We’re just not the types to go flocking to gallery openings and digest culture of a weekend but this is different. From 29th March to 29th April, the beyond-necro Neseblood Records are curating a black metal exhibition at Oslo’s Popsenteret, chronicling the history of black metal.
Whether it is the extremity of the aesthetic or the eternal notoriety of its early ’90s protagonists that catches the attention of the art world, independent filmmakers or contemporary pop culture dumps such as VICE, it doesn’t really matter: either way, black metal has become Norway’s greatest cultural export. This is totally cool, obviously. But taken out of its context of the underground metal scene, the genre seems kinda exposed, presented contrary to its original ethos.
Neseblod’s exhibition is an opportunity for the genre to present (celebrate would be more accurate but seems too positive) its history on its own terms. The exhibition will showcase the history of Norwegian black metal through a cornucopia of posters, flyers, video footage, too-rare-to-sell vinyl and cassette editions of classic underground releases… All the sort of ephemera to get even hard-hearted elistists welling up. A debut screening of archived video footage of Old Funeral is not to be missed either.
Since opening its doors in 2003, Neseblod Records has been Oslo’s go-to store for metal of all stripes, but especially for meticulously curated black metal rarities. To many, it is now the rightful successor to late Mayhem guitarist Euronymous’ Helvete store, and should be a in the intinerary of any holidaying metalhead.
For those of you in Norway (and hey, rememeber Inferno Festival is running over the Easter weekend) the door tax is NOK90/NOK50 concessions. From 5th April to 7th April, Jon Kristiansen, aka Metalion, will be in attendance, showing all those too poor to afford his excellent, super-heavy (literally) book, Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries what they are missing out on. Click HERE for some pics of the exhibits, more info, etc from the official website.
Darkthrone’s Fenriz is no gallery barnacle but he has thrown his weight behind it. So long as the whole fucking gallery opening thing isn’t all black ties and champagne flutes.
Says Fenriz: “I have given Kenneth [A. Nilsen, owner of Neseblod] lots of stuff over the years, but there are few exciting things as we always let the music do the talking and of course interviews – no stage clothes, almost no photo shoots – that’s OUR reality. So I dunno. I used seven hours to write stuff about the various albums though.”
Flights from Philly to Oslo during March should set you back around 800 bucks. Yeah, that’s pricey. But since when have serious black metal fans ever thought twice about money? These cats are the sort to go dropping 400 bucks on an original pressing of Mayhem’s Deathcrush?
To get an idea just how tight they pack the shelves at Neseblod, check out Stefan Raduta’s Transilvanian Hungerrr photo blog HERE
In the absence of a clip of people shuffling around a gallery with hands clasped behind their backs, here is a clip on Fenriz holding court during a phoner. Taken from black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us
**Picture Credit: the awesome shot above of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto in Neseblod by Ester Segarra**