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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007, 01:55 PM
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Black Metal: A Documentary (2007)

Just got this DVD in the mail the other day. It's made by our good friend Bill Zebub (Jesus Christ Serial Rapist), the new king of everything low budget.

Although the production value is low (think a dv cam and a boom mic....sometimes), once you get into the film the interviews are interesting and the project certainly has some merit. Interviewed most extensively are Venom (current), Arkhon Infaustus, King (Gorgoroth), Abbath (Immortal) and Mortiis. The film does however unfortunately follow the path of most genre specific projects and focus on the topics most black metal fans are already familiar with (origins, church burnings, Burzum & Euronymous etc.). It just grazes the surface of topics such as paganism, true satanism, current evolution of black metal etc. that I'd like to see more of.

There is definitely far superior information out there on Black Metal (i.e. Lords of Chaos) but I applaud the collection of interviews and concert footage and would recommend it to new fans and old fans alike. Just make sure you have some beer and a metal mind before going in.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:05 PM
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And how about the blurred lines between nationalism and xenophobia/racism and the Quisling factor?
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPhibes View Post
And how about the blurred lines between nationalism and xenophobia/racism and the Quisling factor?
It is touched upon. No one really gets deep into the real ideology behind their beliefs though. It's pretty standard stuff. Nothing as deep as Quisling. There are a few people who note that Varg is constantly changing his opinion on everything, which I definitely see. The guy has changed his moral code more times than I can count that's for sure. And although he may be a founder of Norwegian Black Metal culture..... he's a fucking nut!
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for taking a chance on the documentary. I made a new one that comes out on the 30th of this month (September) "Black Metal: The Norwegian Legacy?"

In the first one (a limited edition release) I took a passive stance. People who know my magazine know that I detested black metal, so I the documetnary to be a REAL documentary - one in which there is no agenda (like me showing how gay black metal is/was).

In the new documentary I participate more, and the artitsts are rather cordial - their friendly side is shown, not the facade.

I don't all black metal. I hate the womanly and feeble vocals of a lot of bands from that style, but what turned me off was my insider knowledge (the fakery). But there were some bands that developed good music and stayed away from the pro-wrestling type of marketing. Those bands are ones that I like.

The book "Lord of Chaos" was cited as being more informative, but much of the material therein is fake. Granted, the author in some cases did not know that he was being deceived, but the point is that the book is NOT a place to find facts.

Well, in my first documentary there were some characters who bore facades, like King from Gorgoroth. Again, my intention was to be a silent observer, as a documentary film maker, and my hope was that people would be able to detect the character flaws. I regret that now, ha ha - it would have been interesting to see how tough that guy was after getting bitch-slapped. After the interview was done, King made all kinds of silly demands, but they were out of fear that footage of him smiling would be used. The derelict in me wanted to re-edit some sequences, like when Cronos from Venom said, "Some people say that a Satanist should not ever EVER laugh" - it would have been funny to just have a clip of King sitting there like an asshole, trying to be glum. But such antics were expected of me, so I just kept it as objective as possible. King claimned to be part of the black metal scene and to be friends with some of the old schoolers, but when I talked to the old schoolers they did not haev nice things to say about King, and he most quite often referred as a "newcomer." Just smells like "poser" to me. You really have to give em credit for biting my tongue in that one.

In the new one, I never intervened in a hostile way - I didn't have to. Everyone was really, really cool. They let their hair down, so-to-speak. The new one is also much cheaper (because it is not a limited edition).

And here is a youtube clip of a drunken interview with Finntroll. Finntroll actually has the new documentary for sale on their tour, if you can still catch them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iQKb6l6E_Q

Ok - sorry for the long post, but I hope the information was interesting.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:33 AM
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It's funny that you bring up this doc. I was at Finntroll last week, and grabbed "Black Metal: The Norwegian Legacy?" It wasn't until I got home that I realized it was a Bill Zebub film, and sort of a sequel to the first one.

First off, let me say that the Finntroll show was amazing. They played a small bar here (The Warehouse), which is the perfect venue for metal. Secondly, "Black Metal: The Norwegian Legacy?" is, in fact, a better film than the first one. As Bill mentioned, the interviews are a lot more relaxed, which gives you the true backstage feel. (Most of) the artists interviewed provide some great insight into their little world. Garm/Trickster G (or whatever he goes by right now) was a real highlight for me, as you get the opinion of someone who's kind of 'evolved' past black metal, but had, at one point, been an integral part of the scene. Of course you've got the ridiculous (Dark Funeral will never be scary), and the intentionally ridiculous (Turisas), but really it's a well thought out piece, and for $10, how can one complain. In addition, you get treated to some of the best goddamn trailers out there. Great fun this time around Bill! Oh, and that little 'slip' with Tyr was classic!

To comment on King, it's really a shame that he's such an arrogant little prick. Personally, I still really like the new incarnation of Gorgoroth, but for fuck sakes, every interview he's in he comes off as a condescending, spoiled brat.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:21 PM
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Ha! What a coincidence indeed. I'm glad that you enjoyed the new documentary. I have been getting quite a lot of Emails from viewers who got turned on to new bands (or re-newed their interest in bands they already were familiar). And it sure seems that the tone of the new documentary is preferred. It's much better to talk to artists as friends...
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:55 PM
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Great to see you on the boards, BZB....

Send me the docs!
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:05 PM
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Hi Mr. Feedback - just Email me your ship-to (bill@billzebub.com)

The first documentary was a limited-edition, but I shall be happy to send you the new one (as well as Metalheads) - and of course, I just finished a special edition of ASSMONSTER (re-edit, color correction, and over 90 minutes of extras)
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:36 AM
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Although I admire Bill's tenacity as a filmmaker I have to admit I haven't participated in any of his threads because I've never really cared for his films all that much. That is until AssMonster came along. It's great fun and worth seeing. I'm not a fan of Black Metal but Bill's approach to the subject matter may prove interesting so I'll mark this as something to check out.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:11 AM
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I've been out of the loop for many of the new albums bands have been putting out for ahwile now (the last cd I bought was Marduk's 'Plague Angel' !) rofl!), and what money I have goes on my DVD cllection, therefore my cd collection suffers as a result of this latest addiciton.

As far as the first doc goes, my friends tell me it is absolutely terrible and not to even bother with it. I noticed that it is for rental down the street for as long as it's been out, so maybe I'll have a look.

This latest documentary looks great and I may just blind buy it.

Truth be told, I am looking most forward to getting the doc that comes out this Tuesday, September 16th, 2008, 'Get Thrashed!' about the thrash metal scene from it's beginnings.

I am interested in the doc on the NYHC scene that came out a couple of years ago also, since I grew up listing to ALL bands from that scene, and haven't seen it for some reason!?
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:01 PM
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ROBERT BLACK - thanks for the kind words. I actually just finished a re-edit of Assmonster. Being that you have already seen the first one, I can send you a screener (DVDR) of the new one. Just Email me at bill@billzebub.com - the trade for it will be your unabashed opinion about the re-edit. I won't have the new packaging for a couple of weeks. It will have more appropriate artwork as well as the reviews from people like FEEDBACK, and JEREMEY from filmthreat. It really seems like people who have had some experience in movie-making get a kick out of ASSMONSTER. Again, thanks for liking it.

MONK TC - I don't think that you would like the new black metal documetnary either. Chief reason for that is your fondness for harcore. Second reason is your thrash side. I'm not saying that as an insult. I just know that those are two sure signs of future hatred for the documentaries. After I released the first documentary, I noticed that when Americans didn' like it, it was because they had expected the documentary to be about the church burnings, the stabbing of Euronymous, and pretty much all the comic-book type of bravado. They were shocked that I didn't do things like underlight Gallbag from Gorgoroth to make him look evil (like some other documetnaries have done). They also couldn't handle the absence of a narrator. They wanted a story. They couldn't handle having to "actively" view something. They prefer the more passive type of letting-the-narrrator-build-the-image. But the opposite side of that were the Americans who enjoyed finally seeing an artist speak, like Abbath from Immortal. Some people enjoyed seeing Abbath's comical side, and other's (the people who actually believe black metal stories) were crestfallen. As for Europeans, the most often repeated criticism has been about certain atists who bore a facade. It was considered embarrassing. I actually laughed about that too, but as I explained earlier, my stance was to just let the interviews happen and not to interfere (and also not to edit anyone out-of-context, as some documentaries tend to do). I personally enjoyed the antics of Cronos from Venom and also Mortiis. Mortiis kind of pissed off some of the black-lickers in America by removing any validity of the glory-stories, pretty much revealing them to be invented tales of teen-agers. I guess it is the equivalent of a wrestling fan who actually believes that what he sees in the ring is a real fight, and then he is shown that it's just an entertainment spectacle. The wizard behind the curtain is ugly.

The second documentary (BLACK METAL: THE NORWEGIAN LEGACY) was done in the metal-brother tone, with lots of alcohol seasoning the flavor. As Unsane pointed out, it has a much more backstage feel. There are a couple of artists who didn't "let their hair down," but I look at that more as the "Abbott" to the "Costello." What I enjoy so much about this one is the amount of people who have been turned on to some of the bands. So this one is far less of a bubble-burster than the first one.

