There’s just something about Russia and the other slavic states that don’t mix very well with any heavier kind of music. This was shown especially when a Russian Orthodox group by the name of ‘God’s Will’ began to protest the upcoming Cannibal Corpse tour. The group’s leader, Dmitry Tsorionov made a statement to ria.ru saying
“We send mass requests to the prosecutor, the description of what is happening at the concerts of the group, the texts of their songs, which are described in detail in the rape and murder of children,”
Chairman of the Orthodox Union, Roman Pluta, also stated
“We seek to ban concerts Cannibal Corpse in Russia. Their work is fully covered by the composition of the crime under the articles of the Criminal Code, for fueling religious hatred, promoting exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their religion,”
Historically, Russia hasn’t exactly been known for allowing free speech or artistic expression, especially as of late. With two Pussy Riot members already spending most of two years in prison for protesting against President Putin, and now church groups working to ban Cannibal Corpse because their material is more on the offensive side, it’s becoming harder and harder for artists to play in Russia.
Now, however, things have shown to be even more troublesome as Polish metal band Behemoth has had one of their shows cancelled for “political reasons.” Set to play at a university, the band received a letter as to why they weren’t allowed to play saying they were "a concern for the safety of students and campus workers.” The most troublesome part, however? It was in Poznan, Poland, their home country. In an official statement, the band said
"We have no doubt it is a political decision. It's not the first clampdown on national artists. Poznan, instead of being a free culture centre, begins to resemble Russia.”
This isn’t even the first time something like this has happened, though, as frontman Adam Darski was slapped with charges of insulting religious sentiment back in 2011. Although bands like Cannibal Corpse, who have some quite disturbing lyrics and album art, and Behemoth, who may actually be practicing satanists, have always come under fire from every direction, Poland should not be allowed to prevent the band from making the music that they want to make. In Article 73 of Poland’s constitution, it guarantees freedom of artistic creation and scientific research, as well as free access to cultural goods. Yet, the band gets in trouble at every turn it seems, in Poland and in Russia.
So, it seems such a shame to say, but if you’re an artist who happens to make potentially offensive or controversial music, you’re not very welcome in much of eastern Europe anymore under risk of being detained or worse…
Read more about the cancelled show here