Malaysia bans Lamb of God from performing

Bangkok, Sep 5 (EFE).- Malaysian officials have banned U.S. groove metal band Lamb of God from performing at a concert scheduled for Sept. 28 in Kuala Lumpur because the band's songs were deemed blasphemous, media reports said Thursday.

The Malaysian Communications Ministry said the performances planned by the group, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2006, could hurt religious sensibilities and harm cultural values in the Asian nation, The Star newspaper said.

Lamb of God uses Koranic verses blasphemously in its songs, Islamic Development Department director Othman Mustapha said, referring to the song "Laid to Rest" from the album "Ashes of the Wake."

The song is both about a murder victim who haunts his killer from beyond the grave and a protest of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The band, which was formed in 1990 and was originally known as Burn the Priest, features singer Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell and drummer Chris Adler.

"We would invite anyone offended by our music to engage in a discussion regarding the true motivations behind our work, especially before publicly slandering us based on assumptions and shallow misinterpretation," Lamb of God said in a statement posted on the band's Web site.

About 60 percent of Malaysians are Muslims, while 19 percent are Buddhists, 9 percent are Christians, 6 percent are Hindu and 2.6 percent are Taoist.