"Free Randy Blythe": Lamb of God/Dethklok Tour Canceled; No Houston Sept. 7 Show (UPDATE: Blythe Has Been Released)

(UPDATE: From Adrenaline PR: "After five weeks in a prison in Prague in the Czech Republic, Randy Blythe has been released on bail and is returning to the United States. Although Lamb Of God has cancelled their summer co-headline tour with Dethklok, the band is currently targeting October 26th as the start date for a U.S tour. Dates and cities will be released as soon as possible. Randy will be making a public statement discussing his time in Prague and thanking fans worldwide for their support in the next week.")

Check out Blabbermouth's coverage here.

This morning it was announced that the September 7 Lamb of God and Dethklok concert at Bayou Music Center has been canceled, along with all of the other dates on the bands' summer tour. The highly anticipated show would have been both acts' first Houston dates in a three years.

The reason?

Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe has been incarcerated in a Czech Republic prison for the past month for his part in the death of metal fan Daniel Nosek. The 19-year old rushed the LOG stage in Prague numerous time during a May 2010 gig and Blythe pushed him back. Nosek eventually fell directly on his head, resulting in severe head trauma and died weeks later from his injuries.

A statement from Adrenaline PR's Maria Ferrero:

Due to the continued incarceration of LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe in the Czech Republic, the band's co-headline tour with Dethklok scheduled to begin August 1st in Seattle is being cancelled.

The band regrets the decision but the uncertainty of Randy's release makes it impossible to carry on with the tour. Upon Randy's release, it is the band's intention to rebook a tour in the fall and at this time the band fully intends to participate in the Mayhem Cruise in December.

It took two years for Czech officials to incarcerate the 41-year old Blythe. He was taken into custody this June 27 while on tour in Prague and recently posted $400,000 bail, but was denied release after the prosecutor in the case challenged it. Charged with manslaughter, Blythe could face five to ten years in Czech jail.

The metal world has rallied around Blythe's cause, with various artists, luminaries and famous friends chipping in their support. At the time of Blythe's June arrest, the U.S. Embassy was able to free the four other members of the band, but the singer was kept in custody because of the severity of the charges against him.

There was a vigil outside the U.S. Supreme Court a few weeks back as well.

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According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Lamb of God's Virginia hometown, a White House petition has been circulated and has collected more than 10,000 signatures. Blythe's supporters need to hit the 25K mark to get the Obama administration's attention.

Czech officials think that if they were to release the singer, he could disappear and never return for the eventual trial; the ugly American who killed one of their own and refused to stand in judgement for his actions.

A statement from Martin Radvan, Lamb of God's attorney in the Czech Republic:

As a world-renowned artist, in a specific genre of music of course, he cannot afford to simply disappear. This is a wrong assumption by the Czech police and the Prague municipal prosecutor who still believe there is a possibility he will disappear and never show up again.

The Blythe case has brought up memories of the death of Dimebag Darrell, who was shot to death in a Columbus, Ohio nightclub during a Damageplan gig in late 2004. Musicians have been on high alert ever since, especially hard rockers.

A blog on metal reporter Eddie Trunk's site goes into further detail with a Yahoo! News piece. He says that stages should be better policed.

"Security is nonexistent in many places," Trunk adds.

Shades of the recent Colorado theater shooting abound. You simply don't know who is charging you -- if they are just a fun drunk fan or out to end your life, musicians say.

No word yet if Dethklok or openers Gojira will be mounting another tour this fall, but Rocks Off will keep you posted.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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