COVID-19 has been affecting people all over the world for months now. More than 1.5 million people have been infected globally with the death count reaching nearly 90,000.
The effects have not been lost on those in the metal community. In the last couple of days, updates have come from the Benighted, Mayhem, Nightwish and Batushka camps, for better or worse.
Benighted not only have had their tour and festival appearances cancelled, but vocalist Julien Truchan has tested positive for COVID-19 due to working in healthcare. Tomorrow (10th), the group will be hosting a two-hour radio special via Gimme Radio in support of their new album, Obscene Repressed. The show is part of Gimme Radio’s Gimme Relief initiative, which is aimed to help bands who have been affected by the pandemic. Earlier this morning (9th), the group live streamed their new album in full via YouTube along with having a live chat with fans.
Mayhem guitarist Teloch has started exhibiting symptoms of the virus after traveling from the US to Norway a month ago following the cancellation of the band’s North American tour with Abbath. According to a post on his Instagram (reported by Loudwire), his self-quarantine is being extended, saying “I tested positive for a virus and I have c19 symptoms.” While he’s showing symptoms, his case remains unconfirmed since not everyone can get tested in Norway. “We only do the corona test on people in Norway who is in the risk zone or work in healthcare. Not enough tests to do us all.”
Thankfully, Teloch is on the mend. “I’m already getting better so don’t feel sorry for me,” he writes.
Perhaps soon he will be a survivor like Batushka guitarist Krzysztof Drabikowski, who has fully recovered from the virus. Drabikowski took to Facebook Monday to reveal the good news, saying “Me and Edgar got rid of the virus, so if someone needed to buy food or anything in quarantine, we are happy to help.” He revealed his diagnosis on March 18 with a posting of ways to avoid COVID-19 and a note from his mother, a doctor, who confirmed and elaborated on the announcement.
Unfortunately, a virus diagnosis for Ex-Nightwish singer Anette Olzon’s father has turned tragic. According to a post on Nightwish bassist/vocalist Marco “Marko” Hietala’s Facebook page (reported by Blabbermouth), Olzon recently lost her father to the virus. No further information is known about what happened. Our condolences to her and her family at this trying time.
With all the news out there both positive and tragic, please stay safe. The best way to fight the virus is to stay home, maintain social distancing and keep your hands clean.