Rotting Christ arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia on April 12 to begin their tour of the region, but unfortunately religious beliefs got in the way of the band's plans. Frontman of Rotting Christ Sakis Tolis says upon their arrival at the airport, he and his brother and drummer for the band Themis Tolis were pulled aside by Georgian officials. They were ultimately thrown in jail because both the Tolis brothers are labeled as Satanists in the country of Georgia, and thus branded as terrorists.
Fortunately the promoter of the show got a team of people together to get the Tolis brothers out of jail, and their tour will not be harmed. Bassist of the band Van Ace and guitarist George Emmanuel were not arrested or jailed.
"We arrived in Georgia's capital Tbilisi very early in the morning of Thursday, 12th of April. After the regular document check at the border, my brother and I were stopped by the police on our way out from the airport. After some minutes, we were ordered to follow police to another area of the airport under the pretence of further questioning before entering the country. Instead, we had our passports and mobile phones taken away and were lead into a prison cell. When we were demanding to be told the reason for this arrest, we were simply told this information would be 'confidential'. Our lawyers informed us later that we are on a list of unwanted persons of national security that branded us as Satanists and therefore suspects of terrorism.
Without previous warning and no official reason, we found ourselves in jail, locked into a small and rather dirty cell and without being permitted any contact to the outside world or legal representation or our embassy for 12 hours. Conditions were bad and no further information provided during this time.
Luckily, only the names 'Tolis' were on the list and the other two band members started to work with the local promoter to extract us from prison and commence legal procedures. It took strong efforts and a complicated procedure to find a solution. Due to the hard work of the local promoter, who involved legal experts, journalists, and activists in Georgia, we were finally released. We are extremely grateful to everybody involved in this process. In the end, we were even able to perform our show and it turned out to be a fantastic night. We would also like to thank all our Georgian metal brothers for their overwhelming support!"
Catch Rotting Christ at one of the dates below.
21 Apr 18 Burgas (BG) Youth Cultural Center
04 May 18 Velenje (SI) Metal Days Warm Up show
05 May 18 Izegem (BE) Headbangers Ball Festival
11 May 18 Kopervik (NO) Karmøygeddon Festival 2018
13 May 18 London (UK) Incineration Festival
27 May 18 Langres (FR) Outch! Festival
02 Jun 18 Duisburg (DE) Rage Against Racism
07 Jun 18 Sölvesborg (SE) Sweden Rock
16 Jun 18 ?ervený Kostelec (CZ) Metal Gate festival
14 Jul 18 Anyksciai (LT) Devil Stone Festival
17 Aug 18 Borre (NO) Midgardsblot Festival (exact date tbc)
18 Nov 18 Bucharest (RO) Metal Gates