More metal bands to update your playlist with

Death/black metal bands are the devil’s advocates. That much is clear, at least to one pious individual.

Conservative activist Rachel Chan made headlines early this March when she called for a petition protesting against the arrival of Swedish black metal band Watain. The petition on spun into virality, and along with it amassed some 20,000 signatures in favour of lawmakers to cancel the gig. Her cries of alleged concern were heard when Home Affairs minister K. Shanmugam revoked the band’s performance permit for later that evening.

Now Chan is back with a new list of bands that she doesn’t quite fancy, titled “More extreme (death and black) metal bands scheduled to perform in Singapore”; an updated list of metal groups slated to perform in Singapore that she hopes government officials will once more banish from our shores. The upgraded list includes Dutch death metal band Pestilence, Canadian technical death metal group Cryptopsy, Swedish melodic metal band Soilwork, and even ropes in local metal festival Metal United World Wide.


“Black metal (initially a synonym for 'Satanic metal') has often sparked controversy due to the actions and ideologies associated with the genre. Many artists express extreme anti-Christian and misanthropic views, advocating various forms of Satanism or ethnic paganism. In the 1990s, members of the scene were responsible for the spate of church burnings and murders,” she states in her newly updated petition, leaving many to wonder if she has actually listened to Soilwork’s music before including them in her list.

The ongoing debate centered around religion and its socio-conscious ethics that spirals into a catch-22 that has existed since the dawn of time; but it’s important to keep in mind that freedom of speech still applies to art, and that people are allowed to enjoy things that you don’t necessarily like, just as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. Just like there is a sub-genre of black metal music, there is also a gospel category that encompasses songs deeply rooted in religious beliefs not everyone might share.

But hey, over 23,000 people seem to agree with Chan, and it has already happened once before.

So while we’re at it, let’s ban every pop hit that’s tarnishing the charts with sexual, violent and explicit lyrics. If influence is the concern here, we certainly should not allow our youth access to Eminem’s offensive lyrics or Nicki Minaj’s booty-poppin’ songs. Cinemas should be purged of any films containing themes or characters of inappropriate or violent nature (that’s right I’m looking at you, Thanos). In the same vein, art should be restricted to content that is only approved by every citizen, lest they rot the brains of our youth. Right?

Whatever the result of this second petition, we know one thing's for sure: the metal genre has never been as popular here than it is now, all thanks to our favourite self-righteous local changemaker.

Pestilence plays Jun 7 at EBX Live Space, with tickets here; Cryptopsy plays Jul 5 at The Substation, tickets here; Soilwork plays Oct 2 at EBX Live Space, tickets here, and Metal United World Wide happens on Jun 15 at SLED Production X Decline, tickets here.