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Breaking: Ex-Bathory Drummer/Video Director Jonas Akerlund Just Bought A Church

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Jonas Akerlund Bathory church j

It’s super weird to imagine a member of an iconic black metal act going on to work for Madonna, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, and Jayoncé. But that’s Jonas Åkerlund, founding drummer of Bathory and helmer of long- and short-form music videos (and of the crackish feature film Spun). Now, Åkerlund departed Bathory before their debut album, but considering black metal’s connection to fiery, antisocial mischief, we’re doubly surprised about his latest move: He’s purchased a massive, beautiful church in Stockholm. Translated from a Swedish news story:

A classic Methodist Church in Stockholm has been sold … after 120 years in the Assembly’s ownership. [Its new] owners have a little darker past: video director and former drummer in the black metal band Bathory, Jonas Åkerlund. What he [plans for] the old church is as yet unknown, but the congregation does not seem [worried] that it will be about devil worship. 

States Solveig Högberg, paster of Holy Trinity Parish in Aftonbladet: “It is a great sadness for us to have to sell our church. But it still feels good that it will be used for cultural activities and not to offices as some other buyers wanted.”

Besides her sonorous name, Högberg has an awesome vibe about Åkerlund’s acquisition of the architectural gem. Maybe she’s just grateful for the sale, or comforted by Åkerlund’s distance from his black metal past, or encouraged by the director’s contributions to visual arts. Whatever the case, let’s doff our caps to all parties in this transaction and keep an eye on the line of BM bands forming outside Akerlund’s new doors. 

Very special thanks to Grim Kim for the tip and additional reportage. I treasure u xoxo!

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