Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnackh), the former BURZUM mastermind who was convicted of murdering MAYHEM guitarist Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous) in August 1993 and setting fire to three churches, is a free man.
"I can confirm that I have been released from prison," Vikernes told Norway's Dagbladet.
Although his parole application was denied four times — most recently in September 2008 — Vikernes received word in February that he would be released after serving almost 16 years in prison. He was finally allowed to leave a couple of weeks ago, according to Dagbladet.
"I will have to report [to the parole officer] for one year — initially every two weeks, and then once a month," Vikernes said.
For the past couple of years, Varg had been allowed to leave the prison regularly to walk around Tromsø, Norway (where the prison is located) and visit his family.
Last year it was reported that case workers at the Justice Ministry feared that Vikernes would be unable to adjust to life on the outside after his years in jail.
"I'm ready for society — and I have been for many years," Vikernes told Dagbladet last July. "I have learned from my mistakes and become older. Now I just want to be together with my family."
He added, "My mind has never been in prison; I think all the time about what I should do on the day that I am released.
"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.
"I miss my family. And I look forward the day that I could work on my farm, create music, write books and be with the wife and kids around the clock — and live a normal life.
A photo of Varg Vikernes's new home in Bø, a municipality in the county of Telemark, Norway, can be viewed below (picture courtesy of Varden.no). Vikernes purchased the farm sometime last year and is planning to spend most of his time on the property with his French wife and son, both of whom had already been living at the home for quite some time.
"As I respect others, I want others to respect me," Varg told Varden.no last summer. "We are really quite ordinary people, and we do not want any more attention than anyone else."
Jackson Rathbone, the teen heartthrob from "Twilight", has reportedly agreed to play Vikernes in the upcoming movie "Lords Of Chaos".
Based on Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind's book of the same name, the film depicts true events and revolves around the black metal sub-culture that spawned a wave of murders and church arsons across Norway in the early 1990s.
Making his English-language debut with "Lords Of Chaos" will be hot Japanese director Sion Sono.
Stuart Pollok of Los Angeles-based Saltire Entertainment, Ko Mori of Eleven Arts and Oh Jungwan of Korea's Bom Productions are producing the film, which starts shooting in Norway in mid-September.
In a 2004 statement posted on the Burzum.org web site, Vikernes slammed the "Lord Of Chaos" book as "a pool of mud," insisting that "the vast majority of all the statements made in this book are either misinterpretations; taken out of context; misunderstandings; malicious lies made by enemies; a result of ignorance; extreme exaggerations; and/or third-hand information at best. This includes the statements attributed to me!" He went on to say, "This book serves only one single purpose and that is to create a myth around my name and to mystify me. If that was their objective they have indeed succeeded with their work. Well, the book seems to have served one other purpose too. The authors have managed to fill the heads of a generation of metal fans with lies. What could have been a righteous revolt has been made into some pathetic, embarrassing, brain-dead, impotent and traditional poser-culture best exemplified by bands like DIMMU BORGIR — and indeed VENOM!"
Varg's new home (photo below is displayed from Varden.no):
Photo below courtesy of Burzum.org