Controversial Norwegian metal band Taake have scuttled their tour of North America, claiming they have been forced to do so after anti-fascist - also known as Antifa - supporters pressured venues into cancelling shows.

"It is with great regret that we have to inform you that Taake's US Tour has been cancelled," the black metal outfit says in a lengthy statement, which can be viewed in full below, to their official Facebook page. "Despite all those incredible people who stepped up and tried to help us save the tour, and to whom we are more grateful than we can express, time and logistics are just not on our side. It was not our wish to cancel, but the decision was forced on us by the illegal activities of Antifa and its supporters who applied pressure on venues and promoters to cancel shows."

They go on to say, adamantly, "Taake is not now, has never been, and never will be a Nazi band."

The strife over the tour comes in the wake of a 2007 Taake concert in Germany where frontman Hoest had painted a swastika on his chest. Despite the singer denying being a Nazi, ramifications are still being felt to this day. Shortly after the February announcement of Taake's tour, initially slated to begin in late March in New York and continue through mid-April, it was immersed in controversy. NYC venue (Le) Poisson Rouge cancelled the opening date (Mar. 24) and then opener King Dude dropped off the tour.

"I have clearly explained many times throughout the years that me wearing a swastika once at a German concert was not at all meant to show support for the nazi ideology," Hoest said in response to the cancellation. "It was all about doing something extreme for the sake of it, which certainly backfired. But it has now been 11 years and the band has even performed in Israel (!)."

Hoest went on to say that in the band's 25-year career, there haven't been any incidents like the 2007 before or since and pledged that none would ever occur again. "Taake is not a racist band. Never has been, never will be. Still claiming so is as ridiculous and unfounded as are the attempts at sabotaging our highly anticipated shows."

Taake says fans and organizations involved in the tour have been threatened with violence and claims that reports made to the police regarding the intimidation have not been made. They consider the whole situation an assault on freedom.

"It is the ultimate demonstration of how, through the dissemination of lies, misinformation and unfounded accusations, along with credible threats of violence, a small minority of left wing agitators are able to force their agenda on the majority, and deprive music fans of their freedom to attend concerts and go about their day to day activities without the fear of reprisals and retaliation."

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