Austrian black metallers BELPHEGOR have apologized to their fans in Russia after thee of the band’s concerts in the country were canceled due to “heavy opposition and censorship.”
BELPHEGOR and NILE were scheduled to play five shows in Russia in April as part of “The Flaming Arts Festival 2016”. But the tour got off to a rough start when BELPHEGOR frontman Helmuth Lehner was allegedly assaulted by a Russian orthodox activist when the group arrived at the Saint-Petersburg airport for the first Russian concert.
Said BELPHEGOR in a statement: “After a great tour kickoff in Minsk, Belarus [18th April], BELPHEGOR dealt with heavy opposition and censorship within Russia resulting in three shows being cancelled.
“We apologize to Russian supporters. The troop tried everything to secure the shows. The St. Petersburg concert was canceled just a few hours before BELPHEGOR was scheduled to enter the stage on the 19th of April. We arrived in Moscow hoping for the best on the 20th. We were ordered to remove the already hanging backdrop, then told that stage props such as sculptures and crosses were forbidden, and Helmuth was not allowed to do vocals for the track ‘Lucifer Incestus’. During the second track, the sound engineer had been forced to mute the vocals for the rest of the show because of our lyrical content. We were outraged by the entire experience. Afterward, we were informed that we would be unable to play in Ekaterinburg (April 21st) and Krasnodar (April 23rd).”
“I’m a musician, not a fighter, especially in Russia. I’ve survived Typhus and have already been dead for six hours, hanging on only by machines followed by open-heart surgery. I do not fear anyone other than myself. No excuses to anyone!! End of story.
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