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Famous Like Me > Composer > V > Varg Vikernes

Profile of Varg Vikernes on Famous Like Me

Name: Varg Vikernes  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 11th February 1973
Place of Birth: Bergen, Norway
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Varg Vikernes

Varg Qisling Larssøn Vikernes, born Kristian Larsson Vikernes on February 11, 1973, outside of Bergen, Norway. Known by the nom de plume Count Grishnackh during the early days of black metal in Norway, Vikernes was the man behind the one-man music project Burzum, and later became a prominent voice for Neo-Nazi ideology. In Norway, he is known by the nick-name "Greven" (Norwegian for "the Count").

Trial and incarceration

Vikernes is currently incarcerated for the 1993 murder of his former friend and bandmate Øystein Aarseth (also known as Euronymous) of the black metal band Mayhem. Vikernes was additionally found guily of a number of lesser felonies, the attempted arsoning of Storetveit church in Bergen, the arsoning of Åsane church in Bergen, Skjold church in Vindafjord, Holmenkollen chapel in Oslo), and the consequent death of a firefighter, landing him the maximum sentence in Norway of 21 years in prison, though it has been shortened (as is normal in Norway) and lengthened due to his escape. He was also charged for arsoning Fantoft stave church outside Bergen, although the jurors voted not guilty. The judges claimed this an error of the jurors but refused to overthrow the whole case. Later appeals to higher courts were dismissed.

During the murder case, the 22-year-old Snorre Ruch was put on trial together with Varg Vikernes and sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment.

The circumstances surrounding the reason for the murder are not entirely clear, but have been mainly attributed to ideological differences and a power struggle between Vikernes and Aarseth. Vikernes claimed that Aarseth had plotted to kill him and that the murder was committed in partial self-defense. Aarseth was found dead outside his apartment in Oslo with an alleged 23 stab wounds — two to the head, five to the neck, and 16 to the back, though Vikernes claims that the majority of these wounds were received when Aarseth fell on pieces of a broken lamp that he knocked over in the struggle. Vikernes also claimed that there was a financial dispute over the profits from Burzum's first two full-length records (Burzum and Det Som Engang Var) as well as the first Burzum EP (Aske) that were released through Aarseth's record label, Deathlike Silence Records, but Vikernes urges that this was never a reason for the murder.

At the time of Aarseth's murder, Vikernes was playing bass guitar for Mayhem. Aarseth's mother reportedly asked Hellhammer (real name Jan Axel Blomberg), Mayhem's then-drummer, to remove the bass tracks that Vikernes had recorded for Mayhem's first full length studio album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Hellhammer has since claimed that he spread the word to anyone he could that he was going to replace the bass tracks, however the tracks were never re-recorded.

At the time of Vikernes' arrest, police found 100 kg of explosives in his home. What he planned to do with the explosives is unknown. To the public very little is known about this and even if the police confronted him about it or not.

Vikernes' thoughts

Political affiliation

Vikarnes is formerly a member of the extremist group Hvit Arisk Motstand, — White Aryan Resistance, a group on the far right, and was also involved with the Norsk Hedensk Front, — Norwegian Heathen Front. For the later he is said to be the leader in 2001 . In 1999 he is noted as a member only, although an prominent one . His ideas about Neo-nazism and fascism can be found in several small pamflets.

He helped create the Odalist movement and co-founded the All-Germanic Heathen Front, a subsiduary of Norwegian Heathen Front. Whether he was a member or a leader of this organization, and therefore if he associates or not with the organisation, depends on whether this organization is independent from the Norwegian one.

He is also responsible for formation of Svensk Hednisk Front, — Swedish Heathen Front , and he is one of the key organizers of the National Socialist Black Metal music.


Vikernes is proponent of the Ásatrú religion and believes it is a religion for all Germanic peoples. Vikernes is the author of several short works on his personal weltanschauung, namely Vargsmål (lit. 'the speech of Varg'), Irminsûl and Germansk Mytologi og Verdensanskuelse. Vikernes interprets the old Germanic lore in a fascistic way and belongs to the leading heads of modern esoteric fascism.


