Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another List Post: Top 10 Christian Metal Bands?

Huh. I had a post a few weeks ago about Christian metal where I stated that I really don't care whether the band is Christian or their message is Christian, as long as the music is good. This post features bands who are Christian, many of whom are the exact opposite of good.

Oh lord (hee hee). Stryper descended upon listeners in the 1980's. And like most music in the 1980's, Stryper was very focused on their image. In particular, they looked like bumblebees. Not the first thing one thinks of when one thinks of metal. Their sound early on was similar to early Def Leppard. Not bad, but the message became the important aspect of the band. They began throwing Bibles to the fans and came up with this brilliant song:
[Verse 1]
Speak of the devil
He's no friend of mine
To turn from him is what we have in mind

[Verse 2]
Just a liar and a thief
The word tells us so
We like to let him know
Where he can go

To hell with the devil
To hell with the devil

Ah, subtlety,

I like Believer, so I won't disparage them here. Very good technical thrash metal.

One of the best doom metal bands of the 1980's. No problems here.

NFM. The author seems to know this fact too, referring to them as a "metal inspired spin on hardcore" and then as punk or noise rock. Zao is terrible, plain and simple. They have changed their sound several times, none of which comes close to decent.


I love this part:
"Their 'Scrolls of the Megilloth' album should be in the possession of any death metal collector, and outside of some uneven moments here and there, the group has had an inspired career with 13 other studio efforts under their belts."

Some uneven moments? Mortification is universally terrible. They have one or two decent songs, but otherwise suffer from a shocking inability to write a decent song. For instance "God Rulz" which repeats the title eight times over, and that's the song. To be fair, that's not typical, but this is:
Curses coming our way,
satan thinks he has won,
but we know the story,
live everlasting,
cancer and pain,
will not stop the fight
Jesus is risen,
knowlege will come.

[Chorus 2]

Metal crusade,
spreading the Gospel truth,
bearing the sword,
of the spirit of life.
Metal crusade,
salvation through the cross,
helmet of salvation,
guarding our minds.

[Verse 3]

Through word and music,
metal shall be reached,
Jesus will return,
when all have heard His ways.
No stone left unturned,
as we seek your life,
some way or other,
you will find The Truth


Never heard of them. Do I care? No.

Apparently fairly controversial as the lyrics were somewhat graphic and the album cover featured a picture of a hand nailed to a cross. Surprisingly good reviews for a band almost no one has ever heard of.

Early on, this was a metalcore band. Much like other bands from the time period, they ditched a lot of the core influences and played a mix of thrash and melodic death metal. In the meantime, they have jumped to the forefront of the Christian metal scene. Not a bad band. Not good, but not bad.

I had a friend back in high school who really liked this band. We listened to their albums on the way back from Kansas City. They weren't bad. I don't remember being terribly impressed with them but that was quite awhile ago. I remember thinking they were very strange with an odd mix of styles. Very similar to Believer from what I understand now.

So there.


  1. Hey, just going through some of your archives.

    Stryper -- never heard them, and don't intend to.

    Believer -- I completely agree.

    Trouble -- I'm not crazy about them, but they did have their moments.

    Zao -- can't stand em.

    Strongarm -- WTF?

    Mortification -- I'd never heard of them before, so I looked them up on Youtube. I am listening to the title track on that list, and I'm not impressed. The vocals are awful, and the music is uninspiring.

    Extol -- You really should look into Extol. They were on good enough to be on Century Media instead of just a Christian label (not to say that any band on a Christian label is necessarily bad). I think they've dabbled in black, death, and thrash metal, usually on the progressive side of things. The only album I've got from them is The Blueprint Dives, because it had stellar reviews. It's got some thrash influence, I'd say, but mostly it's progressive metal. It's a very good album.

    Vengeance Rising -- Who?

    As I Lay Dying -- I agree, they're not bad, but they refuse to be called a Christian band, and I'm not sure their lyrics are necessarily Christian.

    Tourniquet -- I've heard many people say they really like them. When I was in high school, my mom bought me their Crawl To China album, and I never liked it. I'm looking it up now on Wikipedia, and it says the album "was critically panned and disappointed many of the band's metal fans." So I guess I started out on the wrong album with them, but I'm not about to get a different one to find out.

  2. Antestor is probably the best Christian band I've ever heard. Its dissection influenced "unblack" metal, you should check it out if you haven't already