On July 8th, a French court found Varg Vikernes guilty of inciting racial hatred and exalting war crimes. Vikernes is the sole member of Norwegian black metal and ambient band Burzum and is an outspoken National Socialist (read: Nazi), anti-semite, xenophobe. He is widely known for his role in burning several churches to the ground in Norway in the early ’90s and then murdering his Mayhem bandmate Euronymous (Ã˜ystein Aarseth) by stabbing him 23 times over a contract dispute. Vikernes, then going by the stage name of Count Grishnackh, maintained that he killed Euronymous in self-defense with an explanation so convoluted as to be laughable. If you want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, you can do so here. He was convicted for the murder and sentenced to 21 years in prison (the maximum sentence in Norway). Vikernes famously turned to the cameras in the courtroom and smiled when his sentence was read.
Released on parole in 2009 after serving 15 years of his sentence, Vikernes then moved his wife and children to her native France. From here, it is alleged that he continued to spout his vitriol towards “Zionists and Muslims” and espouse his Nazi and white-power sympathies via the internet. Unfortunately for him, the French government doesn’t take kindly to this sort of activity. They raided his farm in CorrÃ¨ze and charged Varg and his wife with possessing illegal firearms and explosives, alleging that the couple was planning major acts of terror. When the original charges had to be dropped over technicalities, Vikernes was then charged with inciting racial hatred and exalting war crimes over statements made on his blog that we won’t even dignify with a quote or link.
Well guess what… poor Varg was framed again! At least that was his defense. He claimed that the blog posts had been written by an impostor and was quoted as saying, “at any given moment there are 350 people pretending to be Varg Vikernes on Facebook.” Fortunately the French legal system saw through his lame attempt to deflect blame for his actions. On July 8, 2014, Vikernes was found guilty of the charges. His sentence was a slap on the wrist amounting to the equivalent of $10,000 and six months probation. No word on whether this conviction violates the terms of his parole in Norway.
Varg Vikernes on the cover of Burzum’s 2008 Anthology.
The latest Burzum album, Ways of Yore, was released on July 15, 2014.