CENSORSHIP
Live events sector

 

After a number of shows on Cannibal Corpse’s recent Russian tour were cancelled by local authorities, shortly before or, in one case, during their performance, one of the cities that took against the US death metal band has now banned all of their album artwork and translations of their lyrics. A district court in the city of Ufa last week ruled in favour of a complaint brought by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bashkortostan on the grounds that (according to news agency Rapsi) “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”.

Several shows on the band’s tour of Russia earlier this year were pulled by the authorities, though none on the grounds cited in the lawsuit. In a statement at the time, the band said: “In Ufa the power was turned off shortly before the show (we were told because the venue was late on rent), and in Moscow and St Petersburg we were told that we did not have the correct visas and that if we attempted to perform the concert would be stopped by police and we would be detained and deported (prior to the tour we had been told that we did have the correct visas and that all of our paperwork was in order)” They added: “Our show in Nizhny Novgorod also had problems. In that city we performed half of our set before being stopped by police. We were told the police needed to search the venue for drugs and that the show had to be terminated”.

Formed in 1988, Cannibal Corpse released their debut single, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’, in 1993 – the song gaining a boost in awareness after they performed it in comedy film ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’. The band, as that title would suggest, have always been controversial, though have always defended their music as art. They released their thirteenth album, ‘A Skeletal Domain’, in September – a record featuring some of their least graphic artwork and song titles of their career.

The band said in their earlier statement: “We have played in Russia many times and we love our Russian fans. Hopefully someday the situation for us in Russia will be different and we will be able to return”.