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Metallica Issued Cease-And-Desist for Allegedly Ripping Off Death Metal Band [Updated]

Raymond Ahner, Loudwire
Raymond Ahner, Loudwire

Metallica have reportedly been issued a cease-and-desist letter after being accused of plagiarism by ‘80s death metal band Incubus. According to Exclaim, a legal document states Metallica’s “Moth Into Flame” was lifted from Incubus’ “Hunger for Power” from the band’s 1988 album, Serpent Temptation.

Incubus changed their name to Opprobrium in 1999 after finding that the famous hard rock band Incubus had secured a copyright of the name. Opprobrium would release Discerning Forces via Nuclear Blast in 2000 followed by another full-length, Mandatory Evac, in 2008. Opprobrium unveiled a remastered version of Serpent Temptation, now under the Opprobrium name, in 2016.

Metallica’s team was reportedly presented with the cease-and-desist documents on March 27 of this year by Brutal Records and publisher Risky Music. A letter from Brutal Records’ Michael Howard reads as follows:

It has been brought to my attention, that you have made unauthorized use of my copyrighted work which is titled ‘Hunger for Power.’ Your work titled ‘Moth into Flame’ is fundamentally a close duplication of my work filed under the copyright of SR-130-298.

As you have not sought or requested permission/authorization to use, nor to make and/or distribute, sell, lend or lease my copyrighted work entitled ‘Hunger for Power,’ you are hereby notified to CEASE AND DESIST any and all further unlawful acts of copyright infringement with regards to your actions and/or statements relating to this matter.

Failure to comply with this notice will confirm your complicity and leave me no other alternative but to proceed to file a civil action suit seeking monetary damages and compensation for court and attorney’s fees incurred as a direct result of your unlawful actions of copyright infringement. It is not my wish to seek legal recourse; however, I will vehemently do all that is necessary to protect my work, ‘Hunger for Power,’ and interests. Please note that this letter will be the only warning I will provide.

THEREFORE, you are hereby requested to immediately CEASE AND DESIST any further acts of copyright infringement and within 10 business days return the signed written assurance below affirming that you will refrain from any further acts of copyright infringement.

In an email to Exclaim, Howard also accused Metallica of stealing from Incubus on “Spit Out the Bone,” though the cease-and-desist makes no mention of the song. Metallica have not publicly responded to the action taken against them.

Listen to the Incubus track “Hunger For Power” and Metallica’s “Moth Into Flame” below and decide for yourself if they sound similar.

UPDATE: Opprobrium have released a statement claiming none of the current band members are behind the cease-and-desist, rather an individual who claims to own the rights to “Hunger For Power”:

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