Håvard Rem's "Innfødte Skrik - Norsk Svartmetall"
("Native Screams - Norwegian Black Metal")
An egocentric review by Varg Vikernes

Håvard Rem - Innfødte Skrik - Norsk SvartmetallYesterday I found a book from Schibsted publishing house in my mail box. I knew the book from the media and I wondered why they had sent it to me. Hoping for a review perhaps? I don't know, but they will get a review, for sure.

The author writes amongst other things in his foreword that the book is written because this story has not been told in a chronological context before. So far so good.

The opening chapter is called "Øystein and Kristian", and this is when I realise that the book is another poor attempt at writing about Black Metal in Norway. He talks about me being in studio and Øystein (Euronymous) being there as a co-producer. In addition to that "He (Euronymous) plays the bass on one of the songs". I can forgive him for saying that Euronymous co-produced the album, it says so on the cover, but actually he didn't. We just wrote that for fun. I can not forgive him for making a silly mistake like claiming he played the bass on one of the songs though. Where did he get that idea from? What's his source? Euronymous played a guitar solo on the "War" track, and it says so on the album cover. How hard is it to get that right Mr. Rem?

He then says Euronymous and I met "first in the shop (Helvete) and then at a concert in Oslo". Sorry, Mr. Rem. You are wrong again. I first met Euronymous in his home near Ski in April 1991, and his shop didn't even exist at the time.

Now, I am still on the first page here, but the mistakes keep coming; "Vikernes had joined Aarseth's band". Sorry, Mr. Rem, but this happened one and a half year later.

A few pages later he writes that "In the end of May 1991 the Death Metal band Morbid Angel has a concert in Oslo, and that night the Bergen scene and the Oslo scene meet for the first time". Now, according to you this is the second time we met for the first time, Mr. Rem, and I may add that you are still wrong. Neither of these two times were the first time we met. I still met Euronymous for the first time in his home near Ski in April 1991.

So, after reading two pages I realise that this is not the story about Black Metal, but yet another nonsense story by someone who has no clue whatsoever of the actual facts and history of what happened. I am sorry if I come across as an arrogant prick, but I have to say that writing a book about Black Metal and not ever talking to me is somewhat weird. Like Aaron Aites (the maker of "Until the Light takes Us") said it; "Making a documentary about Black Metal without Varg Vikernes is like making a documentary about Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger". Thank you Aaron for recognizing this. So Mr. Rem; why didn't you just ask me about these things? You live about 20 km or so from where I live and if driving is too hard for you my e-mail address is available on burzum.org. Would it be so hard to ask me if "this or that" was true or not?

Mr. Rem does not trace the origin back to Venom like most ignorant writers do though. No, he goes even further; the origin of Black Metal can be found in the 60ies; Anton LaVey, Black Sabbath and so forth are listed. Then comes Venom "of course". After talking about Venom he then goes on to talk about the "true" first Norwegian Black Metal band, according to him; a band called 666 from Tromsø who played punk music or rhythmic noise (I really cannot tell from this book). They apparently had satanic lyrics and were inspired by Venom, so forget about Mayhem, Burzum and Darkthrone. Mr. Rem has found the true origin of Black Metal in Norway! Brilliant! Too bad nobody else in any Black Metal scene has ever heard about them, and too bad they didn't influence or play a role in the Norwegian Black Metal scene whatsoever then.

Mr. Rem interviews the primus motor of 666, who of course has no clue whatsoever when it comes to Black Metal, and for sure this statement makes that very clear: "Anton LaVey had no idea what he started in 1966 when he started the Church of Satan". The Church of Satan? Anton LaVey? Punk/noise bands from Tromsø? Venom? WTF! I thought this book was about Norwegian Black Metal Mr. Rem. And in case you didn't know already; everyone in the Norwegian Black Metal scene regarded Anton LaVey as a ridiculous fool, if they indeed even know who in Earth he was. I didn't until late 1991.

