Taake nominated for Spellemannsprisen; stirs up controversy

Posted by AP on 06/01/12

Taake's latest album "Noregs Vaapen" has been nominated for the prestigious Spellemannsprisen award in Norway for the best metal album of 2011.

True to the band's infamous reputation, the nomination has given rise to a storm of criticism targeting specifically the song "Orkan", which openly decries Islam and promotes Norwegian nationalism with the lyrics "til helvete med Muhammed og Muhammedanerne" ("to hell with Muhammed and Muhammedists") and "nu våkner snart Norge" ("soon Norway will wake up").

Although the Oslo bombing and Utøya massacre committed by ultra-nationalist and anti-Islamist Anders Behring Breivik is still fresh in the Norwegian people's minds, the jury committee of Spellemann has no plans of revising the nomination, offering:

"The jury must exclusively evaluate the release - not performances or convictions in general. We have full freedom of expression in Norway, and the jury of the Spellemann award has no intention of censoring content."

Hoest, the band's vocalist, also commented the matter:

"The black metal genre has since its inception been anti-religious, in that almost every band has allowed itself to take stabs at religion and the religious. (...) We believe, in the name of freedom of expression, that submission to both Christianity and Islam is a great shame. Christianity is actually also mentioned in the same lyrics, but no one seems to have any interest in this."

But Didrik Sønderlind from Human-Etisk Forbund (the Human-Ethical Association) feels the symbolism is provocative:

"The lyrics of 'Orkan' are generally quite brazen, and in the wake of July 22nd they cross the line. I'm guessing that Taake is not especially proud of these lyrics after Utøya."

I'm guessing otherwise. What are your thoughts on this?

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