Randy Blythe, the frontman of celebrated American new wave groove metal pioneers Lamb Of God (LoG), is in the Czech Republic today to face the indictment of manslaughter against him in a fair trial. Everyone is of course aware that trouble originally arose when arriving in Prague to play a show last year, the LoG frontman was arrested by police and informed – much to his surprise – that he had been a wanted man for the last two years. In 2010, a 19 year old fan rushed the stage multiple times and was pushed off stage by Randy. The victim hit his head on a concrete floor and then died of a brain bleed fourteen days later.
This is a very tragic case and as many of us know, it becomes very murky, very quickly. The problem with most of the discussion around this story online is that it often devolves into two distinct categories: xenophobia and opinion of the band. Randy is not more or less guilty because you like/dislike the band, and that’s probably still the most ridiculous things I’ll ever read. The other part, that while European law is very different to American law, not all European governments are corrupt. America is not the only place in the world that believes in “innocent until proven guilty”.
Randy could have easily hid out in his home of Richmond, Virginia, because there are no extradition laws and the US State Department had already previously refused to assist in the investigation. Randy has bravely decided to face the consequences of his actions and fight for his innocence, which he still absolutely maintains. The goal of course is to clear his name so that he can be free to tour the world once more.
Randy has already spent thirty seven days in one of the meanest, most notorious prisons in all of Eastern Europe. Despite all of this, he seems to have faired pretty well and claims it has given him a lot of material. Obviously, right now details are thin on the ground, but we’re sure that more is likely to surface this week as the trial goes underway.
Here at The Monolith we hope that answers are found and the truth is discovered. If Randy is innocent, we hope he returns home safely. Most of all we hope that if he is innocent, he isn’t serving time over there. Regardless of your opinion of his band, Randy is an incredibly talented and powerful vocalist – he will be impossible to replace, as will the band who are icons of the American metal scene.
There is a small amount of concern that if a jury is unfamiliar with metal and certain tenets of our scene that we could be demonized. As Randy raises in the interview included at the bottom of this post; stuff like moshing will seem pretty crazy to the average person, however
If Randy is convicted he will face five to ten years in prison for manslaughter. May the truth come out and this ugly mess be put behind us. Everyone please take a small amount of time to think of Randy, and the family who have sadly lost a son.