The Singapore government would rather incur the wrath of devil worshippers than deal with an even scarier group of people: conservative Singaporeans.
On grounds of preserving “public order”, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered the cancellation of a performance by Swedish black metal band Watain, who was scheduled to play at Ebenex Live Space tonight. To make it even more painful for concert organizers Ravage Records, the authorities had initially allowed the show to go on — albeit a more watered down version that does away with Watain’s usual repertoire of anti-Christian songs and stage set-ups involving Satanic imagery.
To add salt to the wound, MHA ordered the cancellation just hours before the show was due to kick off.
“MHA has expressed serious concerns about the concert, given the band’s history of denigrating religious and promoting violence, which has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore’s social harmony,” wrote the Infocomm Media Development Authority in a press release.
The black metal band is known among the heavy metal circuit as being extreme in their beliefs — they’ve spoken openly about literally worshipping the devil and even have an altar to Satan as part of their stage set-up. In 2014, fans who attended their Brooklyn show were doused in pig’s blood, causing some of them to throw up and cry. The important thing to note is that nobody complained.
“Watain is known for its Satanist views and some for their previous controversial performances involved animal carcasses and throwing pig’s blood on its audience. The band also espouses anti-Christian views and advocates Satanism through their songs, and endorses violence.”
A similar case took place in 2013, though it didn’t need the government to get involved. British goth/symphonic metal outfit Cradle Of Filth had their show canceled at the last minute when the management of the venue they were playing at (Powerhouse at St James Power Station) pulled a huge dick move. After getting alerted about the band’s background, the venue’s owners pulled out on grounds that Cradle of Filth’s lyrical content contains “heavy (anti-religious) elements and vulgarities”.
Summoning the righteous wrath
Though it’s a sad day for metalheads and the general expression of art in Singapore, the move to cancel the show would be great news to the thousands of conservatives who urged the government to ban Watain from playing here. Over 16,000 signatures were gathered in a petition to urge the government to prevent Watain and Soilwork from performing in Singapore — even though Soilwork is more of a melodic death metal outfit not associated at all with Satanism.
Ravage Records and Watain have yet to issue a statement about the canceled show.