January 14, 2008

January 14 | Terje Bakken

September 3, 1978 - January 14, 2004: Age 25

Terje Bakken was Valfar, lead singer and founder of the Norwegian Black Metal band Windir (which means "warrior"). An accordion player as a youngster, he turned to Black Metal in his teens, and began incorporating the folk hymns and tunes he knew into the music he was making. He found folk tales a rich source of lyrics, as the stories are often filled with war, love, death, violence, etc.

On January 14, 2004 he started to walk to his family's cabin in Norway. The weather turned ugly and, when he didn't arrive, the community organized a search. He was found on January 17, frozen to death. Surprised by the bad weather and deep snow, he had started back toward home but never made it.

I have had a couple of occasions to look at the Norwegian Metal scene, and it's a lot like the age group and gender it attracts: perplexing, violent, creative, frustrating, at times surprisingly tenderhearted. I encourage you to check out their music here — this is Bakken's band, Windir, who disbanded a few months after he died. If you're not used to this kind of music, you may be shocked (I was!) but keep an open mind. Lots of people love it — take some time to wonder why. Then check out this interview with Bakken, sans makeup, on YouTube. He was 21 at the time of the interview and he seems like a shy, intelligent, polite young man.

Sources: Wikipedia, Windir homepage


daap said...

Not a big fan of the Sognametal, but such a huge talent wasted.

Morten said...

One of the biggest talents in the black metal scene...
At least his music is kept alive by Cor Scorpii, Mistur, Sigtyr, Feigd and Vreid. I try to keep a little piece of his art alive too in my music.
He may be dead since almost 6 years, but he made himself immortal with his music, and this he will be!

Honouring hails from Germany...