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Movie Review: Until The Light Takes Us

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It’s a good year for documentary films about sincere and dedicated heavy metal musicians from the frozen north, doggedly dedicated to their craft after decades of toil, despite a lack of commercial success. But unlike the surprise hit Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, the newly released Until The Light Takes Us, directed by Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell, is no heartwarmer. It’s more horror movie than documentary, and the realization that these guys are still following their dreams may prompt some viewers to wonder what can be done to stop them.

For one thing, this is no bro-mance. Lips and Robb from Anvil are partners for life, which is what that movie is really about. These Black Metal guys from Norway are staunchly independent operators. None of them talk about brotherhood or unity, instead expressing a desire to be left alone. And while Anvil wants nothing more than to get their music out to the people, the Norwegians actively despise the audience they do have. “Whoever is responsible for turning this into a trend thing,” says Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell from Darkthrone, spitting out the word “trend” with complete disgust, “it’s not us.” One suspects that if this film ended with a triumphant performance for thousands of screaming fans, the musicians would be offended by the sight of so many fake, trendy, mainstream people getting into their tunes and giving them money.