Jan 092013

Burzum’s Varg Vikernes and his wife Marie Cachet have made a movie entitled ForeBears. But before getting to that, some background:

On the night of March 31, 2012, I discovered that someone had uploaded the entirety of the new, as-yet unreleased Burzum album Umskiptar to YouTube. At the same time, whoever manages Varg’s web page uploaded a batch of photos of Varg wearing, among other things, chain mail and an archaic helmet. The YouTube stream didn’t stay up for long, but long enough for me to listen to the album once. On April 1, I posted (here) a generally unflattering review along with some snarky comments about Varg and those photos.

That post became a gathering point for a ton of comments, mostly from people who are not regular visitors to NCS, and it still gets a lot of traffic to this day. I’m not sure why — maybe because it was such an early review of Umskiptar. It also led Varg’s wife Marie Cachet (though I didn’t know she was his wife at that time) to ask that I remove the Varg photos that I had added to my article — which she had made — because I posted them without her permission. I then had a very polite e-mail exchange with her, and she graciously agreed to allow me to keep the photos with the post after adding proper credit, despite the fact that I was poking fun at them.

I’ve come to have second thoughts about what I wrote concerning Umskiptar. I haven’t completely revised my initial opinion, but I’ve certainly come to appreciate Umskiptar for what it is rather than for what I wanted  it to be. In my defense, I did say in the earlier review that I was writing my first impressions after one listen, and that further listens might lead to different impressions. I suppose the lesson is that I shouldn’t review albums based on one listen (and I rarely do).

And that brings me, at last, to ForeBears. According to Marie Cachet, it has been made by her and Varg as “an amateur and experimental motion film about the prehistoric Bear Cult and the Neanderthal case.” It will be released on DVD through Amazon in March 2013. Ms. Cachet also provides this descrption:

“To summarize the story, Varg Vikernes is thinking and discovers bit by bit what happened before. A kind of journey in reverse through time and in thought, to prehistoric time (about 30 000 BC), up to a previous life when he was a little boy. Through what he lives again in this little boy, he understands the meaning of certain essential rituals of that prehistoric time, that still have a major influence on modern habits.”

I don’t pretend to understand what this means. However, I did find clues on Ms. Cachet’s website/blog, Atala. It includes extensive (and on-going) writing about the importance of Neanderthal culture (and genetics) on the development of European mythology, religion, and human culture in general, as well as connections between autism and what is known about Neanderthal brains and theories concerning how that species saw the world and communicated. (By the way, I don’t know if any of Varg and Marie’s children — who appear in the film — are autistic; this may be purely an intellectual interest.)

Ms. Cachet has made a trailer for ForeBears. It includes scenes filmed in the Presque Caves located in the Lot Valley of France as well as shots of Ms. Cachet and children in costume . . . and of course bears.

The soundtrack for the trailer is the Burzum song “Gullaldr” (Golden Age) from the Umskiptar album. The lyrics (in Norwegian) are drawn from a landmark Norse poem from the Edda called “Völuspá”, as are all the lyrics of Umskiptar. More info about “Völuspá” can be found here.

I’ve come to realize that although “Gullaldr” isn’t metal, at least in the conventional sense of the word, it is a beautiful song, with a spiritual, almost hypnotic quality. It has grown on me the more I’ve listened to it (and I do get an extra kick in those moments when Varg switches from his basso profundo intonations of the poetic lyrics to the sharp edge of black metal rasping). The song suits the imagery in the trailer, and vice-versa; each enhances the other. And speaking of the imagery, this may be an “amateur” work, but the videography is high-quality.

I’m not passing judgment on the themes of ForeBears — I haven’t seen the film, I know nothing about the Bear Cult, and I haven’t tried to wade through all the content on the Atala site. But I have to admit that despite my personal opinions about Varg, I’m intrigued (and of course curious about whether it might include new Burzum music). Here’s the trailer:


(Credit to Grim Kim Kelly via Utmu for the tip about this movie.)




  1. Interesting…

    Also reminds me I have to get hold of the Seediq Bale movie, and might just write about that for NCS.