The next hundred pages he talks about Mayhem and Darkthrone and ends up saying that in 1991 - on that Morbid Angel concert in May (and I may add that Morbid Angel played live in Norway in late 1991, perhaps December, and certainly not in May) we had a motto; "Death to Death Metal. Back to Venom. Back to Black Metal from 1982." And he says: "The road further goes back to Black Metal". Really? Does it? Did it? It is funny, because I was there, and I can tell that all of this is made up nonsense. I don't know who made it up, but someone obviously has made this up. Is it you Mr. Rem? I have never heard anyone else say something like this, so I can only assume it is. Why?

Let me tell you what "we" (i. e. Euronymous) did agree on in late 1991; the Morbid Angel audience was made up of trendy kids. Death Metal had become a commercial trend and we needed to revolt against this (and a few of us had already; Darkthrone, Immortal and Burzum - and in theory Mayhem too revolted several months before this magnificent and oh-so-very-important "meeting").

Mr. Rem then goes on speculating on who wrote the first Norwegian lyrics, and he tries to find out by checking the dates on the albums - as if the Norwegian bands didn't modify their "made in" dates at the time. They did because they all wanted to be "true" and be a part of the original "elite". Just look at Immortal, who even today claim they started with Immortal in 1990. Sorry, but they didn't. So; don't trust anything written on these albums or said about this by these guys! Not the "made in" dates or anything else either! Trust what you can document and know for sure, Mr. Rem and all others, and I am happy to say that Burzum was the first to use Norwgian lyrics by far. Burzum recorded lyrics in Norwegian in April 1992, for the "Det Som Engang Var" album. The rest did it much, much later, and they did because Burzum had already done it. This is a fact and you can easily verify that. If you want to have a second opinion on this just ask Pytten. Don't try to take that away from me too, Mr. Rem. End of discussion.

After some 140 pages of nonsense I find out that Mr. Rem is speculating on whether I was a Satanist/devil worshipper or an Odinist when I burned the churches (and apparently there is no doubt at all in his mind that I did in fact burn the churches down). He quotes Tomas Haugen (Samoth) and Bård G. Eithun (Faust), or rather quote what they said in "Lords Of Chaos", who both claimed that I worshipped the devil, and the latter also that I was anti-Nazi. Excellent!

Now, not only have these two guys no clue whatsoever, but would you trust something these rats said in 1995-1996, Mr. Rem, right after they had ratted each other and everybody else they knew out and right after I was convicted for killing their friend and idol? Why? Did they even know me very well? Are they credible sources at all? I don't think so. Further, why don't you ask someone who would know and appreciate the facts? You apparently don't want to ask me, but why not ask the ex-drummer of Uruk-Hai (my pre-Burzum band) for instance? Bård G. Eithun said those things to hurt me, to get some revenge, to attack me for killing his friend and idol! Any idiot out there can see that, so why cannot you see this Mr. Rem?

Mr. Rem knows this though, and that's the problem. He already states in the intro of the book that I was something like a skinhead-like weapon-loving so-called right-wing extremist long before I even met Euronymous, and he makes a point of that because Euronymous was a former member of the Communist party and had strong left-wing extremist sympathies. Our co-operation was therefore very unlikely.

So, Mr. Rem is letting these two rats, Samoth and Faust, spread their poisonous lies, because Mr. Rem too wants to discredit me. This explains the why he ignores me completely when writing this book; he writes a book about things I know better than anyone, and he never asks me about anything. Weird, isn't it?

The perhaps worst nonsense Mr. Rem comes up with has yet to come though. He starts to talk about "Aske" and how I - according to him - wanted to make a zippo lighter with the "Aske" logo to promote the album, according to Mr. Rem because I wasn't getting enough attention. I was discussing this over a cup of coffee and a beer with my friends, if I get him right. Right: coffee? Beer? Me?! I don't think so. Oh, and this happened according to him before the so-called "Bergens Tidende" interview, I may add.

Let me clear things up to you Mr. Rem; the zippo lighter was a PR stunt (from April or May 1993 three or four months after the so-called "BT" interview) by Voices of Wonder, my distributor at the time, and I have to say that I don't even recall them asking me about this. As far as I can remember they just did it, with Euronymous' blessing, and I think I only found out later. In any case; they came up with this silly idea after I was released from prison in April 1993. I didn't.

