David Byrne on “Until the Light Takes Us”

David Byrne on “Until the Light Takes Us”

David Byrne wrote a journal entry last week about the Black Metal documentary, “Until the Light Takes Us.”

read it here: 08.17.2012: Perversion of Intent

I found this documentary to be enlightening, disturbing, and poorly executed. It’s worth watching because in spite of its shortcomings, it’s still a very powerful film. As a fan of some Black Metal (and more a fan of some descendants of the genre) I found the issues that these young men were addressing to be disturbingly similar to my own at their age. Concern with the mass destruction that capitalism wreaks across cultures and a loss of identity drove them to react angrily, even violently. A number from those early days were drawn towards the political extreme right, others towards the extreme left.

As a reaction to the destruction they were witnessing, they reached out to archetypes relevant to their culture. But they did it ignorantly and blindly, as Byrne saw it:

Going at this alone is a solitary quest, in a dangerous landscape, taken, in this case, without a guide. One would be tempted to say that maybe Odin, Thor, Wotan [sic] and the rest of the Norse horde, might have been summoned—but maybe these Gods or archetypes are too powerful to be confronted by an amateur. As with Voudoun, chanting, LSD and many other arts and practices that reach parts of us that we often don’t touch, it might be wise to have a professional along who knows where the dangers and pitfalls lie.