Try Not to Laugh Challenge: 10 Hysterical Black Metal Moments
(Editor note: This is the first iteration of our new weekly feature focusing on Black Metal we’re calling “The Black Pages.” Check back here every Monday for special Black Metal content.)
“Black f*cking Metal ist Krieg!!!” The title track on Nargaroth’s killer album, Black Metal ist Krieg (2001), which means Black Metal Is War, is simultaneously one of the greatest and most amusing moments in all of black metal. This slice of madness has probably spawned more memes than any other song. There is no better way to kick off your week than by blasting this classic at high volume.
Although it’s no joke, Black Metal ist Krieg slays the insidious serpentine myth that BM lacks entertainment value. The truth is that pain, humor, sadness, and bliss all go hand in hand. Black metallers are the most fearless breed in existence. Thus, they’re not afraid to make the most outrageous statements in interviews and are prone to extreme behavior. Although off-duty BMers can be as tactful as royalty, impulse control is a thing that many of their kind have successfully overcome.
So with that in mind, we’re going to be sharing some fun and funny moments that some of our favorite black metal musicians and bands were part of. No, we won’t be including the famous interview clip of Gaahl saying “Satan” on Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2005) since we prefer to think of this answer as a nugget of wisdom and nothing to take lightly. We’re more interested in moments like when Turbonegro‘s Thomas Seltzer called upon “Dear[/Kjære] Mayhem” to accept their 2021 Spellemann Award with a blue-lit Gaahl innocently standing behind him in performance makeup like the Grim Reaper.
Let the good old boys in spikes, chains, and “Black Shining Leather” entertain you! Enjoy our list of funny black metal moments.
Abbath rises triumphantly
In the words of Trondheim’s Manes: “Whether you fall, I know you’re rising!” Abbath may have taken a tumble in the clip below, but he always gets right back up. When Abbath and Immortal parted ways due to inner conflict, he turned this devastating event into a major victory by going solo.
Of course, all Abbath’s videos with Immortal are the equivalent of taking a happy pill. We are especially fond of the video for “Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms” due to the sore-thumb presence of Mayhem’s Hellhammer, who refused to wear corpse paint and looks like a pirate.
Fenriz’s famous Rock Hard interview
Fenriz never ceases to charm us, whether he’s hugging trees, singing “Jesus is the solution!,” comparing himself to Larry David, or joking “Kick the baby!” His Darkthrone collaborator, Nocturno Culto, is definitely a witty man as well, albeit in a much more restrained way.
Fenriz’s interview with Germany’s Rock Hard is a fan favorite. Although the self-proclaimed “Rain Man” becomes progressively more intoxicated as the interview continues, he is still wicked cool, as opposed to embarrassing, and spits whole oceans truth. You might not have 10 or more minutes to invest right now, so we’re going to give you a little sneak preview by showing you a couple of the best parts. Fenriz’s words in the second selection were recently quoted by Nargaroth’s René Wagner when he announced that he had been signed by Season of Mist.
Teloch loves his Crocs
This one is more of a saga than a moment. Teloch has made a running joke of his passion for Crocs. He sometimes shares pictures of his shoe brand of choice via Instagram Stories.
The Nidingr founder and Mayhem guitarist is an insanely funny guy, who often works his sense of humor into his dark art. Such is the case with his killer band Umoral, for example. Perhaps the weirdest thing about Teloch is that he and Ulver‘s Kristoffer Rygg were once seized for taking a leak on the king’s castle, presumably Akershus Fortress.
Satyricon picking flowers
If there’s a band that doesn’t really care about what’s expected of black metal outfits, it would be Satyricon. A critic would say that they’re more about entertainment than black metal. In any case, we admire Satyr for being such a good businessman and an overall cool guy. He is an elitist, who admires the finer things in life like sports cars and wine. Satyr is, of course, the founder of Wongraven Wines, although he has since sold most of it, and is a bronze-medal Norwegian racing champion.
