According to Poland's Gazeta.pl, Polish production company Metal Mind Productions has been fined for organizing the controversial 2004 performance in Krakow by the Norwegian black metallers GORGOROTH. [Check out photos from the gig at this location.]
Metal Mind owner Tomasz Dziubinski has been ordered to pay 10,000 zloty (approximately 2,500 euros) for organizing the concert that breached Article 196 of the Polish penal code concerning offense to religious feelings. Metal Mind will also have to shell out 2,000 zloty (approximately 500 euros) in legal costs. In addition, the court confiscated the video footage shot at the concert and has stored it in the audiovisual archive of the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow, which is said to be Poland's oldest and biggest university library.
GORGOROTH singer Gaahl rejected accusations that the group had breached the Polish law on protection of animals by displaying the severed and impaled heads of sheep as part of their stage act.
The concert, which took place at the studio of a local TV station, "was never meant to reach the media," Gaahl told the NRK newspaper. "Producers Metal Mind [who were filming the concert for a future live DVD] bought the sheep heads at a butcher shop. We weren't involved in animal torture of any kind."
A TV station in Krakow, which complained about the performance, had previously acquired broadcasting rights for the show.
In one of the band's first interviews with the media in the aftermath of the concert, GORGOROTH guitarist/founder Infernus spoke with Canada's Unrestrained! in February 2004 about just what went down in Krakow.
"We didn't plan to really have an outcome like that, our only intent was to go there and film the DVD," he began. "All the chaos and media reaction that came from this was a surprise of sorts."
Were you worried when the authorities were called?
"Not worried, really. I mean, what was the worst thing they could do? Destroy the tapes? I don't think they would do that and I don't think they could really do any harm to us, though they might be able to put the Polish producer away in prison for a few years. For us, this will probably help us sell a few more records.
"I am sure they could have taken us down to the local police station to question us about that, but nothing happened. As for what is going on right now, I don't know. I know the authorities had a meeting sometime today, but I have not gotten back any feedback from it yet. I know there has been a mention of us possibly spending some time in a Polish prison, but I can't take that seriously at all.
"As of now, I can only think that the DVD will be put out eventually. I mean, I am still working on stuff for it. It would be almost like they are stuck in the Middle Ages in Poland if they destroyed the tapes by burning them. I hope to get them back one day…I hope."
How do you feel about the way the Polish people and government are reacting?
"The Catholic Church has always had a great deal of support and influence with the people for many centuries now. They have such a tight control on things, more so than a lot of the other Eastern European countries. They also have some influence on the legal authorities as well, though I don't really think they could really bring about some kind of medieval ways of control upon us. I, like you, don't really know as much as I'd like to know and am relying too on the media to see where all of this is going.
"We have a lot more legal problems now, bigger than what we are facing in Poland, so this is just another part of what we do in our lives and we must face up to it. Like I said, this is just another legal problem, but if it draws attention to what we are doing, showcasing us as grown-up human beings practicing Satanism as a lifestyle and performing metal music, then it's all good."