  2. Oh here we go with the whole “noble savages” bullshit. Although I have to admit cultural appropriation from Neandertals is a new one. From my perspective as a cultural anthropologist this is roughly equivalent to a white guy decorating his house with dream catchers and wolf sculptures and claiming to be 1/16th Cherokee…except there are no existing Neandertals to protest the rape of their culture. Not that they would. They’d probably just bash his face in with a rock.

    Also, while it’s been shown that Neandertals and modern humans have very similar genetic makeups (as do modern humans and chimpanzees) that does NOT mean that they interbred. In fact the extant cultural evidence suggests that they competed for resources and probably engaged in intertribal warfare to some degree.

    /end rant

    I’m still not a big fan of the tunes.

    • You’re an anthropologist? Could you describe the job desc. For me? Sounds like a mixture of soc sciences and the humanities.

      • Depends on the type of anthropologist. Biological Anth is the study of human origins and ancestry, tracing the prehistoric human past and all that. Cultural Anth is the study of living people and their cultures, and Archaeology is legal grave robbing…er I mean the study of human remains like ruins or grave sites.

    • As an “Anthropolgist” you should be aware of the work of Prof.Dr Svante Pääbo (MPI for Evolutionary
      Anthropology). According to his genetic research Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals DID interbred. It
      is even possible for everyone, to make a genetic test for finding out how many Neanderthal genes are
      in your DNA.

      Mrs Cachets view on certan topics are very special and polarizing. From my point of view they fill the whole
      scala from “brilliant” (autism) down to “dilettant” (astronomy). This might be true for most people.

    • Westerners make war in other countries and turn people”s lives into a hell of misery and insecurity, whereas their own people are spoiled and bored to the point of creating these “amateurish” films and songs trying to take the world back to when humans lived like animals. Instead of wasting your time, try to do something useful for the populations who is getting killed so that you can live comfortably and follow nut cases like Vekernes and Cachet.

  3. I would be cautious about the information presented in the movie and on the Atala site. I got a whole pseudo-history and pseudo-science vibe from it all. I also saw one thing say something along the lines of “You are 99.7% Neanderthal.” I don’t know how accurate I am in paraprashing that, or if it has any reliable evidence in the article. Anyway, I’m sure a lot of peeps would watch it regardless of it’s credibility.

    • Totally agree, Atala has all the hallmarks of pseudoscience. It also seems to be subtly suggesting racist ideas that it’s unhealthy for people of different ethnicities to have children together. So yeah I wouldn’t believe a word of it.

    • I believe that is a reference to the decoding of the Neandertal genome showing a 99.7% similarity to modern humans…not unlike chimps, which are between 97 and 94 depending on whose research you read. People who don’t really understand how genetics and evolution work seem to think this means that Neandertals and modern humans are the same, or that Neandertals are our ancestors, or that humans and Neandertals had babies together. What it really means is that humans, Neandertals and chimps at one time had a common ancestor. This pisses off racial purists because most research shows that said common ancestor came from Africa.

      • Ah, so I just misunderstood the title, I guess. Thanks! I’d still expect to see ideological confirmation bias posted regularly, however.

  4. I’ve noticed that it’s very vogue to hate Varg. Don’t get me wrong, the guy stands for things that I don’t. That said, it never ceases to blow my fucking mind when people listen to music with content largely regarding hate, murder, suicide, loss of hope, aggression, etc, and are then repulsed by those who ACTUALLY LIVE IT. It’s very cute to listen to and have pretty tattoos about but then when it becomes real it’s wrong? There is a profound breakdown in principles and logic here. I know that this is a fire-starter of a comment, but when is it that music differs from reality? Especially when those who listen to it claim it as a “lifestyle?” I in no way condone racism or most of what Varg stands for, but it’s very interesting that he catches so much shit for personifying a lot of what you and I listen to.

    • Indeed. I have always enjoyed the well-delivered Dimmu Borgir line “And murder the entire human race”… is that ok to say though?

      I remember one very astute commenter over at IO put it thusly:

      “It’s ok to hate people, as long as you’re not too specific about it.”

