So, today I received four albums in the mail.
Yes, there are some decent Christian metal bands out there. Believer is probably my favorite of the bunch, with the possible exception of Trouble. Believer plays technical/progressive thrash metal in the vein of their antitheses Heathen and Atheist, with a little bit of Voivod thrown in for good measure. When you look at the song titles and the lyrics, the band's religious leanings are pretty obvious, but the music is so damn good that it is pretty easy to not have to focus on that. Satanic bands can be just as annoying about their "message" too, but for some reason Christian bands sacrifice quality of music for the message more often. That is not true in Believer's case.
BOLT THROWER: ...FOR VICTORY (1994)
Fuck yeah, Bolt Thrower. Honestly, this is probably my favorite name for a metal band, ever. Plus, it helps that Bolt Thrower is fucking awesome. Unfortunately, the band no longer exists, so I will never get the chance to see them live, but I am still in the process of discovering some of their older stuff. Really, I only had a few of their albums previously, so there is a long way to go. This is one of the band's higher-rated albums and it is not hard to see why that is. The band's trademarked grinding riff assault is on full display, accompanied by Karl Willetts's gruff roar. There are some great riffs and songs on this one and it has quickly taken the spot as my favorite Bolt Thrower album. It only took one listen. It is that good.
DREAM DEATH: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY (1987)
A criminally underrated album from 1987. I first heard about this album from perusing the Decibel Hall of Fame. I had never heard of this band, so I looked into it a little bit, and then quickly decided I had to find it. This is possibly a very early progenitor of the death/doom sound, with quite a bit of thrash thrown in for good measure. The Celtic Frost influence is obvious from the muddy riffing style and singer Brian Lawrence's angry bark. The Lovecraftian and horror-filled lyrics match well with the band's dark and dreary sound. How this album managed to escape me for so long is beyond me. As with many other bands, Dream Death has re-formed in recent years. I may have to check them out.
GHOST TOWER: HEAD OF NIGHT (2012)
I love finding obscure albums from bands from my home state of Nebraska. Technically, almost all bands from Nebraska count as obscure as Cellador, Xenomorph, and maybe Narcotic Self are the only Nebraska metal bands to make any sort of impact on the metal scene outside the state, though Garoted seem to be on their way. Ghost Tower is a short-lived band that released two full-length albums and play a mix of thrash and doom metal with some impressive occult-sounding melodies throughout. The vocals take a little bit of getting used to, but the music is pretty damn impressive to make it worthwhile. The band does actually kind of remind me of a thrashier Ghost at times. It is a shame they no longer exist as they had some real talent.