GORGOROTH singer Gaahl is scheduled to go on trial in Norway next week on charges that he "ritually abused" a man more than two years ago.
The alleged abuse of a man in his 40s took place at a desolate farm in Fjaler in Sunnfjord in February of 2002 and ended ritually with the vocalist collecting blood from the victim and then drinking it, according to the victim's statement.
The victim received cuts in his head, nose and mouth. In addition, his teeth were damaged and he got a fracture in his nasal bone as a result of the abuse.
"I do not wish to comment on this case beyond what is stated in the indictment, which is that this seemed like a ritual act," police lawyer Terje Gjertsen at the Sogn police department told VG.
"I can confirm that the accused in this case has denied guilt and claims to have acted in self defense," added Gjertsen.
According to the Norwegian paper Bergens Tidende, Gaahl's defense attorney, Christian Eckhoff, has indicated that his client is going to plead not guilty.
Meanwhile, the victim has stated through his attorney, Robert Fonn, that he will request 100,000 kronor (approximately $14,000) in punitive damages.
In 2001, Gaahl, 28, was sentenced to one year in prison without the possibility of parole after an episode of violence where he assaulted his victim for hours. In addition, he was ordered to pay 158,000 kronor (approximately $23,000) in punitive damages.
In the 2001 sentence, the court wrote that Gaahl's use of violence was "extremely raw and brutal", adding that there was no "clear motive" for the assault.
Under normal circumstances, Gaahl's previous conviction would have carried a sentence of 90 days in prison, but due to the severity of the crime, the singer was sentenced to 12 months behind bars in addition to being forced to pay the monetary damages. During his court appearance, Gaahl was reportedly dressed in black and wore a plethora of Satanic symbols.
Formed in 1992, GORGOROTH took their name from J.R.R. Tolkien's book "The Lord Of The Rings". Gaahl, who joined the band in 1998, is believed to be involved with at least three other projects (GAAHLSKAGG, SIGFADER, TRELLDOM), all of which feature a musical direction described as "raw, unsophisticated black metal."
GORGOROTH drew international attention in early February after they were accused of "offending religious feelings" during a concert in Poland. The band were also suspected of breaching the Polish law on protection of animals by displaying the severed and impaled heads of sheep as part of their stage act.