On 6 June 1992, the Fantoft stave church, dating from the 12th century and considered architecturally significant, was burned to the ground in an arson. By January 1993, arson attacks had occurred on at least seven other major stave churches, including one on Christmas Eve of 1992. Vikernes was found guilty of several of these cases: the arson and attempted arson of Åsane Church and Storetveit Church, respectively, in Bergen, the arson of Skjold Church in Vindafjord, and the arson of Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo.
[…] On August 10, 1993, Vikernes and Snorre Ruch traveled from Bergen to Aarseth’s apartment in Oslo. Upon their arrival a confrontation began, which ended when Vikernes fatally stabbed Aarseth. His body was found outside the apartment with twenty-three cut wounds – two to the head, five to the neck, and sixteen to the back.
By 1991, Euronymous was living in a house in the woods near Kråkstad. He shared the house with Mayhem vocalist Per “Dead” Ohlin and the band used it as a place to rehearse. On 8 April 1991, Dead committed suicide while alone in the house. He was found by Euronymous with slit wrists and a shotgun wound to the head. Before calling the police, Euronymous allegedly went to a nearby shop and bought a disposable camera with which he photographed the body, after re-arranging some items. One of these photographs was later used as the cover of a bootleg live album called Dawn of the Black Hearts.
[…] In time, rumors spread that Euronymous had made a stew with bits of Dead’s brain and had made necklaces with bits of his skull. The band later denied the former rumor, but confirmed that the latter was true. Moreover, Euronymous claimed to have given these necklaces to musicians he deemed worthy, which was confirmed by several other members of the scene, like Faust and Metalion.
[…] On 6 June 1992, the Fantoft Stave Church in Bergen was destroyed by arson. Varg Vikernes is strongly suspected as the culprit, but was never convicted. There followed a wave of church burnings across Norway, perpetrated by musicians and fans of the Norwegian black metal scene.Euronymous was present at the burning of Holmenkollen Chapel together with Vikernes and Faust, who were convicted for the arson after Euronymous was dead. To coincide with the release of Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Vikernes and Euronymous had plotted to blow up Nidaros Cathedral, which appears on the album cover. Euronymous’s death in August 1993 put an end to this plan and stalled the album’s release. In a 1993 interview on a Swedish radio show, Euronymous said of the church burnings:
They [Christians] must feel that there is a dark, evil power present that they have to fight, which…will make them more extreme. We also believe that when a church burns it’s not only Christians who suffer, but people in general. Imagine a beautiful old stave church…what happens when it burns? The Christians feel despair, God’s house is destroyed and ordinary people will suffer from grief because something beautiful was destroyed. So you end up spreading grief and despair, which is a good thing.