended that he's stupid. It has been contended that he's maniacal, though, but I found that to be very far from the truth. Indeed, it's a limited window into his life and thought that we get to see, but I didn't even see a glimmer of the psychopathic tendencies that he supposedly harbors. You can often see that in someone's eyes, especially when they're as insane as many have portrayed Varg to be.
Vikernes has often been portrayed as a racist nazi-sympathizer or even a neo-nazi, and granted, this perception is something he is mostly responsible for. But it's also wholly inaccurate, at least in my final analysis. He may harbor some supremacist views, and if that is the case, that is deplorable. But I can't really find any direct evidence of that. Two things are for sure: 1) he holds a positive view of his and his ancestors' (PAGAN) blood, religion, race, and culture, and 2) he holds an entirely negative view of Christianity and the Judeo-Christian culture.
Indeed, everything else seems to spring from the latter. He talks, in the film, of the church burning which he was imprisoned for, and in my very honest opinion, totally justifies said action. Varg essentially says (I'm obviously paraphrasing, here): 'Christian civilization destroyed the ancient Pagan culture that was located right here on this land. It also destroyed ancient cultures in Africa, Asia, North America... To destroy its churches is my way of striking back, and I won't apologize for it.' What's striking here is the fact that Varg expresses empathy for the African, Asian, and Native American ways of life that were also taken by Christianity.
Black metal kiddies praise what Varg did because its so obviously kvlt. But fuck that. He didn't do it to gain kvlt points; he did it, as I said, to strike back a blow against the culture that destroyed an entire way of life for the glorification of its bastard god and prophet. I've personally never held any love or respect for Christianity, and my research over the years has led me to precisely the same condemnation as Varg. If you want to believe in and worship that god, fine. Whatever works for you. But the civilization created in your god's name has destroyed many peoples, many ways of life, and for that there is no justification. No salvation. No forgiveness.
Whatever your opinion of the church burning, or of Varg Vikernes himself, there is no denying that what he did was highly profound. I can only hope that when my life is over, I can look back on it and see something as poignant as that.