• Axl Rosenberg


I can’t even believe that shit like this still happens in America in 2009, but that’s progress for you. Reader Andrew Morales sent us a link to this story from the Examiner – which I gather is either a Christian publication, or one where the reporters are very, very biased – that reports on a controversy brewing with regards to Toxic Holocaust and The Black Dahlia Murder playing at a Christian-run venue in Nashville last night. The biased writing of the article makes the whole thing inadvertently hilarious – check out some excerpts:

Tonight Channel 2 WKRN reported on a story concerning Nashville’s Christian teen hangout, Rocketown, which is presenting a show of hardcore satanic metal music the week of Halloween (see video below). Keith Mohr, the founder and president of gospel music’s Indieheaven.com, was briefly interviewed regarding his recent experience with the teen ministry.

The article then goes on:

“My wife and myself are concerned parents,” Keith explained, saying they have a 16-year-old son who wanted to attend a pre-Halloween-themed concert at Rocketown coming up on October 27 after a friend shared songs by The Black Dahlia Murder with him. “My son liked the way their music sounded,” Mohr said, stating he and his wife listened to the songs, and although the lyrics were hard to understand, they found the music to be “very dark sounding.”

Yes, the music The Black Dahlia Murder play is, indeed, “very dark sounding.” Ooooh, spooky. The piece continues:

Mohr points out, “Their lyrics are anti-christian and very graphic.” One example is the The Black Dahlia Murder song “Black Valor” which proclaims:

Join us! Black valor’s on our side / Striking with satanic force we’ll crush their fabled Christ

Mohr also visited The Black Dahlia Murder’s MySpace where he watched a promotional video about the band. “They were doing drugs and drinking on their tour bus. I am sure other impressionable youth have seen this video and been impacted by their activities.” 

Mohr isn’t wrong – those lyrics are definitely “anti-christian” – but he completely fails to consider that a) the band could be singing from the point of view of a character and not necessarily endorsing the crushing of “their fabled Christ,” and b) even if the band strongly believes in every word they’re saying (which is entirely possible – I have no idea what BDM’s feelings on Christianity are), there’s this little thing here in America called “Freedom of Speech” that gives The Black Dahlia Murder, and the rest of us, the right to say whatever the fuck we please.

Meanwhile, no one from Toxic Holocaust or The Black Dahlia Murder is interviewed in the article. And the aforementioned television “news” reporter is just as stupid. A statement from Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind (via Metal Underground) reads as follows:

“Unfortunately, the protesters here don’t see the tongue-in-cheek aspect of any of this, and are taking everything at face value. What else is new? Whatever you do don’t look into or research anything, and don’t, god forbid, think differently. Fuck it, while we’re at it, don’t think at all. To clear a few things up, there was a news clip that showed our video ‘Nuke the Cross’ and then directly cut to lyrics for a song called ‘Hang the Pope.’ Even though we did record a cover of that song on our first demo, that song is actually by Nuclear Assault. I think that was done intentionally to make the story have more impact and more shock value.

“Secondly, I want to thank the people running Rocketown for allowing this show to go on despite the protests. It just proves that being Christian and being closed minded doesn’t have to be synonymous with each other. Everyone has a right to believe in whatever they want. If it empowers you and doesn’t infringe on anyone else, then I’m all for it. Sadly the herd mentality of organized religion doesn’t work like that. It’s too much of a threat to the very foundation on which it’s based. Let’s end organized religion and stop the real evil in this world.”

I’m having trouble with the embed code for the video, but you can watch it here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

This whole thing is obviously ridiculous, and as Grind says, it’s great that the venue allowed the show to go on instead of succumbing to pressure from a group of total morons. But that doesn’t make shit like this any less infuriating. Although, as a metalhead, I guess you hafta be used to it – this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it won’t be the last.


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