Some years ago, several old Norwegian churches of great cultural importance were put on fire. The man finally brought to trial for arson was Varg Vikernes (1973-), commonly referred to as a Satanist, but more accurately described as a deeply anti-Christian and anti-Semite Black Metal musician who claims that he believes in Old Norse gods like Odin and Thor. Though it is generally assumed that he was guilty as hell, there was not enough evidence to have him convicted. Only days later he was arrested again, this time for one of the most brutal murders ever committed in Norway. The court did not buy his story that he had to stab the poor guy scores of times in self-defense, and he was convicted to twenty-one years in prison. He laughed when the sentence was being read. His motive for committing the murder remains unclear; some think that he simply loved to see his face in the papers.
What is interesting to us is that he presented himself as Count Grishnáckh (sic) in court, for which reason he is commonly known as Greven (The Count) in Norway. His one-man Black Metal band was called Burzum, this being the Black Speech word for "darkness", taken from the inscription on the Ring: ...agh burzum-ishi krimpatul, "and in the darkness bind them".
The Count's own comprehensive treatise of his philosophy, Vargsmål, has been published on the net (found here, if you read Norwegian - but some want to have this fascist outburst removed from the net [added: and now they seem to have succeeded!]). His book shows that though he is by common standards a fanatic, he is not stupid. Like Mein Kampf, Vargsmål is unfortunately well written. The Count's philosophy is extreme, based on ideals very far from the ones that are presently endorsed in our society, but his thoughts do form a coherent whole. Basically, he is a Neo-Nazi looking back to a "golden age" in the Viking Era, hoping to restore it in the future. Vikernes loves all things "Nordic" and is proud to call himself a racist. The Aryans are the only race capable of organizing higher cultures, he asserts. Vikernes knows some Old Norse and wants to re-establish the Runes as the Scandinavian alphabet (when the Russians and the Arabs have their own script, he argues, why can't we?) Concerning the names Grishnákh and Burzum, he writes (my translation): "Grishnáckh is a name taken from a book, The Lord of the Rings... Grishnákh (my name has a C added to make it a little unlike the original name) was one of Sauron's warriors. Sauron may be interpreted as Odin, the One Ring as Draupne (the ring of Odin), Trolls as Berserks, Orcs/Uruk-hai as Einherjers, Wargs as Ulfhednes, Barad-Dur ('the dark tower', Sauron's tower and throne) as Hlidskjolf...'the Gate-Tower', the throne of Odin... and much more." I wonder if Vikernes was terribly disappointed when Sauron was actually defeated? Or perhaps he skipped the final chapters?
He continues: "The name Burzum, that I use as a name of the music I have published...is the plural of Burz, meaning night or darkness. Here in the sense of 'darkness and night for the Judeo-Christians, and light and day for the real Germanians!' In the Norse language the ending -um is an ending signifying indefinite plural in all genders. For this simple reason I have used names from this book. It was a way in which to 'camouflage' the heathendom, by using names that had to be interpreted before their connection to heathendom was revealed. This was done to make everything as cryptic and esoteric as possible. Only the most knowledgeable would understand what it was all about."
I can't really see what Old Norse has to do with this, for burzum is 100 % Black Speech, meaning "Darkness". Perhaps I am not among "the most knowledgeable". Vikernes evidently sees Burzum as a kind of bilingual pun, somewhat like Tolkien's own Orthanc = both Sindarin "Mount Fang" and Old English "Cunning Mind".
Vikernes' compositions sometimes have titles like One Ring to Rule and The Crying Orc. A review of the fruits of the "Burzum Project" (as he called it) may be found here. But Tolkien reviewed and described all Black Metal "poetry" before it was ever heard of: "Much of the same sort of talk [as that of the Orcs] can still be heard among the orc-minded; dreary and repetitive with hatred and contempt, too long removed from good to retain even verbal vigour, save in the ears of those to whom only the squalid sounds strong." (LotR Appendix F)