      • That’s a rather thought-provoking quote. Also not to contradict myself, but there is a real disconnect (and not just in metal) in the fact that it’s ok to hate based on some categories, but not others.
        For e.g. in metal: it’s largely accepted that hating Christians is ok. I’m not Christian, I don’t endorse that sentiment, but then again it doesn’t repulse me either (my hypocrisy).
        For e.g. in the US as a whole: it’s largely accepted that speaking ill of gays, or specific religious groups (Muslims, Atheists) is ok. All of those bother me, though if such talk were directed at white suburbanites I’d be less bothered.

        We are a species that’s replete with inconsistencies, there’s no denying it…

      • Exactly. Brilliant.

    • I don’t think the so-called disconnect lies in the fact that one person is “living” the violence, while others are just signing/fantasizing about it. It’s about the motives and logic behind that violence. If an artist were to simply sing about racism-fueled violence, without actually acting on it, I would be just as turned off.

    • Its not vogue to hate Varg…hes a piece of shit and hes been regarded as a piece of shit since the day he killed Euronymous. This is coming from someone who has no problem saying I enjoy Burzum’s music.

      I play violent video games, yet Ive never gone on a rampage…I enjoy reading Robert E Howard, but Ive never killed a dragon. Ive listened to NSBM and enjoyed it. I definitely dont believe in the idea of racial supremacy. Why the hell would enjoying something, purely from an entertainment context, mean people would condone anyone doing those things in real life? People who actually function in society, learn from a very early age that theres a difference between reality and fantasy

    • I MIGHT buy Burzum’s music in spite of him murdering Aarseth, it’s over and done. Regardless of whether Varg truly was defending himself or not I don’t think he’d do it again. As for racism and the like, I don’t support the artists. My money could be going to causes that I stand against. I don’t even want to buy Mayhem’s music after I heard Hellhammer refer to Magnes Andreasson as a “fucking faggot”.

      • Varg still asserts that he was defending himself. And if you are interested in his opinions, you’ll get a fistful of them via the July 2012 answers to fan questions linked below, including these:

        “Despotism is not necessarily a bad thing. Pretty much all great architecture and art in general has been ordered by different despots. Not by “democratic” governments. What we need to crush the Zionist attempts to take over the world is extreme, totalitarian, nationalist, anti-Jewish, Pagan/European movements. We need despots, but our own despots; from our own peoples. Democracy is a hoax anyhow, so we might as well replace it with despotism.”

        “[W]e are entering a new Ice Age, but it is not like this is going to happen over night. It will not even be very dramatic. The Summers will be milder for a long time, and there will be less sunshine and because of that the glaciers will start to form or grow until they finally (in 1000 years?) cover all of Northern Europe, the Alps and the Carpathians. And the Afro-Asians and mongrels in Europe will start to drop like flies, due to a lack of “sunshine vitamins”. What a pity… The fair, blonde and blue-eyed European man will thrive; this is what he was built for! This is his continent!”


        • Oh no! Now where will I get my sunshine vitamins???

          • Good one!

          • If you need sunshine vitamins then you must be a mongrel. Begone now or I’ll swat you in the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.

          • Well, here in Norway its added to milk, cheese, fish oil and probably some other products. Most would get sufficiently through a normal diet. That being said, all my friends from Afghanistan, Thailand, Iran and Sri Lanka, really don’t have a problem with the 6 months of darkness up here, so i don’t see why they would drop dead any faster than me from a new ice age.

            And i don’t see why they would not be able to get “Sunshine Vitamins” during an Ice Age. The temperature would drop because of an increased reflection of sunlight, due to an increased amount of earths surface being covered in ice. I would think that the ice itself would be the problem, you know with the cold, and most of our food sources being covered by it.

            If this hypothetical ice age were to be caused by the sun being blocked out, everything would die.

      • I hear you on Hellhammer. I’ve felt really torn about listening to music he’s involved in (including Nidingr) because of that comment. It’s a hard thing to balance–I could easily be listening to a lot of music made by hateful people. For all I know, the second chair cello on that Bach album I love could be a raging anti-Semite, and I’ll never know.It’s hard to know where to draw the line. I know that if I hadn’t moved away from the very rural (and hateful) town I grew up in, I could still easily hold an opinion close to Hellhammer’s, which makes me feel like I shouldn’t judge so harshly. Varg makes an easier case, though. Watching him creepily describe his crime with no apparent emotion in “Until the Light Takes Us” made a pretty strong impression.

