Lords of Chaos
Outrageous, blasphemous and excessively violent. Lords of Chaos doesn’t aim to offend, it just shows every painstakingly horrific detail of Mayhem, a controversial Norwegian black metal band, in its entirety.
Lords of Chaos focuses on the creation of this new genre of music, black metal (a combination of screeching vocals, Satanic lyrics and often spilling blood on stage), and Mayhem who were the band responsible for this. While it is a surprise that this fascinatingly morbid true story has not been told earlier, on seeing the content of the film it’s easy to understand why.
Those who can’t stomach a scene where the band’s lead singer slowly cuts himself with a knife and then blows his brains out with a shotgun shouldn’t see this movie. Not only is this one of the tamer scenes in this bloodbath of gore but it takes place in the first 20 minutes. At the film’s press screening, one member of the audience walked out, and who can blame him as it only gets gorier from then on.
As the group recovers from the death of their lead singer, they find another one in the shape of the psychotic Varg who is twice as talented but three times as troubled. Calling himself the Count he takes over the band from its founder Euronymous, treats women like slabs of meat, burns church after church and preaches the word of Satan to anyone who will listen.
Following Mayhem from their inception to their downfall is essentially the plot of this film and we travel with these misfits as they stumble around Oslo not sure of what they want to do but knowing they want to create chaos. This seems to be a bit like the director himself, who is unsure what he wants to tell the audience, instead he’s only concerned with showing us the outrageous spectacle of what happened.
The script is surprisingly fun with a great deal of humour sprinkled in, epitomised in the perfect delivery of lines such as: “We should celebrate…let’s burn a church!” The direction is also very well done by Jonas Åkerlund and the actors sell every despicable action their characters perform.
This is ultimately an unflinching dissection of the birth of a new music genre but it never feels like we get underneath the skin of the movement’s main players, which is ironic seeing as that’s what we often see.
Lords of Chaos is released in select cinemas on 29th March 2019.
Watch the trailer for Lords of Chaos here: