Hellig Usvart - Controversies


Upon the initial release of Hellig Usvart, a publicity campaign was launched throughout the black metal community, revolving around Sherlock being credited as "Anonymous". Unsuccessful death-threats were given to Markus Staiger at Nuclear Blast to reveal the identity of the anonymous musician who had created the album, although the identity of the musician was later revealed as Jayson Sherlock. Horde as an entity also received death threats for being a Christian band playing black metal. In an interview with Son of Man Records' Erasmus, Sherlock says: "I only ever heard about them second hand. I never personally received any death threats at all, not one. I kept hearing but that was all." Because of the intense, furious anti-satanic themes of "horn crushing" and "goat violence," the album was widely thought to be a parody of the black metal scene. As an evidence of that, on June 6, 1995, the Norwegian newspaper Morgenbladet wrote an article about the phenomenon of Horde, writing: "Horde's album is an abrupt satire of the Norwegian black metal movement." The same article says of Hellig Usvart that "all the obligatory Spinal Tap references are here: Anonymous plays 'Total Apocalyptic Lead Guitar' and 'Cataclysmic Bass Rumblings'. Obviously 'amplified to eleven'." However, Sherlock clears the parody controversy up in a 2006 interview:

Within the black metal scene, watching all the way across the world, all I could see was a bleak, dark, hopeless, lifeless and negative void. All I wanted to do was to shine a light into that darkness. Give an alternative that was comparable in sound to the scene I was trying to infiltrate, to provide some hope, some light. That was all. No mockery, no parody, no jokes. I would never mock any style of music, nor would I mock the musicians themselves. I have great respect for them. The music of Immortal, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, etc. is incredible, masterful. One can still show respect, while disagreeing with certain lyrical content. I wanted to remain unknown for as long as I could, to sustain the mystery. I could not resist the similarity of Anonymous to Euronymous, so, regardless of the existence of Euronymous, I was still going to be known as Anonymous. Just a coincidence that both the words were so similar. Also the reference to 'Unblack Mark' was a play on 'Black Mark Records' which is Bathory's label. This was the only light hearted element of the entire project.

—Jayson Sherlock (Anonymous) on Horde's assumed parody controversy in a 2006 interview with Son of Man Records.

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