    • I’ve already made clear what I think about many of Varg’s previously expressed opinions. Knowing those opinions, you could connect up the dots between them and Umskiptar, but I don’t see how anyone could listen to that album as a standalone piece of music and poetry and find in it anything hateful or violent.

    • From a Jungian standpoint, I think a majority of people use music, video games, etc. with the themes you mention as a way of integrating what’s contained in their shadow. To put it in simple terms, for “good” people, the shadow generally contains “bad” things (primitive, irrational, instinctive types of thoughts). If the ongoing process of integrating the shadow (among other archetypes) into the self does not occur, the shadow is prone to projection. You begin to project your own insecurities and weaknesses on to others (sounds a little like Varg?). Non-integration of the shadow can lead to tension between the ego and the unconscious: a neurosis (not to be confused with everyone’s favorite post-metal pioneers). The neurosis can in some cases lead to acting out what was in the shadow. So for most people, I think this is a healthy process.

      • I think I have integrated my shadow. I would wager, with no empirical basis at all, that more metalheads have integrated shadows than non-metalheads. 🙂

        • I have no doubt that you are well on the path to self actualization, enlightened one. 😉

    • It never ceases to blow my mind when people watch slapstick humor and love it, and yet they DO NOT ACTUALLY HIT ONE ANOTHER WITH CUSTARD PIES!

      Or those posers who love supernatural horror movies and even wear t-shirts with their titles, yet – gasp – have NEVER SEEN A REAL GHOST IN THEIR LIVES! And how about those who watch action flicks, yet are repulsed by ACTUAL SHOOTINGS IN ACTUAL LIFE! I know, right? What a bunch of fakes!

      And don’t even get me started on those who like superhero flicks yet panic at the thought of allowing themselves to be bitten by a simple radioactive spider.

  5. Having somehow missed all the crazy from the original post about Umskiptar…I have to say, those comments made for some interesting reading

  6. Fire-starter indeed.

    • I dont know about fire-starter, but it does remind me of the same logic that leads people to complain about movies or video games whenever someone talks about violent crime.

      • Alright, I was trying my best to not have to say this, but: I also play video games, watch horror, etc., and don’t kill people. I am simply asking a question. And more to the point, I’m far from complaining about the man’s music. I love most of it. Neither am I complaining about violent video games or movies. Hell, some people SHOULD be fucking killed. I’m deeply sorry that you were offended.

        • Whoa…easy man..you can take it down a notch. No ones offended. I was answering your question. You, yourself said there was a logic breakdown between listening to terrible things and then decrying it when it actually happens. I dont think thats true…As beings capable of complex thought we are able process what were hearing and make judgements based on our personal beliefs. In other words…if he wants to believe some people are sub-human..dosnt mean I agree with him, and nothing he says/sings is going to change that. Dosnt mean thats not a catchy riff

          • Agreed, in a since… I still think that when you (the proverbial you, not you personally) propagate the darkest sides of humanity, you can’t be blown away when it takes physical form.

            • to go back to my video game analogy though…time and again theyve tested that theory, and theres never been any evidence that “A” leads to “B”.
              If most people see the music as just that music..then yeah the idea that their are people out their who really do act like this would probably still come as a surprise, and would be something to look down on

  7. I think Andy got the point of what I was getting at far more than Mr. Brute.

    • You know..you could actually try replying to my comment directly instead of making separate snarky comments at me down-thread.

      ..and no..as subtle as you are..I did catch your point. Youre wondering why people accept the things being sung as part of the music, but are repulsed when people put those words it into action. So, to reiterate what I said above, its because people can say whatever the hell they want..it dosnt impact you, its not going to change what you personally believe. When they put those beliefs into action, it does have an effect..even if its just on society in general you have to take notice of whats going on and decide how that lines up with your beliefs.

      ..or to put it simply…actions speak a lot louder than words.

  8. I’ll will probably never watch this and I don’t care for Varg’s socio-political pseudo-racism. On the other hand, I think Fallen is a beautiful album that I listen to on a regular basis. I like his art, or at least some of it, who he is doesn’t take away from the experience of listening to his music.

