HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Perhaps the most controversial figure in extreme music, Varg Vikernes, (aka Count Grishnackh) has confirmed that, after spending 16 years locked away in a Norwegian prison, he has finally been released. Vikernes is now living in Bø, Norway, with his French wife and young son, and has been quoted as saying, "I'm ready for society - and I have been for many years. I have learned from my mistakes and become older. Now I just want to be together with my family. As I respect others, I want others to respect me. We are really quite ordinary people, and we do not want any more attention than anyone else."

Vikernes has expressed his desire to write books and begin working on new music. No word on whether or not Burzum will continue, but if it does, let's hope the so-called "Casio era" is over. Vikernes was imprisoned in August 1993 after he was convicted of the murder of Euronymous (Oystein Aarseth) and the arson of three churches, and has remained active in a number of far-right/pagan/neosocialist groups during his tenure in prison. In a recent interview, he slammed Dimmu Borgir, saying they exemplify "pathetic, embarrassing, brain-dead, impotent and traditional poser-culture." No word yet on what the Dimmu guys thought of that one.

TIME TO RENEW YOUR LIBRARY CARD: Tom Gabriel Fischer (aka Tom G. Warrior) has signed a deal with Ian Christe's Bazillion Points publishing house for the release of the Celtic Frost / Hellhammer biography "Only Death is Real." A statement from Fischer reads, "The book is due to be published this fall, and this is the culmination of what by now amounts to a good four years of investment, research, writing, and design. All of the former main members of Hellhammer - Steve Warrior, Bruce Day, Martin Eric Ain, and Stephen Priestly - have been involved in this project, along with the primary Hellhammer/Shizo/Celtic Frost photographers of 1983/1984 - Martin Kyburz, Andreas Schwarber, and Csaba Kézér." Keep an eye out for this one, and if you haven't already picked up the mega-sweet "Demon Entrails" triple gatefold LP that came out last year, GET ON THAT.

French atmospheric dark folk outfit Les Discrets have entered the studo to record their debut album. Mainman Fursy Teyssier (Amesoeurs, Phest) commented, "Les Discrets turned into a more "doom / progressive" metal music, with big guitar riffing, huge sound, blast beats but there is still a lot of acoustic stuff, folk and mystical atmospheres. The album gathers songs that were composed spanning the last years, starting from 2003 to February 2009. This is a collection of the best songs that I have composed so far."