In a case that mimics scenes in the recent movie Lords of Chaos, a metal drummer in New Zealand has been charged with setting two fires at Mormon churches. The suspect, Jacob Lowenstein, a member of the black-metal and death-metal bands Igni, Oblivion Dawn, and Secularity, was taken into custody and appeared in court yesterday via video link.
New Zealand news outlet Stuff reports that the 28-year-old Lowenstein is accused of setting fire to a study center on the grounds of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 11th, causing significant damage. He also allegedly started a fire at a church in Greymouth on March 13th, which resulted in the complete demolition of the chapel.
According to The Metal Archives, all three of Lowenstein’s bands are active, with the black-metal outfit Igni having released a new album in February. The New Zealand Herald reports that the drummer has been charged with two counts of arson and one count of unlawfully taking a vehicle.
The case is eerily similar to one involving Varg Vikernes and Euronymous of the band Mayhem, as depicted in the biopic Lords of Chaos, which came out earlier this year. In real life, Varg was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 1994 for for the arson of three churches in Norway, as well as the murder of Euronymous. He was released in 2009 after serving 15 years.