  9. You guys not only forget that Euronymous threatened to kill Varg, but that when he discovered that Dead had killed himself, instead of calling the police, he took his sweet time taking photos of the corpse and collecting pieces of his Brain and skull to eat and wear on a necklace, as far as I’m concerned Varg did everyone a favor getting rid of that guy. you should also watch this Documentary called ‘once upon a time in Norway’ they interview some of the earlier members of Mayhem like Manheim and Messiah, and even they agree that Euronymous was fully intending to kill Varg. And anyone who is offended by the word “faggot” shouldn’t be listening to Black Metal in the first place.

  10. 4 Bears, 1 Cup?

    Ew. I am aware of the intellectual level of Kristian aka Varg aka Louis, and I do know that his “wife” makes him look like Hawking, but this… eeek!

  11. Oh no… you did that ? you are giving free advertisement to this pile of bullshit Varg made up ? I even came to wonder if Marie Cachet is not just another of Varg’s gimmick he uses on the internet to spread his ideas !
    So after he left Nazism and became a russia-fan-boy he started hating on bankers and free masons before becoming an anti-semite and white supremacist to finaly decide that he is a neanderthalian and a France-Fan-boy ?
    Atala used to be written in a mysterious google-translatish french and the so called Marie Cachet wouldn’t even reply in french when I tried to drop a few comments to ask questions. Atala is a pile of bullshit that has NO scientific value as it’s based on denying we all have a common ancestors from Africa. “Marie Cachet” never quotes any source because “she has to pay the rights to quote lines from books written by others” (what the ???) and can’t afford it !
    Things are explained in the most complicated way on atala and it just sounds like those websites claiming mankind is secretley controlled by reptilian overlords !!!
    I remember she used to say scientist have been mistaken about neanderthal and the shape of their head because they didn’t consider a skull on a table is not in the same angle as a skull on a spine, which would supposedly prove white people are neanderthals !
    Finaly… what varg tends to forget is that germanic white people were considered as inferior barbaric retards for centuries and that European greatest civilisation came from mediteranean people (the same goes for the middle east)
    All of this is just a miserable attempt to catch some attention !

    • It seems that you have not read anything, but in this case, you should have the decency to keep quiet.
      For the rest, you’re talking about conspiracy theories but you deny the fact that I exist.

      I guess the reader can judge himself: http://www.atala.fr


    • Sigh*
      You obviously don’t read either. I compared your work to conspiracy theory websites. Lots of nonsense put together in great sentences that make it sound cool !
      BTW, comming on this website all the time and answering to people is so ridiculous ! If I’m that much of a retard, why do you even bother wasting your time here ? If your work is so amazing then let people like me talk and give you free advertisement, clever peeps should be able to judge how good your texts and so called researches are.

      French ain’t my 1st language so I may have over done it anyway but you shouldn’t take offense in what people say here or any other discussion boards (including youtube comment that is like a pit of eternal damnation hehe)

    • I have been entering in both Atala and Thulean Perspective and I so agree with you.
      Pure shit everywhere and when you write something against their ideas they don’t make your comment public.
      They are just ignorant people without university studies in many subjects they write about. Pure ignorants trying to spead shit and hatred.

  12. *Sigh*
    You obviously don’t read either. I compared your work to conspiracy theory websites. Lots of nonsense put together in great sentences that make it sound cool !
    BTW, comming on this website all the time and answering to people is so ridiculous ! If I’m that much of a retard, why do you even bother wasting your time here ? If your work is so amazing then let people like me talk and give you free advertisement, clever peeps should be able to judge how good your texts and so called researches are.

    French ain’t my 1st language so I may have over done it anyway but you shouldn’t take offense in what people say here or any other discussion boards (including youtube comment that is like a pit of eternal damnation hehe)

  13. VARG VIKERNES & MARIE CACHET home address:
    19510 Las Fleytias (road labelled as D85), Salon-la-Tour, France

    Let´s all bake a cake, hide a saw in it and deliver it at their door. Sweet. 😉

  14. Scientists in Europe who had the neanderthal bones said modern humans don’t have neanderthal DNA, but USA scientists said they do, and people go with the USA scientists. I didn’t know if it’s the usual USA anti European propaganda. Why are the Cro Magnon bones ignored?

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.