The Null Device

Malaysian "black metal" crackdown

On New Year's Eve, Malaysian police raided a rock gig over accusations of "Satanic black metal" activities, detaining numerous fans, who were then drug-tested and paraded before tabloid journalists. (It appears that Malaysian tabloids look like the Herald-Sun or Daily Star, only written in Malay; I guess some things are universal.) It is unclear what the attendees are being charged with, though the tabloids have recounted all sorts of sensational stories of Devil worship, sex orgies and fanzines with "elements of violence, pornography, Judaism, and curse words like 'fuck'".

The bands insist that they weren't "black metal", though, to be fair, given the fact that they had names like Force Vomit (who are from Singapore, of all places; is potentially offensive music actually legal over there?), Devilica, Triple6Poser and 360 Degree Head Rotation, it's probably safe to say that they weren't easy-listening or inoffensively sugary pop. What it looks like is the local wowsers and busybodies using religious legislation to crack down on any subculture with a whiff of adolescent rebellion and shock value about it, such as all forms of metal, punk and That Godawful Racket Kids These Days Listen To.

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