Banhammer: Nine Metal Bands That Got Banned

It would seem that metal music isn't welcome everywhere.

Ultimate Guitar

Although it might sound odd, metal music can still get you banned in some parts of the world. These are nine cases when guitar-heavy music earned the performing artist a dose of banhammer, check 'em out below.

Cannibal Corpse Banned in Australia for a Decade

Back in '96, controversial death metallers Cannibal Corpse got banned in Australia as a part of the country's "labeling code of practice." The ban lasted for an entire decade, and ultimately ended in 2006, when the band published each of their 10 records in the land down under.

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Sabaton Banned in Russia as Nazis

In 2013, Sabaton were banned from performing at 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, following accusations of being Nazi sympathizers. The band issued the following statement:

"We have been reached by the news that some organizations and political representatives who claims to have studied us has come to the conclusion that Sabaton are a Nazi band, and because of that our scheduled appearance at the 70th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad should be cancelled. These people believe that we will desecrate the Russian flag during our concert (which we have never done and of course have no intention of doing) and they are now trying their best to ban Sabaton from all of Russia!

"We know that the people of Russia is far more intelligent than this and thus we hope that reason will allow us to play this concert in honor of this historical event and the Soviet soldiers who fought for their freedom. Sabaton is and has always been a NON-POLITICAL and NON-RELIGIOUS band and holds a lot of respect to the veterans of war and the heroic and non-selfish acts that was performed in a time of need."

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Metallica Banned From Performing 'Master of Puppets' in China

The fact that Metallica classic "Master of Puppets" deals with drugs was a no-no for authorities in China. The fact that the song was nowhere near pro-drugs had no impact, of course, leaving 'Tallica with no choice but to exclude "Master" from the setlist of their 2013 China show.

Guitarist Kirk Hammett explained: "We had to give them a whole set of songs and they went through all the lyrics and okayed which ones we could play, which ones we couldn't play. They see a lyric like 'Master of Puppets' being so subversive that they're not allowing us to play it. It's kind of scary."

They still managed to sneak the tune in though. "What I did is, I had an open guitar solo thing where I just sit there and riff. I played the riff for 'Master of Puppets' and a couple of other songs that weren't allowed to be played. I played just the music, so I kind of snuck it in there," Kirk said.

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Some Death Metal Dudes Who Mutilate Themselves With Cheese Graters Onstage Banned From Mutilating Themselves With Cheese Graters Onstage

In more recent events, a band called Eat the Turnbuckle got banned from performing in Glasgow due to their onstage behavior. The band members have a peculiar habit of senselessly bashing each other with anything from baseball bats to cheese graters, causing the authorities to reach for the banhammer.

Guitarist El Schlak-O said: "I don't know what the problem was. We are an internationally touring band. We keep our stage antics and violence to ourselves. It doesn't disperse amongst the crowd, but apparently we are being crucified for no reason. It's a God-given right to watch something if you choose to.

"There is wrestling doing the exact same thing without music so I don't get it. It is cheese graters and going through tables, jumping off ladders and barbed wire, you name it. We are professionals. We have been doing this for many years now and it has gotten us all over the world. Hopefully people will open their mouths and tell the government off. We'll be back. They're not going to keep us out."

Cradle of Filth Banned in China, Their Music Branded 'Unsuitable to Play in Mainland China'

This one took place in 2013, as the music of Cradle of Filth was labeled "unsuitable to play in mainland China."

The band stated: "Unfortunately at this time The Cultural Section of the Chinese Government have decided that Cradle of Filth are unsuitable to play in Mainland China and so we are currently banned from playing there."

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Behemoth Banned in Russia, Nergal Calls Putin an 'Idiot'

Last year, Behemoth only got to play four out of 13 scheduled shows in Russia before being detained and deported.

Frontman Nergal explained: "There were so many forces struggling us and trying to stop us on our way to finish the tour that we had to give up, basically, when they put us behind bars and literally forced us to leave the country. We couldn't hit that wall anymore, so we just gave up and came back to Poland, and we actually got banned for five years to enter Russia."

He continued: "Let's just wait for better times there, because I, honestly, love the people there. And it's good crowds and it's amazing people. I love Russians. It's just the little fact that they have an idiot as a leader of the country."

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Rammstein Banned in Germany for Promoting Unprotected Sex

Back in 2009, Rammstein faced the banhammer in their own country, as "Liebe Ist Für Alle Da" was banned from public display in German stores on account of the album's depictions of sadism and masochism, as well as for promoting unprotected sex.

The report reads: "The German Federal Office for the Examination of Media Harmful to Young People in Bonn also criticized the single 'P-ssy,' stating that it incites listeners to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse despite the risk of AIDS."

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Carcass Not Welcome in Malaysia

Earlier this year, Carcass faced a ban to perform in Malaysia, as the band got their visas declined on the basis of their lyrical content.

The group stated: "Sorry Malaysia, no show for you guys in May. Seems like your government officials still haven't updated their calendars to the 21st century - we've had our visas declined on the basis of our 'lyrical content.' Laughable and embarrassing. Give us a call when you get yourselves a sensible secular state. PS: If you're reading this you're too late, we already 'corrupted' your youth and played Kuching last year!"

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Slayer's 'Christ Illusion' Banned in India

Back in 2006, a Christian group in India called Catholic Secular Forum urged that Slayer's "Christ Illusion" is banned, ultimately causing the authorities to recall every copy of the record.

CSF general secretary noted that the album's cover offends them, as it depicts "Christ with a missing eye and amputated arms." He added: "We also condemn the track, 'Skeleton Christ' as the lyrics are an insult to Christianity."

Additionally, the CSF have also sent a memorandum to Mumbai's police commissioner, saying that the album "will affect the sensibilities of the Muslims on the track 'Jihad' and secular Indians who have respect for all faiths."

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In Soviet Russia...

We'll wrap things up with this little list from last year. It shows artists who were banned in the Soviet Union for various reasons.

As the rundown clearly notes, AC/DC earned their ban for supposedly spreading neofascism, and so did Julio Iglesias. Furthermore, KISS were dubbed as nationalistic, whereas Pink Floyd were "interfering with foreign policy of USSR in Afghanistan."

Additionally, Judas Priest got labeled for anticommunism, Van Halen were written off for anti-Soviet propaganda, Ramones and Sex Pistols were "punk," which was apparently a crime of its own, while the Village People, those dressed-up guys performing "YMCA" and "Macho Man," got banned for promoting violence.

The rest of the list includes Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Talking Heads and more. Make sure to check it out below.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    'Some Death Metal Dudes Who Mutilate Themselves With Cheese Graters Onstage Banned From Mutilating Themselves With Cheese Graters Onstage' That is an incredible sentence right there...
    Genghis Khan, a disco band, banned from Russia. Anything more ridiculous? Village People for violence? That just takes the cake.
    Especially since "Kenet Hit"(never heard of him) is banned for 'homo-eroticism', but the Village People aren't somehow.
    I think far more interesting than the little Rammstein ban for pussy (which was actually just a side thing, the main ban went against Ich Tu Dir Weh) is the fact that Belarus denies them to enter the state, having officially called ''enemies of the state'' because they support homosexuality in their stage shows. Enemy of the state - Now THAT's a ban!
    So if I make a band that worships Stalin, could I play in soviet russia?
    No, you can't play there because soviet russia stopped existing 24 years ago.
    LOL look at Pink Floyd! HAHAHAHA!! What In Hell???? hahhaha! Nonsense... OMG for real? I can't believe this... I bet this is a joke haha! EDIT: Sorry guys, I was on shock haha!
    Back in the day Maiden was banned in Costa Rica (religious reasons), didn't play there till flight 666 (I think. Either that or one of the more recent albums)
    Looks like 2/3 of comments don't know history and the difference between Soviet Union and Russia. Actually a lot of them performed in Russia.
    Looks like people in the Soviet Union didn't like sex. That must be why people used to describe it as a boring place.
    Well Cannibal Corpse is the most ****ing retarded band in the world, so no one cares about them 'cept for psychopaths. And PUNK IS A CRIME Other than that I was laughing through almost the whole article
    Let's be honest here, if any of our music was banned from the Soviet Union, we'd wear it as a badge of honour. I'd release a t-shirt with "Too Edgy for Mother Russia" on the back.
    Sabaton played show in Sevastopol two days ago, they're not banned in Russia.
    Well, it says "were banned (...) in 2013", pretty sure because it was the anniversary of Stalingrad and that just looks bad. Any other time, though...