Vikernes has written lyrics for several songs by the band Darkthrone (Quintessence, As Flittermice as Satan's Spies, etc.) that make use of characteristics from old Germanic folklore. In these, Satan is brought up in the context of an 'eye' that is a source of light (i.e. the sun), with mentions of a 'spear' and a 'hall of battle', all of which are masked references to the Germanic god Odin. This was done with the double meaning of Odin as the 'adversary' of Jewish and Christian tradition. This has been taken as proof that Vikernes was at one time a Satanist, though Vikernes has stated many times that he is opposed to Satanism as he considers it to be a reactionary form of Christianity.

Vikernes has been fascinated with the fictional realm of Mordor from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy from a very young age, claiming to have mastered the Black Speech from which he took the term Burzum. According to Vikernes, the Christianized perspective of Germanic-sourced myths used in the books to create the Black Speech inspired Tolkien to give the word burz the meaning of 'darkness', whereas the old Germanic term bertz meant 'bright', 'light', or 'brilliant' in pre-Christian times.

The end of Burzum

In 2000, Vikernes terminated his musical project (which he had continued from his prison cell) due to what he perceived to be negative notoriety. Vikernes believed that his philosophy was constantly misinterpreted by an ignorant fan base that was too closely related to black metal and Satanism. By this time, Vikernes had released two ambient albums, having abandoned the black metal 'scene' years previous. Varg intends to continue Burzum if he is released on probation in April 2006, which he thinks is unlikely. The new Burzum, Vikernes claims, will be a continuation of pre-prison Burzum, specifically the "Filosofem" album. Though he has distanced himself from black metal, and looks down upon the culture, he claims this is the only music he is able to create.


American journalist Michael Moynihan (behind the musical project Blood Axis) wrote a book surrounding the events of the early black metal scene in Norway entitled Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground with co-author Didrik Søderlind. Vikernes has spoken against this book, saying that it is full of misconceptions and false hype. Torstein Grude created a Norwegian documentary entitled Satan rir media (Satan Rides the Media), to which Vikernes has given a more positive review. This film proved that journalist Finn Bjørn Tønder of Bergens Tidende after completing an anonymous interview with Vikernes, went straight to the police with his name. Vikernes was arrested the same night. Satan rir media also showed how the Norwegian news media hyped the satanist angle and unwittingly created a mass following for this relatively small group of teenage boys, both in Norway and internationally.

Recent events

In October 2003, Vikernes failed to return to his low-security prison in Tønsberg, Norway, after having been granted a short leave. Vikernes was apprehended by police after hijacking a car. He was found with an unloaded AG-3 assault rifle, 700 rounds of ammunition, a number of smaller weapons, a handheld GPS system, communications systems, a PC, military uniforms, a bullet proof vest, and camouflage clothes . He received an additional sentence of 14 months for the incident – somewhat less than the 22 months wanted at the trial – and has been moved to a maximum-security prison in Trondheim. Varg stated in a recent interview that he should, under Norwegian law, be released in mid-2006 on probation, though he is not very optimistic.

Other incidents with connections to Varg Vikernes' activities:

  • 19-year-old Novak Majstorovic, guitarist of the band Schwarzreich, arsoned a 100-year-old church in Melbourne in August 2004. In all media depictions of the event he is said to have been heavily influenced by Burzum. However, he has stated on several message boards across the internet that the influence doesn't stretch beyond the superficial, and that the media has overblown his statements to the police to suit their own ends. He claims that the arson had very little in common with Vikernes' attacks. He states that his attack was a symbolic piece of propaganda that represented his quasi-anarchistic ideology.
  • When police searched the homes of three girls accused of killing 61-year-old nun Maria Laura, whose birth name was Teresina Mainetti, in Chiavenna, Italy, they found a large number of death metal records. Among the records was also Burzum according to several newspapers and the case is generally attributed to satanism.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Varg Vikernes