Euronymous Cause of Death: The Brutal Murder of a Black Metal Legend

Euronymous was a Norwegian musician and a founder of the early Norwegian black metal scene. He was the guitarist of the influential band Mayhem and the owner of the record label Deathlike Silence Productions and the record shop Helvete. He was also known for his extreme views on Satanism, misanthropy and violence. But his life was cut short on the night of August 10, 1993, when he was stabbed to death by his former bandmate and rival Varg Vikernes. What led to this gruesome act and what were the consequences for the black metal scene? This article will explore the Euronymous cause of death and its aftermath.

The Rise and Fall of Mayhem

Mayhem was formed in 1984 by Euronymous, bassist Necrobutcher and drummer Manheim. The band soon gained a reputation for their chaotic live shows, where they used corpse paint, animal heads, blood and pyrotechnics. In 1988, they recruited vocalist Dead and drummer Hellhammer, who added to the band’s dark and morbid image. Dead was known for his depressive personality and his fascination with death. He would often cut himself on stage and bury his clothes before a show to make them smell like a grave.

In 1991, Dead committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun after slitting his wrists. Euronymous was the first to discover his body and instead of calling the police, he took pictures of the corpse and collected some skull fragments as souvenirs. One of these pictures was later used as the cover of a bootleg live album called The Dawn of the Black Hearts. According to Kerrang!, Euronymous told Necrobutcher that “Dead has done something really cool! He killed himself”. Necrobutcher was shocked and disgusted by Euronymous’ reaction and left the band.

Euronymous then hired Varg Vikernes, also known as Count Grishnackh, as the new bassist. Vikernes was the sole member of the one-man project Burzum, which had released two albums on Euronymous’ label. The two initially shared a common interest in Satanism and anti-Christianity, but soon developed a rivalry over their ideological and musical differences. Vikernes also claimed that Euronymous owed him money and royalties from his albums.

The Night of the Murder

On the night of August 10, 1993, Vikernes drove from Bergen to Oslo with a friend named Snorre Ruch, also known as Blackthorn, who was the guitarist of another black metal band called Thorns. They arrived at Euronymous’ apartment around 3 a.m. and knocked on his door. Euronymous opened the door and greeted them, but Vikernes quickly attacked him with a knife. A struggle ensued and Euronymous tried to escape, but Vikernes chased him down the stairs and stabbed him repeatedly in the neck, chest and back. According to Dead or Kicking, Vikernes stabbed Euronymous over 20 times, with two fatal wounds to the head and neck.

Vikernes then fled the scene with Ruch and drove back to Bergen. He later claimed that he acted in self-defense, as he believed that Euronymous was planning to torture and kill him. He said that he had received a contract from Euronymous that stated that he had to record an album with Mayhem or he would be killed. He also said that Euronymous had boasted about killing people and had a collection of weapons and explosives in his apartment.

However, these claims were disputed by other members of the black metal scene, who said that Euronymous was not serious about his violent statements and that he was actually afraid of Vikernes. They also said that Vikernes had planned the murder in advance and had bragged about it afterwards.

The Aftermath of the Murder

The murder of Euronymous shocked the Norwegian society and brought attention to the underground black metal scene, which had been involved in a series of church arsons, vandalism and other crimes since the late 1980s. The police arrested Vikernes and Ruch, along with several other black metal musicians, who were suspected of being part of a Satanic cult called the “Black Metal Inner Circle”. Vikernes was charged with murder, arson and possession of explosives. He denied being a Satanist and claimed to be a follower of Odinism, a form of neo-paganism based on Norse mythology.

In 1994, Vikernes was convicted of murder and four counts of arson and sentenced to 21 years in prison, which is the maximum penalty in Norway. Ruch was convicted of being an accessory to murder and sentenced to eight years in prison. Both appealed their sentences but were unsuccessful.

The murder also had a profound impact on the black metal scene itself. Many bands distanced themselves from Vikernes and condemned his actions. Some bands changed their musical style or their lyrical themes, while others disbanded or went on hiatus. Mayhem continued with a new line-up, featuring vocalist Attila Csihar, who had recorded the vocals for their debut album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which was released in 1994. The album is considered a masterpiece of black metal and a tribute to Euronymous.

Euronymous is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of black metal. He is credited with creating the distinctive sound and aesthetic of the genre, as well as inspiring many other musicians. He is also remembered for his controversial and provocative personality, which made him a legend and a martyr in the eyes of some fans. His death marked the end of an era for the Norwegian black metal scene and the beginning of a new one.

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