The Richmond-based heavy metal band Lamb of God has been banned from performing Malaysia later this month.
The Malaysian government refused to issue a permit for a Sept. 28 concert in Kuala Lumpur despite sales of more than 1,500 tickets, according to a press release issued by the band Wednesday.
Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported that the Communications and Multimedia Ministry rejected the band's permit "because the performances of the group were found to infringe on religious sensitivities and cultural values of Malaysian society."
The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, known as Jakim, also objected to the group's performance, The Star reported. Jakim Director-General Datuk Othman Mustapha said the band's music as a mix of heavy metal songs with verses from the Quran, according to the newspaper.
The New Straits Times, another Malaysian newspaper, reported that Mustapha labeled Lamb of God "a 'satanic' band that fitted evil spirituality and anti-godliness even by the Christian community."
New Straits Times also reported that the band had received death threats over its music.
In a statement, Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton blasted the decision.
"It is very evident (and a bit frustrating) that the groups, parties and powers that have taken the most offense to our music and lyrics have themselves only made a passing glance at the content and meanings of those songs," he said.
"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 is on a Pacific concert tour that includes stops in New Zealand, Australia and Thailand.
Earlier this year, lead singer Randy Blythe was acquitted after being tried in the Czech Republic over the death of a fan after an incident at a 2010 concert in Prague.