Canadian Media Reports On SATYRICON Rape Charges

Canada's National Post has issued the following report:

Two guitarists with a Norwegian hard-core metal band known for painted faces and Satanic imagery have been arrested in Toronto for allegedly dosing a fan with a date-rape drug and sexually assaulting her.

Toronto police say the incident took place on Dec. 15 in a bus outside the FunHaus nightclub, where SATYRICON had just finished performing as part of its Return Of The Antichrist tour. Norwegian media are reporting the woman accompanied the two band members into a tour bus after the concert.

Steinar Gundersen, 34, and Arnt Gronbech, 27, have been charged with administering a stupefying drug and with sexual assault, said Constable Kristine Bacharach, adding that the two men appeared in Toronto's Old City Hall court yesterday for a bail hearing.

Const. Bacharach could give no details about the alleged victim, saying only that she alerted police at 4:30 a.m., hours after the concert. Police also could not say whether the two band members had been released on bail.

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported, however, that the two guitarists were still in jail yesterday and had received legal aid through Norway's Toronto consulate.

The Toronto police communications office was yesterday inundated by media calls from Norway, where SATYRICON has a reputation as a nefarious presence on the Scandinavian music scene.

Mr. Gundersen is SATYRICON's lead guitarist, while Mr. Gronbech plays rhythm guitar.

The band's latest album, "Volcano" — released two years ago — reportedly catapulted the band into the No. 3 spot on the Norwegian charts.

SATYRICON has been on a North American tour with fellow metal band 3 INCHES OF BLOOD since the beginning of the month.

It had been slated to play Montreal, SATYRICON's only other scheduled Canadian date, on Dec. 17. Its remaining tour dates appear to have been cancelled as a result of the arrests.

SATYRICON's Web site also alerts fans in Columbus, Ohio, that its show on Dec. 13 was "naturally cancelled as the venue is now a crime scene" — an apparent reference to the shooting deaths of Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott and four others at the Alrosa Villa nightclub.

"No other shows will be affected," the site goes on to say. "Do not let this tragedy stop you from going to metal shows and don't let anyone tell you that this has anything to do with metal music."

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