Louisiana man says he burned black churches to promote himself as a "black metal" musician

by Laura Mize · Feb 12th, 2020 12:53 pm

Last Updated Feb 12th, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Holden Matthews, a 22-year-old Louisiana man involved in "black metal" music pleaded guilty on Monday to burning three historically black Baptist churches in 2019.

He said he did so to raise his profile as a black metal musician. The Department of Justice, which has been handling the case, reported that Matthews was inspired by a movie that depicted church arsons committed by a black metal musician in the 1990s in Norway.

Matthews, who is the son of a local sheriff's deputy, sings for a band called Vodka Vultures. He admitted to photographing and recording the churches burning, and posting the media online to gain attention as a musician.

Burning churches is a federal offense. Matthews will be sentenced May 22 and faces anywhere from 10 to 70 years in prison.