Wednesday, July 25, 2012

“White” Metal in The New Millennium


 Christian rock has always been an interesting part of my life. Even at many times when I have not aligned myself with the church or organized religion, I have always aligned myself with God and a strong spirituality. I’ve always been a big metal fan, and I’ll admit, there are times where I found myself turned off by messages being sent in the music. Being a very tonal person, I have avoided lyrics easily in my life, and now as an adult, I am not easily offended by 'movie quality' Satanism or gore anymore. But there was a time or two in my life where I sought out music with better lyrical content. At first, it was very hard to find bands on Christian recording labels that could match up to those in the secular market. The heavy metal market was relatively thin anyways, so the search was mostly a failure.  As my taste became more obscure, I found that the choices were even fewer and the music was mostly of less quality. Recently, through my regular musical research of local touring acts, I have realized that the imbalance of talent between Christian and non-Christian heavy metal acts no longer exists as it once did. In fact it may have shifted…toward the light.
    
     I did have a little success in the early days finding some good 'white' metal bands. My heart warmed and filled with joy the day I played my new white vinyl copy of the first album by Illinois metal band, Trouble. It is extremely heavy sounding, like a lot of the Metal Blade bands. It was a huge inspiration for me in my life, and gave me hope to find music that I enjoyed both the style and the lyrics. But usually, the other bands I found weren’t near as exciting to listen to. There was a lot of hype over White Cross and Stryper, but neither band excited my musical taste buds much. This deficiency did seem to carry on through the 90s, when I wasn't paying much attention. But those that are growing up searching for more holy bands in the new millennium, within the genre of ‘extreme’ metal, are fortunate not to face such a dilemma. Many of these bands are so good at what they do, they gather non-Christian listeners as well. Often the Christian metal bands today tour with other non-Christian acts. Knowing the content of a lot of heavy metal, it could seem like a clash for the bands, and one might think it wouldn’t work. But actually, it seems to work out rather well, for the listeners and the touring musicians. For Christian bands today, they are not restrained to “preaching to the choir”, and have abundant opportunities to be "a witness by their actions". There also seems to be a high amount of respect between the bands, often seen wearing each others t-shirts on stage. Since the bands aren't overly preachy and judgmental, they all seem to get along fine on tour and back stage together. 

     In this blog, I will review and share bands and releases that are in the 'holy' metal category. This includes bands that have Christian members all the way to bands that lean toward 'praise and worship' music. But mostly, the bands promoted on this blog will be metal of the 'extreme' variety. Some older, defunct bands I will review if I feel they need highlighting, and may have been missed. But hopefully I will bring you newer, undiscovered talent and releases. Enjoy the music!


    


     

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