Two death metal bands from Brazil were scheduled to perform on May 9 in Dhaka. The organisers, Raptor Entertainment, had acquired all security clearances prior to the event. But on May 8 afternoon, the organisers were informed by authorities concerned that the concert would not be taking place over “security purposes.”
The bands Krisiun and NervoChaos had included Bangladesh as part of their Asia tour. The concert titled Metal Morgue was also set to showcase home-grown talents like Severe Dementia and for a number of exceptionally talented young metal bands of the country to showcase their talent.
The bands’ official Facebook pages reported that upon landing, their passports were seized by Immigration Police and they were prevented from exiting the immigration lounge. The organisers have confirmed the confiscation of passports.
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The bands' agent explains the situation in a social media post on Tuesday Collected
Later, the Brazilian ambassador to Bangladesh had to intervene to finally let the bands exit the airport and take a breather at a nearby hotel.
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An immediate backlash manifested on social media, berating the eleventh hour decision to call the concert off. The outrage was only fuelled by treatment of the bands at the airport.
Raptor sources have confided to the Dhaka Tribune that the concert’s security clearance had come from the highest levels of the Home Ministry. Taxes had been paid and every required form filled up to ensure the concert would go on, to no avail.
Bangladeshi musicians and fans alike appeared apoplectic, drawing parallels between how Indian artists are allowed to frequently perform with impunity and metal bands denied entry at the very last minute.
The disappointment of home grown talents
The metal scene in Bangladesh is one that has been maturing for over 30 years. Despite the utter lack of formal musical training, people have taught themselves, learned from YouTube videos, DIY books. The concert was poised to present the sheer talent that is cloistered away in Bangladesh.
Bands like Severe Dementia and Thrash, who were the opening acts, expressed bitterness at the missed opportunity to present the potential of Bangladesh to international eyes.
Sumit Gaurab, guitarist of Thrash, said: “"The stage was ready for us to take over, it felt like the whole world is watching. It should have been the day when the world gets to know about the potential of the scene, instead now everyone knows how conservative and nonsensical we are!"
Of folk metal and Indian pop
Of note, Swiss folk metal band Eluveitie was also set to perform on 26 May 2016. Barely an hour before the concert kicked off, it was cancelled over "security concerns."
Also Read- Disgruntled over the cancellation of Eluveitie’s concert
Several fans on social media have pointed out how Neha Kakkar, an Indian artist, was allowed to perform at the same venue as Eluveitie just a week later.
Many have taken to Facebook to point out Indian artists visiting Bangladesh are given garish receptions.
A number of sites posted misleading
news saying Krisiun and NervoChaos had been arrested at airport for blasphemy. The sites appeared to be quoting Reddit threads for information, instead of official statements from the people involved.
The Dhaka Tribune reached out to Krisiun, who have confirmed they were not arrested or any charges of blasphemy pressed against them.
The philosophy of metal music is rooted in counterculture. Every sub-genre of metal can be distinguished based on their own individual subcultures. The all-black attire, the thundering drums coupled with the ear-deafening, lightning-quick riffs and guttural vocals seldom unnerve casual viewers.