Blackhearts | Chicago Reader


Norway is still notorious for its black-metal scene of the early 90s, led by a cadre of misanthropes who were known as much for their criminal behavior as their no-fi sound. But the genre has since become an accepted cultural heritage, at least according to this documentary by Fredrik Horn Akselsen; its two Norwegian subjects, Arnt Gronbech and Vegar Larsen, play in the black-metal band Keep of Kalessin, which placed third in Eurovision's 2010 songwriting contest. Akselsen follows the adventures of three foreign black-metal bands touring Norway—from Colombia, Luciferian; from Greece, Naer Mataron; and from Iran, From the Vastland. The musicians eagerly share their affection for the music's history, and their passion helps to compensate for the movie's lack of historical, social, political, or musical context. Giorgos Germenis, bassist for Naer Mataron, was elected to the Greek parliament in 2012 as a member of the fascist Golden Dawn party, but Akselsen never bothers to explain what this is or to press Germenis about his political ideas. In English and subtitled Greek, Spanish, Norwegian, and Farsi.


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