The Norwegian group Mayhem, which was formed in 1984, is considered the father of Black Metal in Europe. The founder of Mayhem, Oystein Aarseth (1967-1993) (who originally called himself "Destructor" but changed later to "Euronymous," allegedly meaning "the prince of death"), was stabbed to death in 1993. He was murdered by another Death Metal rocker, Varg Vikernes, of the group Burzum. Aarseth was 26 years old. Other band members were called "Necro Butcher," "Dead," and "Hellhammer." One of the trademarks of Mayhem and other Norwegian Black Metal groups is the wearing of "corpsepaint," which is black and white makeup designed to create a morbid appearance. Aarseth operated an occultic bookstore/record shop in Oslo that was very influential upon young people. It was called "Helvete," which is the Norse word for Hell. The vocalist for Mayhem, Per Yngve Ohlin (whose alias was "Dead"), blew his brains out (literally) in April 1991 with a shotgun. His body was found by Oystein Aarseth. Before the police arrived, Aarseth took pictures of Ohlinís shattered body and collected pieces of his brain and skull. Describing the death of his fellow band member, Aarseth replied with complete lack of concern, "Yeah, Dead killed himself." Aarseth made necklaces with the skull pieces and cooked some of the brain and "ate it so he could claim himself to be a cannibal" (Michael Moynihan, Lords of Chaos, p. 59). Ohlin had once stabbed Aarseth with a knife. Ohlin also hated cats and tried to cut them with knives. Ohlin, who saw himself "as a creature from another world," had an obsession with snuff films that depict real deaths by horrible torture.
Death Metal in Scandinavia has been connected with the burning of many churches. Since 1992 there have been at least 45 to 60 church fires, near-fires, and attempted arson attacks in Norway alone. Roughly a third have a documented connection to the Black Metal scene (Lords of Chaos, p. 79). In every case that has been solved, the Kripos (Norwegian national investigation department) found that the arsonists were Black Metal "Satanists." A fire fighter was killed while battling one of the blazes. Black Metal rocker Varg Vikernes (1973- ), who is strongly suspected of setting the first fire in 1992, of an ancient church building in Fantoft, Norway, is in prison for 21 years for the murder of Oystein Aarseth and for setting other church fires. There were roughly a dozen church fires in Germany from late 1993 to early 1997. Most have a proven link to Black Metal and Satanism.