Norwegian metal mind Varg Vikernes is set to face charges in France of inciting racial hatred and exalting war crimes on the Internet. Considering Vikernes’ storied and criminal past, these accusations almost come as little surprise.
In the early ’90s, Vikernes recorded albums under the name Burzum, and with the black metal group Mayhem. When Mayhem bandmate Oystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth was stabbed to death in 1993, Vikernes was arrested for the murder, and spent 16 years in prison. Released in 2009, the musician married Marie Cachet and eventually relocated to France. Vikernes was then arrested this July on suspicion of planning a massacre, and he sought financial help from his fans to help him sue authorities for confiscating his guns during the arrest.
The Paris prosecutor’s office now points to this arrest as the “origin of the investigation” and Vikernes’ upcoming trial stems from “…several suspicions that made the services fear he could possibly carry out a violent act.”
In response to what has transpired with French officials in the past few months, Vikernes has written on his blog:
We want to sue the authorities for arresting us for no good reason whatsoever, doing so in the most brutal way possible and with children present, and also for without any reason taking away our right to own or even possess weapons. Marie [Varg’s wife] has a crime record white as snow, so there is no reason for them to take away her right and freedom to own weapons. I have a record in Norway, from 1993 and 2003, but I have never done anything criminal in France, and I can own most weapons even in Norway if I want to, so they have no good reason to take away my right and freedom to own weapons either. Especially not when they have done so under such circumstances.