“We are incredibly sorry to anyone we offended”: A pig’s head was thrown around in a black metal mosh pit, and people are so furious that the band have apologised

Singer of the band Martyrdom live onstage
(Image credit: martyrdom_htx via Instagram)

Texan black metal band Martyrdom have issued an apology after footage of a pig’s head being thrown around in their moshpit went viral.

The band performed at the White Swan venue in Houston, Texas, on January 19, supporting the hardcore acts Devoured Trachea and Accosted.

That evening, a brief video was uploaded to X (formerly Twitter) by user @SALVIATALKSHOW, depicting what appears to be a pig’s head being thrown into a mosh pit.

“there is a pigs head in the swan,” the user wrote as a caption.

They later added: “its real and it stinks”

The footage went viral and quickly proved controversial, with several observers criticising the act.

“this is how new diseases start,” one reply says.

“tbh i would've cried if that touched me,” states another.

Another user replies: “biggest yikes from me on this one personally”

However, others reacted more positively to the stunt, alluding to the fact that other black metal bands, such as Watain and Mayhem, have previously used pig’s heads and pig’s blood as part of their act to generate shock value.

“Dude that’s just so black metal 😂” one user argued.

Amid the controversy, Martyrdom issued an apology, seemingly confirming that the head was thrown around during their performance and that it was real.

The band apologised “to anyone who was harmed by our act”, especially vegans and those who objected on religious grounds, as well as the White Swan venue.

Whether the pig’s head was brought to the venue by the band or fans remains unclear.

Martyrdom’s full apology (via Lambgoat) reads:

“Hi everyone

“we just want to start off by saying we are incredibly sorry to anyone we offended with our actions and gimmicks on stage.

“We are a black metal band, and as part of it, we try to add a little bit of imagery and shock value to our set. Unfortunately our acts has gotten carried away and way out of hand, offending many and even harming some.

“We want to apologize to any vegans, Muslims, or other minority groups we may have offended, and to anyone who was harmed by our act.

“Most importantly we want to apologize to the White Swan, and Harry, the sound guy, specifically. thank you so much white swan for giving us the opportunity to play there.”

Martyrdom have announced more Texan shows for 2024, which will take place in Austin on January 27, Pasadena on February 10 and Houston on March 9.

All ages will be welcome, but severed animal heads presumably will not.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.