Several dates of the U.S. death metal band Cannibal Corpse’s Russian tour were canceled following protests from local Orthodox activists.
Last Saturday, a show in Moscow’s Glavklub was canceled by the promoter, who said that the decision was made after problems with sound equipment.
“The official reason is that a combo broke down,” Stas Zaliznyak, the promoter, was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Interfax. “That’s all I can say.”
Those who showed up for the concert scheduled to be held at one of the city’s main rock music venues later said on social media that police officers and vehicles were present in unusually high numbers.
Last month, before the beginning of Cannibal Corpse’s Russian tour, activists from the organization Orthodox Union sent an address to the prosecutor’s office demanding that the tour be canceled.
“Cannibal Corpse’s work is punishable under the Russian Federation’s Criminal Code as it incites religious division and propagates people’s exceptionality, superiority or inferiority based on their attitudes about religions,” reads the address, adding that the band’s lyrics feature “death, violence, including sexual violence, as well as various kinds of sexual perversion.”
The prosecutor’s office did not officially react to the address. However, nearly all the shows on the band’s Russian tour encounter problem of one kind or another.
The band’s performances in Ufa and St. Petersburg were canceled “for technical reasons.” In Chelyabinsk, the local prosecutor’s office demanded that fans under 18 not be admitted and three songs were banned. In Nizhni Novgorod, police raided the venue during the show, which was stopped in the middle.
Last May, Russian Orthodox activists were able to stop a tour by the Polish death metal band Behemoth.
Over the last few years, conservative activists in Russia have often targeted music concerts and film screenings.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.