You can’t really be a Burzum fan without also having a lengthy, complicated, and constantly evolving justification for that opinion. The band’s sole member, Varg Vikernes, is a convicted murderer and an unrepentant, extremely vocal bigot. He’s also one of the architects of black metal, and he’s made some classic records. In 1994, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison on murder and arson charges (the maximum sentence allowed in Norway); he was released in 2009, after 15 years behind bars. He’s put out four albums of new Burzum material since his release from prison — two very good, two very bad — and he’s amplified his hate-speech via several outlets, primarily his blog. And today, he finds himself back behind bars. Vikernes was was arrested in France for being “likely to prepare a large-scale act of terrorism,” says French Interior Minister Manuel Valls.
Some details, per Euronews:
[Vikernes] was arrested with his French wife Marie Cachet after she recently bought four rifles, Valls said in a statement … Cachet, a member of a shooting club, purchased the rifles legally with her shooting permit. “The investigation will notably establish the conditions in which these [rifles] were acquired and their real objective,” Valls said.
The suspicions appear to be based, somewhat, on Vikernes’s potential connection to Anders Behring Breivik, the terrorist who killed 77 Norwegians, including many children, in July 2011. Vikernes had allegedly received a copy of Breivik’s manifesto prior to the massacre.
Again, per Euronews:
“That was the origin of the investigation … There were several suspicions that made the services fear he could possibly carry out a violent act,” [said an official at the prosecutor’s office].
“Having received the manifesto before [Breivik] committed his crimes and having been sentenced in Norway in the past for murder, [Vikernes], who was close to a neo-Nazi movement, was likely to prepare a large terrorist act,” Valls said.
Of course, Vikernes was suspected by many of having ties to the massacre immediately after its occurrence. But that was largely shot down after Vikernes posted a response on his blog (which I won’t link to, because it’s fucking gross as hell), in which he was critical of Breivik’s motives and actually condemned Breivik’s actions, after a fashion, telling Breivek, “True nationalists don’t kill children of their own nation.”
As you can see from the pic above (from 2012), Vikernes likes to pretend he’s a soldier; combine that with his tenuous-at-best connection to Breivik and I’m not really convinced Valls’s investigation has legs. But none of this is meant as a defense of Vikernes — he’s completely indefensible.
Check out the great interview Brandon did with Varg after he got out of prison in 2010.