…but Satanist Norwegian black metal rockers are innocent!
A case has been dropped in the Krakow courts against the band Gorgoroth. They were charged with causing ‘religious offense’ after coming to Krakow two years ago to play a gig covered live on television by the public broadcaster, TVP.
The producer of the TV program, however, still faces charges that could result in up to 2 years in prison. And the police are keeping a file open on possible charges of cruelty against animals.
On stage with the Norwegian rockers were numerous sheep’s’ heads on the end of sticks, and other gory things which many a god-fearing Polish granny might well consider to be a little bit on the devilish side.
When the Director of TVP, Andrzej Jeziorek, sat down in front of the tele that night in February 2004 and saw the Norwegian heavy metallers on his station he was outraged.
"On stage there was blood everywhere. About ten decapitated sheep heads and naked people, alive, on large crosses," Jeziorek told the Norwegian newspaper VG. "Everyone was painted with 100 liters of sheep blood. Also there were Satanist symbols everywhere. One of the hanging female models fainted and an ambulance had to be called."
Outraged TVP staff called the cops and handed over the TV pictures for ‘further investigation’. (see video of the gig here)
The case against Gorgoroth (maybe they just have a ‘special’ sense of humour?) has been dropped because the Courts think that the Norwegians were unaware that there is a law in Poland that says that you cannot offend someone’s religious sensibilities.
Satanism is said to have come to Poland via the internet, where web sites such as satan.pl keep devotees up on all the latest developments in devil worship. These sites attract mostly teenage males with spots who want to shock mum and dad.
Having pretend crucifixion on stage is rather an adolescent thing to do, and I can understand why some might find sheep’s blood all over the place offensive, but why is offending someone in Poland against the law?
I don’t think that the lead singer of Gorgoroth, Infernus (real name Roger Tlegs) is particularly bothered about legal proceedings in Krakow at the moment, though, as he is right in the middle of appealing against the three year prison sentence he is currently serving for rape!
Not a very nice bunch of lads for sure, but making things illegal because they might offend someone is bad news for free speech – even if that free speech involves Norwegian black metal ‘musicians’, ten sheep’s heads, and a few liters of blood.