GORGOROTH singer Gaahl was sentenced Tuesday (May 4) to 18 months in a Norwegian prison on charges that he beat a 41-year-old man in what the victim called a ritual attack.
The 28-year-old black metal vocalist (view photo taken in court earlier today), who has several prior convictions including one for assault and battery, was sentenced at Sunnfjord court in Forde, Norway. In addition to the prison term, Gaahl was ordered to pay 75,000 NOK (approximately $11,000) to the victim, plus an additional 29,000 NOK (approximately $4,300) in damages.
The court's sentence matched the recommendation from prosecutor Ronny Iden (photo), who took into account the fact that Gaahl had a prior conviction for assault. In that 2001 incident, Gaahl brutalized his victim for hours and was sentenced to one year in prison without the possibility of parole. In addition, he was ordered to pay 158,000 NOK (approximately $23,000) in punitive damages. "Two people have had their lives irreparably shattered by the defendant's actions," the court said in the written sentence.
Gaahl, who appeared in court wearing a black GORGOROTH t-shirt, a leather jacket and a Thor's Hammer necklace (Photo#1, Photo#2, Photo#3, Photo#4), was accused of performing ritual violence that included collecting blood from his victim and drinking it. The victim, whose identity hasn't been revealed, was hit and kicked several times in the face and head and needed stitches to close cuts in his head. His nose was broken and he suffered major dental damage.
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.
For more information (in Norwegian) about today's sentencing, follow these links: