Lords of Chaos

The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground
Narrated by: Fred Berman
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“The most incredible story in the history of music...a heavyweight book.” (Kerrang!)

“An unusual combination of true crime journalism, rock and roll reporting and underground obsessiveness, Lords of Chaos turns into one of the more fascinating reads in a long time.” (The Denver Post)

Lords of Chaos focuses on the scene surrounding the extreme heavy metal subgenre black metal in Norway in the early 1990s, with a focus on the string of church burnings and murders that occurred in the country around 1993. A narrative feature film based on this award-winning book has just gone into production.

©1998, 2003 Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“The most incredible story in the history of music...a heavyweight book.” (Kerrang!)

“An unusual combination of true crime journalism, rock and roll reporting and underground obsessiveness, Lords of Chaos turns into one of the more fascinating reads in a long time.” (The Denver Post

What listeners say about Lords of Chaos

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A pretty big look at a small metal genre...

The first half of this piece is very informative about the inspirations that were blended together to create the Black Metal genre as well as the crimes committed as a result of the commitment to the ideology of the scene. After that, it gets very in-depth on the ideology which can be a bit monotonous. The constant refrains along the lines of "we want evil, eliminate the Christian blight, we hate everyone, Varg is great/Varg's an idiot, Euronymous was a traitor, paganism, scorched earth for the Christians, blah blah" tends to be repeated a lot in the interview sections. Eventually, the book moves back to center and takes a look at Black Metal fanzine journos and other genre acts besides the ones that are considered Black Metal's 'beloved'. As this is a non-fiction work, it suffers from that NPR-sounding sameness that may cause you to want to give up if you're not totally dedicated to learning what the Black Metal scene is, at least from the standpoints presented, and what powers it. A voice like that is best taken in segments. Despite some mispronunciations, he's a good narrator. The voice is what it is. YMMV. In closing, I really can't tell if these musicians are insanely brilliant or brilliantly insane. I remember being a early-20-something and wanting to rage at the world for life not turning out like I thought it was supposed to, but I never gave one rip about any religion or paganism or any of what they seem to be into. I'm sure that's because I'm not Norwegian or Scandinavian, etc... I wrote my songs and played in my bands and worked out the frustrations. In an interview I did with the late Peter Steele of Type O Negative, he called the act of playing music "sonic therapy". I guess while I got over my issues, the Black Metal musicians keep their motivations burning hot from it. I remember reading about Dead's murder years ago and, thanks to the movie which I haven't yet seen, was inspired to pick up this audiobook. Now that I've finished it, I went on iTunes to check out the music, all of which reminds me of going to the local hole-in-the-wall all ages indie club on "new band night" and seeing some group of pimply-faced kids beat the everlovin' hell out of their chosen instruments while the vocalist screams/wails/barks into the often-dropped microphone for three minutes at a time to the adulation of their ten or twelve friends who have to be home by 11pm. Art truly is where you find it.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining though meandering in spots

Half the book is about what it portends to be about, while a quarter of it is a psychoanalysis of Varg and another quarter is about various political & philosophical ideologies of various musicians, which sometimes is interesting enough, though; also seems like irelevant filler.

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fascinating

started off great, then the last half feels a bit like a long tangent, but wasn't bad at all. hard to put down.

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Intentionally Misleading

A fear mongering book focused on showing scary how the underground black metal scene is. Focus' on the worst aspects on the genre rather than what joy it can bring. Focus' on the politics and not the music itself. Totally misrepresents Fenriz as a person. Go watch some videos on youtube and you will get a better idea what he is about.

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  • Alison Baron
  • 08-03-20

compelling

A compelling trip through not only black metal and it's rise but nationalism also.

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  • Nogbad the bad
  • 04-01-20

Starts well

I have had an interest in Black metal for some time so this book was of interest to me and its very good however it looses pace after about chapter 8

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  • Brendan
  • 07-15-19

Listened to it three times this year

The Audiobook lacks the imagery of the book, however, it's the characters and the interviews of the people in the Black Metal scene that make this audio book so intriguing. From Venom and Bathory to Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor and Burzum, the bands, or more specifically the members stories, almost seem like fiction. The book itself documents a strange era in an ambiguous genre of music. Various members of various black metal bands portray their odd wisdoms, dangerously teetering mental states and gloomy outlooks on life. From start to finish, the minds of the Black metalers hook you and reel you in with stories of bickering, betrayal and murder.