I was at a metal show and was handing out the first documentary to some people in the crowd. There was one very anal person who actually looked at the documentary and scowled. He thought I was selling it, and he dismissed it by saying, "I saw the "Headbanger's Journey) documentary, which was very thorough. I don't think this will be as informative." he then went on to talk about Gallbag from Gorgoroth, and how Gallbag supposedly said to someone "I will drink your blood." Well, first of all, I think it's massively gay to tell another guy that you will drink his blood. But more gay than that, i actually have been told that the police report quotes Gallbag as saying "I will drink your semen." Now THAT is a scary threat! ha ha. Anyway, the anal guy's remark made me think about certain music fans. Why would they want a documetnary that pretty much rehashes everything they have ever heard? Does "informative" mean that it just contains information that you already know? Or, in the case of the aforementioned anal fan, does it mean "perpetuating the fake stories of bravery and violence?" I don't want to say anythign negative about the Headbanger's Journey - and I don't want to in any way compare my material to that - but I wondered if a real metal fan needed a nerd to actually graph metal styles into absurd categories. There were plenty of mistakes in that. MERCYFUL FATE is NOT black metal. Some fools say things like "Any band that sings about Satan is black metal." First of all, that's stupid. King Diamond never considered his music as that. If I had a band, and if I had a verse in which I did spoken-word" and you called it "rap" because you decided that any time words are spoken in a song, the music style is officially considered rap, I would punch you in the face (well, you know what I mean). And if you know anything about Mercyful Fate, King Diamond NEVER followed the "Satanism" that is sung about by black metallers. He doesn't believe in the christian pantheon or pious myth. Headbanger's Journey also perpetuated another term that is purely fake - the term is "Speed Metal" - there is no such thing. There was once a COMPILATION album called "Speed Metal" and they all kinds of stupid fans believed that it was an actual style of music. Well, instead of geting into the etymology of the word, suffice it to say that you can bring to me a song that you call "sped metal" and then I will play you a "grindcore" song, and you will, by comparison, have to call your song "slow metal."

Wow - my coffee sure has made me manic in this post, ha ha.

I guess the best way to describe either documentary, without feeling like a sales pitch, is that you shouldn't watch either of them unless your main interest is in hearing artists speak. Any expectation of war stories, or sensationalism, will leave you feeling cheated. Silly rabbit, this ISN'T for kids....
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BillZebub View Post
you can bring to me a song that you call "sped metal" and then I will play you a "grindcore" song, and you will, by comparison, have to call your song "slow metal."
Best line ever...
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:27 PM
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Given our conversation about the legitimacy of Gaahl and King, I checked out the Gorgoroth.org (Gaahl & King) forum (Gorgoroth.info being the Infernus site). Oddly enough, someone quoted this thread over there. http://www.gorgoroth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=114

Nice to see that the word is getting out there. The "I will drink your semen" quote seems more probable now than ever, given the possibility that Gaahl may actually be gay. Unless, of course, it's just another publicity stunt. Regardless, I still think the first two Trelldom albums are pretty amazing.

On a side note, any plans for another Death Metal doc? or even something as unmentionable as an NSBM doc? It'd be an interesting piece.
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:10 PM
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I was actually going to start the new Death Metal documentary with a Carcass interview, but that fell through. In a way, that is a good thing because I want to make it more of a Grimoire style, like BLACK METAL: THE NORWEGIAN LEGACY? It seems that the approach for that documentary has won over a lot of people. A friend from METAL MANIACS passed along a copy to his peer who owns a theater in New York, and I just got a request to have the documentary play at that theater.

I'm also preparing a Pagan/Folk Metal documentary, ha ha.

As for the King silliness, he's not the only one in black metal who acts like hat. But he is the only one who seems to be without the support of the forefathers, that is, from my personal experience. Let me give you the opposite of the music world. The crushing music of SHAPE OF DESPAIR is something that is to be savored when you put on headphones and close your eyes - the MUSIC shapes your imagination. (the style of music is a sort of "Doom"). When you hear it, you don't think of the band members. "Charlatan" music, as I call it, is music in which you actually think of the publicity of the band and that attracts you, or perhaps it makes you consdier the music to be more evil because the musicians are supposedly evil. I don't look down on people who need that kind of fantasy. It's just something that I don't personally get into. Plus, I know so many real-life brutal brawlers that it is very hard for me to be impressed by mere stories, especially stories that are spread by record labels and bands.

Tha band Naglfar is an interesting example of a happy medium. When I interviewed the singer, he was very personable, and we even made jokes (I asked him "Exactly how far is Naglfar?" and he said "As far away from black as can be."), and the main guitar player is super hilarious. But the singer chose to adopt a serious stance when the proper interview was conducted, and I respected his wish. If he had crossed a line, then I would have given in to my inner-Cartman and tested the bravado, but the singer was serious-without-the-fakeness.

There was a chapter which was deleted and that may surface in an extended version which examines the fake evil of BM, expecially bands that claim to be Satanists but if you ask them questions you get the evasive answers of celebrity-psychics (pretending to be mysterious and just giving replies that don't mean anything). One of the reasons why I deleted the chapter is because the vibe was a little bit off (compared to the rest of the doc). Plus, I didn't want the brainwashed type of viewer to think that these black metal artists were committing musical treason. The kind of name-calling (like making fun of Sweden, or callign certain BM styles gay) that you actually get to see is all in good fun. The fake-evil chapter had some brutal stuff, ha ha.

If you liked the more comedic moments, I am preparing a 4-hour DVD of interviews (THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS DVD MAGAZINE, VOLUME 1). Finntroll appears twice (one is short and VERY drunk interview that you can now see on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iQKb6l6E_Q
ha ha
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