Greek extreme Metallers Rotting Christ have been arrested in Georgia (the East European country, not the US state) on dubious charges of terrorism brought by ignorant officials deeming them Satanists based on the band name.
Their ordeal is now over after they were released, seemingly without charge, and they are continuing their current tour.
Rotting Christ frontman Sakis Tolis tells the story in his own words:
“We arrived in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi very early in the morning of Thursday, 12th of April. After the regular document check at the border, my brother and I were stopped by the police on our way out from the airport.
“After some minutes, we were ordered to follow police to another area of the airport under the pretence of further questioning before entering the country. Instead, we had our passports and mobile phones taken away and were lead into a prison cell.
“When we were demanding to be told the reason for this arrest, we were simply told this information would be ‘confidential’. Our lawyers informed us later that we are on a list of unwanted persons of national security that branded us as Satanists and therefore suspects of terrorism.
“Without previous warning and no official reason, we found ourselves in jail, locked into a small and rather dirty cell and without being permitted any contact to the outside world or legal representation or our embassy for 12 hours. Conditions were bad and no further information provided during this time.
“Luckily, only the names ‘Tolis’ were on the list and the other two band members started to work with the local promoter to extract us from prison and commence legal procedures. It took strong efforts and a complicated procedure to find a solution.
“Due to the hard work of the local promoter, who involved legal experts, journalists, and activists in Georgia, we were finally released.
“We are extremely grateful to everybody involved in this process. In the end, we were even able to perform our show and it turned out to be a fantastic night. We would also like to thank all our Georgian Metal brothers for their overwhelming support!”
The band were allowed to leave the country and travel to Armenia for their next show without any further complications.
Rotting Christ are touring in support of their double-CD best-of compilation, ‘Their Greatest Spells’, which came out on March 23rd via Season Of Mist. The selection includes the new track ‘I Will Not Serve’.
Remaining tour dates:
21st April: Burgas (BG) Youth Cultural Center
4th May: Velenje (SI) Metal Days Warm Up show
5th May: Izegem (BE) Headbangers Ball Festival
11th May: Kopervik (NO) Karmøygeddon Festival 2018
13th May: London (UK) Incineration Festival
27th May: Langres (FR) Outch! Festival
2nd June: Duisburg (DE) Rage Against Racism
7th June: Sölvesborg (SE) Sweden Rock
16th June: Cervený Kostelec (CZ) Metal Gate Festival
14th July: Anyksciai (LT) Devil Stone Festival
17th August: Borre (NO) Midgardsblot Festival (exact date tbc)
18th November: Bucharest (RO) Metal Gates