Skip to content

Red Before Black: Censorship and How A Band’s Artwork Won’t Let Them Enter Russia

Cannibal Corpse, one of the central figures of the American death metal movement, and the poster child for all things brutal. Simply put, this is a band you wouldn’t want to listen to with grandma. Outside of their offensive thematic content and larger than life stage presence, Cannibal Corpse is known for some of the most vile artwork in ‘mainstream’ music. Their artwork and lyrics are so highly criticized, that they have been banned from playing certain songs in Germany, and from playing and distributing music in Russia altogether, among other problems in other countries.

Regardless of your attitude on the artwork itself, it does fall under the tricky censorship banner. Russian Orthodox groups stated that the artwork and lyrical content has ‘descriptions of violence, the physical and mental abuse of animals, murder and suicide” in an effort to spare the mental health of children. While a decent enough cause, many people see the band as the murderers and abusers that they sing about, completely showing an inability to separate an artist from their work. This week, I am not going to add a picture to the article due to the graphic nature of the pieces (it got banned for a reason in Germany, Russia, and Australia) but I will leave you with the website of their artist Vince Locke. I do warn you though, the artwork is extremely graphic in nature and not for the faint of heart.

One Comment

  1. shuffma7 wrote:

    This is a really interesting issue. Free speech questions are always raised when something gets banned, whether it be books, movies, or in this case, music. While I don’t know what the culture is like in the countries it was banned in, I want to make the assumption that graphic images and music like that is easily available in other places. There are other “lighter” bands that have similar content in their songs, like Avenged Sevenfold. Even watching an episode of Game of Thrones involves viewing horribly abusive scenes. Perhaps these examples I’m using are banned in those countries too, but I have a feeling they aren’t.

    Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink