Anybody who knows even a little bit about black metal probably at least recognizes the name Mayhem. The ’80s band were hyper-influential in not only the formation of the famed Norwegian black metal scene, and the kind of cavernous sound which spun off into endless heavy subgenres, but also the gory end of the original band’s run.
The latter will form the basis of Lords of Chaos, music video veteran Jonas Åkerlund’s biopic about the band’s formation, rapid ascent to cult stardom and subsequent infamy, and the brutality which ultimately followed. (Åkerlund himself drummed for Swedish metal act Bathory during their early days.) Rory Culkin stars as guitarist/founder Øystein Aarseth (or Euronymous), an aesthetic lover of metal who gets into the scene for the parties and girls, only to become increasingly seduced by the power and terror of Satanic doctrine. Along the way, he recruits bassist Varg Vikernes (Emory Cohen), whose far more radical views on both politics and metal begin to spin the band and the culture forming around them out of control.
Co-starring Jack Kilmer as original Mayhem frontman Per Yngve Ohlin (Dead), and Sky Ferreira as a photographer following the rise of the Norwegian scene, Lords of Chaos has the chance to turn the musical biopic into a real-life horror movie. It absolutely has the source material to do so.
Lords of Chaos will begin its limited theatrical release on February 8th.