Friday, September 14, 2007

True Norwegian Black Metal

A documentary by Peter Beste about Gaahl, front man to Norwegian Black Metal Band Gorgoroth. Todd Da Palma called the documentary a "disastrously funny attempt at humanizing his (Gaahl's) all too real persona...". I disagree: Gaahl comes across as a Norse Charles Manson, albeit without a Family.













Post scriptum

If Gaahl is a Norse Charles Manson, will there be a lame gothic glam-pop band called "Gaahl Spears" in 2027?

4 comments:

-cja said...

thank you for posting these. i have yet to see them. interesting to say the least.

Todd said...

Honestly, keeping a steady -quiet-shot on Gaahl was right to do once he decided to shut down on camera. Really, it was invitation to be exploited and Beste merely took advantage of it. I've heard people comment that it comes off more pathetic than startling - that it conveys a certain embarrassment that these people he's been opening up to are nearly incapable of understanding (or from what we see from the mountain hike, even appreciating) anything he has to say beyond what is expected to be shocking, and so perhaps he gives them what they want in the end. The sipping wine bit at is meant to perplex and send shivers, but considering he's now done the same exact thing twice on camera (First, in Sam Dunn's A Headbanger's Journey) it loses its impact and feels sadly like a gimmick, making me question the whole thing again. Gaahl has charisma, that's for sure, but Charlie is (or at least used to be)superior in manipulating these situations first hand. I'm not about to compare LPs...

Perhaps of some small interest: on the commentary track for A Headbanger's Journey, the producer mentions that Ghaal had at least once referred to himself as a "Shaman." (Saying to the producer on his birthday that he was "A shaman like him") Granted, he was also plastered...

valter said...

I'll be the first to admit that most of the interviewers play the role of "American Pie"-style idiots with fervor; in that sense the documentary is irritating. The other documentaries produced by the company are even worse: sensationalist claptrap.

Nonetheless, the idiocy of most interviewers contrasts with Gaahl taciturn demeanor in a Watson/Sherlock Holmes kind of way - inadvertently perhaps, but it works.

Certainly, Manson was more of a charismatic manipulator than Gaahl; mainly because Gaahl - unlike Manson - appears to be an einzelgänger lacking social skills. I meant to compare Gaahl and Manson because both are charismatic counter-cultural musicians with unusual spiritual philosophies, severe psychological difficulties and a penchant for violence.

dschalek said...

Great posting and the film is actually amusing to me because I get the distinct impression that this is all a put-on by Gaahl designed to sell albums.