Page 21

his apartment. The fight ended with Vikernes fatally stabbing Aarseth in the head, on the stairs outside of his apartment. Aarseth was later found with twenty-three cut wounds. Vikernes was eventually arrested nine days later in Bergen and his trial began on 2 May 1994. Vikernes claimed he had the intention of giving the signed contract back to Aarseth and tell him to “Fuck Off”, having acted on self-defense after Aarseth apparently attacked him first. He also proclaimed that most of Aarseth’s wounds were inflicted by broken glass adjacent to the scene. A few months later he was declared guilty and sentenced to serve 21 years in prison, Norway’s maximum penalty. Snorre Ruch, who accompanied Vikernes and who according to an article in Vikernes’s website was smoking outside in the time of the murder, was also convicted to serve 8 years for complicity. Over the years, most of those of knew

Euronymous claimed that the extreme image he portrayed had little in common with his true personality. Emperor’s Faust once recalled that with Aarseth “there was a lot of smoke but not so much fire” (Chris Campion, 2005) and Ihsahn said that the late guitarist’s doctrine was mostly intended “to create fear among people” and that he “tried to concentrate more on just being ‘evil’ than having a real Satanic philosophy” (Lords of Chaos, 2003). Kjetil Manheim also stated that Aarseth had become much more extreme towards his final years. “He liked telling people that they were worthless, he was the best. He was all ‘I define Black Metal. Black Metal is me!’ ... I think he was trapped in the image of Mayhem.” Manheim also added that, although the guitarist was killed, “Øystein was not a innocent person in this story. Of course no one should seriously get killed, but Øystein was not a lovable guy towards people around him, which of course can trigger a kid to do extreme things” (Pure

Fucking Mayhem, 2009). On the “Once

Upon a Time in Norway” documentary, Anders Odden also expressed his thoughts about Euronymous’ death: “I think many people felt relief once he was gone. it was suddenly history for a lot of people. One was in jail the other was dead. That was that.” Attila Csihar, by then still Mayhem’s current vocalist, expressed his shock after hearing the news on the Issue #180 of UK’s Terrorizer Magazine: “I was in Hungary, but suddenly in the summer I lost both their contacts. I tried to call the guys but no one picked up the phone. I was thinking maybe people are on vacation and I didn’t pay much attention. I think it was in the autumn when some of my friends told me, ‘Hey, you have been friends with this band called Mayhem from Norway?’ and I told them, ‘Yeah, we recorded something and we are hoping that it is going to be released soon,’ and they said, ‘Well, I just heard that the guitarist has

been murdered.’” Attila then added “I remember that first moment. I thought, ‘You are an idiot, you don’t know the fucking story, it’s not the guitarist, but it’s the ex-vocalist that died, this is bullshit,’ and he said, ‘No, I just read it in the Hungarian Metal Hammer, so check it yourself.’ (…) So I was thinking, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ I went down to the grocery store and picked up the Metal Hammer and there it was, a very small news item saying Euronymous was murdered by Varg Vikernes and I couldn’t fucking believe my eyes.” Attila thought all of the events were confusing, to say the least, when talking about the subject on the “Pure Fucking Mayhem” documentary: “It’s interesting, because when we were together, we were really ok. Varg was another kind of guy. He was younger and really intelligent, clean, sharp minded with a sharp way of thinking. Very spinning and active. At the same time he was calm too, so there were no big shoutings or argu-

ments at least at that time. So that’s why it’s a bit confusing the whole thing and what happened later. For me it was shocking new, because I didn’t expect that.” Hellhammer, now the sole remaining member of Mayhem, who went through all of its internal turmoil since the days when Pelle Ohlin was in the band, added in Terrorizer #45 that Euronymous was following a path that was keeping him even more distanced from the band and even made his band mates consider the decision to send Euronymous away: “He was concentrating more and more on his record label, and I was starting to rehearse more and more with other bands, because I need to practice a lot. He didn’t care too much about Mayhem anymore. He was burned out. He wasn’t into the band thing anymore, he was just into making money with DSP. We were even considering kicking him out of the band.”

The image Aarseth had created around himself was also reason for resentment by his former band mate: “He was a very egocentric person. He wasn’t like that at first, but he turned that way. I didn’t care too much about it to begin with, but when I saw how he was carrying on, sending out pictures of only himself or pictures that only he looked good in, that started to bug me a little.” Hellhammer also added “He tried to force his concepts onto the rest of the band. A lot was good, a lot wasn’t so good. A lot of things just fell apart when he died” (Terrorizer #45, 1997). Øystein Aarseth was buried on Ski in Norway’s Akershus County. He was 25 years of age. With only Hellhammer remaining, Mayhem would cease to exist…at least for a time…

Profile for Against Magazine

Against Magazine #8 (April 2014)  


Against Magazine #8 (April 2014)