Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has abruptly cancelled a concert by Swedish metal band Watain on the day they were supposed to perform here, after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had expressed concerns over the band’s satanist views.
IMDA decided to cancel the concert for reasons of public order after the MHA “expressed serious concerns about the concert, given the band’s history of denigrating religions and promoting violence, which has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore’s social harmony.”
IMDA, a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information, said in a statement that it had “earlier allowed the concert with a rating of “Restricted 18 (R18)”.”
Due to the band’s history, the board had also “imposed further stringent requirements including the removal of songs which are religiously offensive, that the band cannot make references to religion or use religious symbols, and that no ritualistic acts are performed on stage”.
IMDA’s decision, meanwhile, has provided partial relief to thousands of Singaporeans who had signed a petition to “Ban satanic music groups Watain and Soilwork from performing in Singapore”.
Soilwork is another Swedish heavy metal band alleged by ban petitioners to perform lyrics containing subliminal messages on death and suicide.
The petition which expresses concern about the bands’ offensive lyrics and their influence on youths garnered over 15,000 signatures in a day.
Interestingly, IMDA acknowledges in its press statement that “Watain is known for its Satanist views and some of 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.”
It is unclear why the Government authority, if it had already been aware of the Watain’s history, had approved the concert in the first place.
Presently, it is also unclear whether Soilwork will also be banned from performing in Singapore.
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