Norway’s most notorious musician to be released from prison

Black-metal icon, far-right political activist, convicted murderer, and, er, grim dude Varg Vikernes is to walk free after 16 years

Varg Vikernes

Varg Vikernes

It is never reassuring to hear that a man who calls himself Count Grishnackh is to be released from prison. And yet that is what is happening to the Norwegian black-metal icon Varg Vikernes, who murdered Mayhem’s guitarist and set three churches on fire.

It was just 16 years ago that Vikernes was sitting in an Oslo court, smiling as he received a maximum sentence. Best known as the leader of Burzum – whose first album begins with a song called Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown – Vikernes was also a far-right political activist and, er, grim dude.

Though he was refused four times for parole – most recently in September 2008 – Vikernes is now set to walk free, he told Daglabet magazine.

“I’m ready for society — and I have been for many years,” Vikernes emphasised in an interview last July. “I have learned from my mistakes and become older. Now I just want to be together with my family … I have barely seen my son since he came into the world. Even though I hear his voice on the phone almost every day, it is very tough to not be present while he is growing up.”

For the past couple of years, Vikernes has been allowed to leave the prison and make visits to his family, according to Blabbermouth. His mother, wife, 18-month-old son and 16-year-old daughter all live in Tromsø near the prison. “I look forward the day that I [can] work on my farm, create music, write books and be with the wife and kids around the clock — and live a normal life,” he said.

Though Vikernes will no longer be bound by prison schedules, he will have to regularly report to a parole officer, intially for every two weeks and then once a month. Count Grishnackh plans to move to a small farm near Bø and says he no longer has any ties with far-right Norwegian groups.

“My mind has never been in prison,” he said. “I think all the time about what I should do on the day that I am released.”

May we suggest that he cuddle some kittens?

Source: Commentary by the Guardian UK

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