It’s no surprise that Russia has it out for Cannibal Corpse these days. When the band was doing their tour over there, most of their shows had the plug pulled for “technical reasons.” They even had some riot officers show up and cancel the show after they’d played for 30 minutes, and even detained a few fans. The technical problems in Russia are so bad, apparently, as 4 of the bands 8 shows were cancelled. It was the same story for Behemoth; half of their shows got cancelled for no reason, in Poland no less. Marilyn Manson even had 2 of his shows cancelled back in June.
Now, however, Russia have taken their hate for Cannibal Corpse to a new level. The translation of their song lyrics has been requested by courts to be completely banned from distribution there. This is nothing new, the band’s lyrics have been banned in both Australia and Germany in the past, but those bans have since been lifted. Everyone knows that the politics in Russia are regressive and nonsensical most of the time, but they’ve really been taking leaps backwards lately.
The call to ban the bands lyrics came down to the Oktyabrsky district court of Ufa. The suit was filed after the court got complaints from Ufa residents. The claimant stated that
“lyrics by the band Cannibal Corpse could damage the mental health of children because they contain descriptions of violence, the physical and mental abuse of people and animals, murder and suicide – all accompanied by illustrations.”
While this is a fairly accurate description of Cannibal Corpse’s music, citing the mental health of children seems to be a bit of a cop out. For Russian music fans, this could be very troubling, as there’s not much stopping courts for banning other heavy music as well.
Not only will bands in the future have to dodge claims of affecting children’s mental health, but also of insulting religion. Back in July of 2013, Russia successfully passed some anti-blasphemy laws, which threatened potential fines or even prison sentences for insulting “the feelings of religious believers.”
So, it seems that these are just the first steps when it comes to banning music entirely. First it was canceling shows, banning the translated lyrics, and in the future, maybe banning the music altogether. All of the claims against bans like Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth are pretty warranted to some degree, as the music can be a bit perverse at times, but they’re still claims that can be made against any band.