Friday, October 3, 2008

"Black Metal Satanica" DVD

As an expose of the notorious Scandinavian black metal scene, this 80-minute documentary is billed as 'the most haunting and evil documentary ever made'. Of course, that is a very questionable and boastful claim, but fans and the curious alike should look beyond that. Indeed, 'Black Metal Satanica' does an excellent job in introducing and exploring the aims, claims, legends, history, and future of a scene that's been scandalized and (not coincidentally) elevated not so much by it's music, but by the public deeds of some of the scene's more, ahem, 'sincere' members. Tales of church burnings, suicide, murders, grave desecrations, and so on may be tabloid fodder, and bands like Sweden's Watain (who's frontman Erik is especially well-spoken) may appear to be cartoonish and juvenile to outsiders, but their ideals are sound and as strong as the Viking warriors some of these bands are descended from.
Anyway, the narration on some of this DVD, by Kenny Price, is over-the-top and far too dramatic, but the interviewees present themselves generally pretty well, and fortunately, they are the rule, rather than the exception. All-in-all, this DVD is a fascinating and enlightening look inside the soul of a scene tarred by some sensationalistic aspects (and some true extremists), but it's a scene that has, for the most part, resisted mainstream acceptance, and it remains a true underground subculture, with a passionate following. 'Black Metal Satanica' is a very well-presented, well-edited introduction to the scene, and the insightful interviews, photos, and music samples make for a concise, thorough, and comprehensive document. Kudos to all involved! Hail! (Cleopatra via MVD Visual)

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