On the silver screen you can find plenty of metal, rock and the lot infesting movies and series. It can go from documentaries digging deeper into some music history to movies featuring a metal/rock band as the main characters or even musicians giving acting/directing/script writing a shot… We’re taking it upon ourselves to give them a proper screening and tell you all about them.
So turn to channel GRIMM and chill…
- Title: Blackhearts
- Director: Fredrik Horn Akselsen, Christian Falch (co-director)
- Cast: Hector, Kaiadas, Sina, Arnt, Vegar
- Theme: Documentary
- Publication Date: January 27th, 2017
- Runtime: 1h 23min
- Production Company: Gammaglimt
Music can be a powerful thing and make people do crazy stuff. That’s especially the case for an extreme music genre like black metal. In Blackhearts you get to follow 3 people from different places who are all pursuing the same goal and dream. The documentary takes a closer look at Sina from Iran, Kaiadas from Greece and Hector from Columbia. They all have a band and all have their struggles in life to actually be able to have the black metal life.
In the movie they switch constantly from Columbia to Greece to Iran to follow the 3 main guys building towards their ultimate dream of travelling to the birthplace of black metal: Norway. They all get the chance to go play at …, one of the more renowned black metal festivals there are in Norway. Besides these guys we also regularly visit Norway already to follow for instance Vegar from Keep of Kalessin.
Hector is a devoted Satanist and black metal fan who struggles with his place in his community that is very christian. We see him and his son meeting Vyl, the drummer of Keep of Kalessin & Gorgoroth after a gig, talking to him about his own band Luciferian and the fact that they’re going to play at Trondheim Metal Festival. When he encounters problems to reach the requirements to get a visa to travel to Norway, he visits his Satanic mentor, the “Black Pope”, to seek for help and basically sell his soul for the documents he needs. Later on you even see him and his band mates having a Satanic ritual (that you can see from start to finish on the dvd). Something must have worked, because they managed to get all the papers they needed to get to Norway to experience the birth country of black metal and play the festival. After it was known that Hector and Luciferian played a gig in Norway, they basically rose from underground level to be big stars in their home country!
Kaiadas on the other hand is part of the Greek parliament for the right-wing party “Golden Dawn” by day. But besides that he’s the founder and bassist for Naer Mataron, a black metal band mostly inspired by Greek mythology and belongs very much under the category “Hellenic black metal”. The band gets invited to play at the highly praised Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo, Norway. But the band encounters some problems when Kaiadas gets arrested and faced with a possible 20 year sentence for belonging to a criminal organisation (Golden Dawn, FYI). His band mates decide to still make the trip to Norway to perform without Kaiadas, much to their grief. In Norway they get interviewed, but when the journalist persistently asks about the link between Naer Mataron and Golden Dawn, they clearly get really annoyed. They don’t want anything to do with the organisation and make clear that what each band member does in his personal life doesn’t matter.
A slightly more tragic story is the one of Sina. His one man project From the Vastland is, at the time of recording, the only black metal project in Iran. He also gets invited to play at Inferno Metal Festival, which he does with the help of Thor Anders Myhren (Morbid Angel, Myrkskog, Zyklon) on guitar, André Kvebek (Pantheon I) on bass and Vegar Larsen (Keep of Kalessin) on drums. While he’s in the country he also gets to hold his first album that was released through Indie Recordings. There’s one big problem though: there is a really big chance that when he goes back to Iran, he’ll be arrested for playing and releasing music. Which is severely frowned upon by the authorities. And if he decides to not go back, his family might be the ones to get punished for his wrong-doings. A situation that even makes some hardcore black metal artists ponder if they would have gone as far as Sina to be able to play their music or not…
Overall, the documentary is a very interesting and entertaining piece of work. Besides the 3 different views on what black metal means for people from different countries, you also get to see the side of the original Norwegian artists through talks with people like Arnt and Vegar from Keep of Kalessin. There are even some moments where you can’t help but have a bit of a laugh at some situations. Like when the guys from Naer Mataron go visit the one of the famous stave churches and comment “Yeah, this is really nice… I’d still prefer it burned though!”. If you’re any bit interested in (black) metal and how far its reach actually is, Blackhearts is definitely to be recommended.