Mr. Rem goes on to talk about the so-called "Bergens Tidende" interview, and he still has no clue whatsoever, and he still makes up things, and he still fails to get the facts right. At times I do not even know what he is talking about. If you don't know much about this, then why write a book about it, Mr. Rem? If you still do want to write a book about this, why don't you at least ask me what happened instead of spending five years making up your own silly stories or talking to others who have no clue? *Sigh*

Now, not only was I a church burning devil worshipper, according to Mr. Rem of course, I also wrote "National Socialist lyrics", although I didn't start this until after I began serving my sentence, of course. I for one didn't know that. What National Socialist lyrics are you referring to Mr. Rem? Hello! Does anyone out there know what on Earth he is talking about? I sure don't. All I know is that I have never written such lyrics in my entire life. How hard is it to know this, when all the lyrics are available on the album covers - and on the internet for that sake?!

He then explains why I all of a sudden started to write National Socialist and racist lyrics after my imprisonment. Apparently it was because I was beaten up so often in prison by coloured prisoners. He then quotes some nobody in the Black Metal scene who claims that: "I know positively that he (Varg) was beaten up on two occasions by two foreigners in prison. I know this for sure because they told me." Ah! Exactly! The Black Metal loser in Norway was told by two foreigners, he claims. Then it must be true! I also heard, in 1998 by the way, that I had been beaten up at a party in Trondheim as well, in 1997, and that a fellow prisoner who when he met me desperately wanted to be my friend by the way had beaten me up near the train station in Oslo in 1996. He had knocked me down and taken my boot off, and then beaten me senseless with it. Cool.

Well; reality time. I am sure a few foreigners in prison wanted to beat me up, but sorry; I was never beaten up in prison. In fact I have never been beaten up in my entire life, by anyone - except on martial arts practise, of course, where I often fought against men twice my size (because I was active from age 10 to 15 and had to fight against grown ups as well). I lost a few innocent street fights when I was a kid, sure, but I was never beaten up. It is true though, that one time in prison a black guy sucker-punched me and I was injured. He punched me out of the blue and from behind, but I can add that I still won the fight, and when the prison guards came they wrote a report claiming I had beaten up and injured the other guy, who was at that time they arrived lying prone on the ground. He only ever hit me with that one punch from behind. Now, I was persecuted for this by the police, and the police investigated it as "hate crime" and apparently I had been motivated by "racism" (when defending myself?!). When they found no proof of this though they closed the case. All the evidence, including ten witnesses, supported my side of the story, so... "let's just drop the case". Welcome to Soviet Norway.

The police, I may add, apologized to me some years later, and told me they were ashamed of their colleagues for the way they had treated me in this case. That was completely wrong, they said. They should have investigated it seriously, instead of trying to find a reason to charge me with "hate crime". They apologized to me!

Now, I was in prison in both 1996 and in 1997, so I guess it is obvious that I was not beaten up neither near the train station in Oslo nor at a party in Trondheim, but I guess I should stress that to you anyway. Guys like Mr. Rem might be reading this, and they for sure need to get such facts in with a tea spoon.

So; Mr. Rem. I did not become a racist in prison. In case you need to know, I probably became a racist when living in Iraq, where I saw how Arabs and other of the kind are like, and in Norway as a kid having to relate to Gypsies stealing our toys (and everything else they could pick up and carry) every time they sat up camp nearby. You could have asked me, but... you never wanted the truth anyway, so why would you?

The rest of the book is plain boring and uninteresting, and I really don't understand why Mr. Rem even bothered to write this book. He has no clue and he has been talking to others who have no clue for five years. The result is another worthless book about Norwegian Black Metal. I strongly advice everyone to simply ignore this book. Read Donald Duck instead, if you need to read something. Read anything but this nonsense. It is not worth your time, and it will only make you know less about Norwegian Black Metal, because the information you get from this book is most of the time plain wrong.

Mr. Rem. I hope your other books are better than this. You did a very poor job with this one.

If you ever wish to humbly apologize to me for spreading vicious lies you know how to get in touch.

Oh, but there is one good thing about this book; it makes me want to write a book about this myself (in English), to get things right. Maybe I will one day. Maybe I should, so that we don't have to see anymore ludicrous "Black Metal" fairy tale stories like the one told us in Håvard Rem's book.

Varg Vikernes
22nd of March 2010

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