The clip of Frost boarding a plane from Until the Light Takes Us (2008) has been played to death, so brace yourself for the following video of the Satyricon duo picking flowers from Roadkill Extravaganza (2001).
Pelle Ohlin was a man of many gifts…
The late Per Yngve “Pelle” Ohlin, a.k.a. “Dead,” was the greatest black metal vocalist of all time. He brought his mysticism, authenticity, creativity, and individuality to Mayhem when he moved from Sweden to join the band in the late ’80s. His ex-Morbid bandmate Jens “Dr. Schitz,” Näsström, who has gone on to become a psychologist, remembers his multi-talented friend with warmth and understanding. He revealed one of our favorite anecdotes about the legendary frontman to Metalion in an issue of Slayer Mag:
“He [Pelle] did write to me about this guy in Norway (this was at the time when Dead lived in Norway) who was afraid of him. Dead didn’t mind the guy or anything, and had done nothing to scare him. So when the guy throws his birthday party Dead, being polite and considerate, brought him a present. A big knife. But the guy misinterprets Dead’s intentions and totally freaks out because he thinks Dead is going to stab him! It was great fun for Dead of course, but he did actually seem a bit concerned by the whole incident… I don’t think he was fully aware of the impression he had on people.”
Beherit at a mall
Nothing could be better than this pioneering group that was formed in Lapland in 1989. In the snippet below, you can see a very young version of Beherit competing in a battle of the bands contest in the summer of 1990 in Rovaniemi.
Yes, they are outside a mall. Some of the onlookers stare at the Beherit musicians like they’re Martians. No wonder why Beherit called their classic debut full-length album, Drawing Down the Moon (1993).
Kim Carlsson recording vocals
Kim Carlsson is our hero for co-founding the legendary DSBM band Lifelover. Lifelover’s content may deal with mortal sin, but Kim proves: “the lover of life’s not a sinner.”
Kim has a pretty unusual party-girl style of dancing, which you can observe in multiple clips. In one incredible video, Kim takes the stage at Devilstone Open Air completely naked with Ondskapt! At the beginning, Kim manages to hold his crotch, the mic, and a cigarette?! Give this man an award!
He exits as gracefully as a burlesque star. Since we can’t show you this dancing king’s full package, we bring you Kim’s totally bizarre way of recording vocals instead:
Solefald at Hellfest
Like Arcturus, Solefald clearly enjoys theatrics. This Norse avant-garde post-BM project is among the most peculiar groups that you will ever encounter. In the following clip, you can hear Solefald recite Lord Byron’s poem When the Moon is on the Wave, which closed their famous debut album, The Linear Scaffold (1997), which some believe to be one of the greatest BM records ever made.
It’s safe to say that this stage is set for absurdism:
Covenant (now The Kovenant) Accepts a Spellemann Award
The Spellemannprisen are often referred to as the “Norwegian Grammy Awards.” Below, you will find a teary-eyed Lex Icon / Nagash (ex-Dimmu Borgir, Troll, etc.) accepting a 1998 Spellemann award for Covenant’s Nexus Polaris (1998) in 1999.
We’re not sure that Mayhem’s Hellhammer looks all too stoked though. He has a habit of playing things overly cool. Respect to the Viking king Astennu — still shirtless from his performance with Dimmu Borgir, who competed in the same category that evening — for bringing his beer to the podium. Psy Coma looks like Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys after a trip to Hot Topic.
The point is that this is the most motley crew of musicians we have ever seen. They hardly look like they’re from the same universe (check out Nagash, Hellhammer, and Psy Coma in Troll’s Universal ), let alone planet. The following year, the band would earn another Spellemann award under their current name, The Kovenant.
Nattefrost relieves himself
Carpathian Forest‘s Nattefrost spouted a stream of gold and incorporated this lovely gesture into his phenomenal debut solo album, Blood and Vomit (2004). He titled this work of modern yet “necro” work of art “Nattefrost Takes a Piss.”