Singapore black metal band cancels Easter concert in Malaysia after complaint from Council of Churches

Singapore black metal band cancels Easter concert in Malaysia after complaint from Council of Churches

Devouror, a Singapore-based black metal band. (Photo: Facebook/Devouror)

SINGAPORE: Singapore-based black metal band Devouror has cancelled its performance in Kuala Lumpur that was scheduled to take place on Easter Sunday. 

The decision came after the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) questioned why authorities allowed the band to perform on the most important day on the Christian calendar. 

"The CCM calls upon the relevant authorities to explain the basis for granting permission to such bands that promote their music by using extremely offensive and denigrating language that can hurt the religious feelings of others," the council's general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said in a statement on Monday (Apr 15). 

“This will be considered an affront to the religious sentiments of Christians in the country."

Later on Monday, concert organiser Goatlordth Records announced the cancellation in a Facebook post, saying it is "devastated" that the show had to "submit to its fate of cancellation".

The Malaysia-based record label added that there have been misconceptions about the genre of music. 

"As the media has misled many, ‘Satan worshipping music’ is nothing more than just a connotation of arts," it said. 

"As many other people like their horror movies gory, cheesy and bad, heavy metal - or to be more appropriately put - ‘Extreme Music’ is equally meant to be expressive and provocative by its obscure fans."

Formed in November 2018, Devouror is made up of five members, including 46-year-old founder Ariffeen Deen, whose stage name is Shyaithan.

Slay For Satan, Devouror's debut EP, was released on Jan 21 this year.

The band defines its music as "Bestial Deathcult Warfare", and cites influence from other metal groups such as Possessed, Sarcofago, Necrovore, Blasphemy, Death and Sodom.

Mr Ariffeen, an active performer since 1990, met Swedish black metal band Watain in Singapore last month, following the last-minute cancellation of its performance. Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) objected to the concert, saying it has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore's social harmony.

READ: Watain concert cancelled based on Christian community’s reaction after initial approval

READ: 'Like a stab in the back': Anger, disappointment after Swedish metal band Watain's concert cancelled

In his ministerial statement on hate speech, Singapore's Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said his ministry took into consideration the Christian community's reaction to Watain's concert. 

“Given that many Christians felt this was deeply offensive, denigrating, MHA advised IMDA (Info-communications Media Development Authority) to cancel," Mr Shanmugam said in Parliament earlier this month.

"My officers and I took into account the reaction of the Christian community ... and the broader security implications of that reaction, both in the medium and longer term."

Source: CNA/ic(gs)