Why ‘Lords of Chaos’ is Worth Your Time Even if You’re Not into Heavy Metal



It’s easy to assume that not everyone is into heavy metal and some people even don’t want to hear any of it at all. A study published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and Arts show that based on their 414 surveyed participants, people who are into heavy metal are more likely to be male and relatively have low self-esteem.

Now, you may be quick to react about this and think that it’s true or simply false, but the point is that heavy metal promotes the improvement of how one sees his or her self-worth and gain positive self-evaluation.

Because of this, the film ‘Lords of Chaos’ garnered the curiosity of people.  The mix of horror, suspense, thriller, and heavy metal just makes this movie appealing to people who are into these genres. Even fans of the 1990s would even enjoy this.

By watching the trailer alone, you’ll already have a feel of how the film will be like. The file has music, long hair-do, make-up just like how the band Kiss does it, shredding of the guitar, and even blood. What makes this movie seem more relevant is that it claims to be based on truths and lies. We’ll get into that later.

The History of the ‘Lords of Chaos’


You’ve probably heard of this title before and this is because of the book it was based on and was published in 1998. The book titled ‘Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground’ written by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind is really about the 1990s black metal scene in Norway and is inspired by a heavy metal band, ‘Mayhem’.

The point of view in this story is from Mayhem’s co-founder Euronymous who is played by Rory Culkin in the film. It’s produced by film entrepreneur Erik H. Gordon.

It was set to start filming in 2009 but there was a delay because of conflicting schedules of the artists and production staff involved. They picked the film up again in 2015 when Jonas Akerlund, the drummer of the band Bathory and a known Swedish director, was announced to direct the film. However, it was actually early 2016 when they started to film.

The film was shot in Oslo, Norway and some scenes were also shot in Budapest, Hungary. Its official release date was in January 2018 when it was shown during the Sundance Festival. A year later, on March 29, 2019, it hit the cinemas in the United Kingdom.

Controversies that Involved Lords of Chaos


It’s true that the fact that this movie alone somehow covers not just any Black and Heavy metal scene but the Norwegian heavy metal scene is already causing chaotic reactions from different people. It’s one thing for people to believe that heavy metal alone can be connected to devil-worshipping, but the 1900s heavy metal scene, particularly in Norway, is more intense.

It was in 1990 when a lot of heavy metal bands are taking their acts to the extremes. Band members were known to engage to self-harm on the stage while performing and are known to promote their engagements to fascist political organizations.

What makes this more controversial is how the film is not just about a random heavy metal band in Norway. As mentioned, these heavy metal bands were engaged to what could be called dark acts, but the band Mayhem are involved in heavily controversial stories that should be told.

Mayhem sparked a lot of controversies during their high time when they attempted to burn a church down in 1993 and hen its lead vocalist named Per Yngve Ohlin, also known as Dead, committed suicide.

The last controversy that the band had before they ended is how Euronymous or Øystein Aarseth was murdered by Varg Vikernes or also known as Count Grishnackh. Vikernes was also part of the Mayhem band and later the one-man band called Burzum.

Vikernes was sentenced to be imprisoned for 21 years but was able to get parole after 15 years instead. He was released in 2009 and then legally lived as Louis Cachet to avoid difficulties that tail his name.

When the book was set to become a film in 2009, it also made noise when it was rumored that Sion Sono, the director of the ‘Suicide Club’ was going to direct it. Suicide Club made Sono a controversial director because of this movie’s theme. However, this was never really addressed and Akerlund eventually got the gig.

The remaining member of Mayhem, including Vikernes, didn’t really like the story depicted on the film and so they also worked on preventing the film from getting released. The band member didn’t like how the writers and production contacted people who are ever related to the band behind their backs.

The band also didn’t allow the film to carry their music, but Akerlund said that they actually got the permission to use their music. The accuracy of the film itself is hard to conclude and even the trailer states that the film is based on truth in lies.

To make the film establish its legitimacy, clips from the news that circulated during the controversies that Mayhem faced were also used. These include the arsons of the church and the murder and suicide in the band.

A Film Based on Truth and Lies

Saying that a film is both truth and lies just probably makes everyone else curious about it. The trailer alone takes you to a very dark period where you can see these band members struggle before they actually made it.

Lords of Chaos may even appear as a psychological thriller for some. Viewers will get to see into the head of the characters. After all, this was produced by Insurgent Media and this company supports character-driven stories.

The reviews made by critics about this film is pretty mixed. Some appreciated how realistic the film felt, while some just saw it as a form of entertainment rather than a fact-based story. If you’re planning to watch this film, just be ready with how some scenes can get really intense.


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