In 1992, global news reported on a unique new crime-spree gripping southern Norway: teenagers were burning down churches. As police and journalists zoomed in further, it appeared the arson was being committed by members of a niche new music subgenre, a ground-breakingly bleak twist on Black metal is a genre of heavy metal music that More coming straight out of Oslo.
Dubbed the “Necro Sound”, Norwegian black metal was icy, impenetrable – far more atmospheric and unknowable than any metal before it. There was true horror in the cacophony, with sped-up riffs buried under thick layers of sleet, blast-beats like static TV emissions and shrieking eldritch vocals wrenched from the gutter. Icier still were the scene’s proprietors, with bands like Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band that was formed More, Burzum and Darkthrone donning grimacing black and white makeup – so-called ‘corpse paint’ – and bloodying themselves on stage.