The petitioner who sparked a nationwide debate on black metal bands just added more groups to her ban list

Rachel Chan’s updated petition called for the banning of more death and black metal groups including Dutch band Pestilence.
Facebook/Pestilence (official)

The creator of the controversial online petition that called for the cancellation of Swedish black metal band Watain’s Singapore concert is pulling no punches by adding more bands to her proposed ban list.

Identified as Rachel Chan, the petitioner who made her first call to arms back in March on petition website Change.org updated her original petition on Monday (May 13) to include “more extreme” death and black metal bands that are scheduled to perform in Singapore.

In her newer petition, Chan, quoting from online encyclopedia Wikipedia, described death metal as having lyrical themes with potential to invoke slasher film-stylised violence, religion (sometimes Satanism), occultism and Lovecraftian horror.

She added that the actions and ideologies of black metal can often incite controversy as artists express extreme anti-Christian and misanthropic views while advocating ethnic paganism.

Apart from the Wikipedia quotes, Chan did not include further reasons for her updated petition.

Chan’s list, with scheduled dates of performances, includes:

  1. Pestilence (June 7, 2019)
  2. Metal United World Wide (June 15, 2019)
  3. Cryptopsy (July 5, 2019)
  4. Soilwork (October 29, 2019)

Soilwork, a death metal band hailing from Helsinborg, Sweden, was also red-flagged with Watain in Chan’s original petition.

Although her initial petition served as a catalyst that stirred up unprecedented levels of public furore, it was not the direct reason for banning Watain’s gig, according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Citing the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement on March 7, the authority said: “MHA has expressed serious concerns about the concert, given the band’s history of denigrating religions and promoting violence, which has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore’s social harmony.”

The IMDA added that the ban was enforced after it had agreed to the MHA’s request to consider cancelling the concert for reasons of public order.

Chan had also appealed to her signers and supporters to express their concerns to Reach, the Singapore government’s feedback unit, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office via email.

At time of writing, Chan’s petition that was started on March 6 had amassed over 23,130 signatures, just shy of the target 25,000.

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