Christian metal is a form of heavy metal music and progressive rock music with Christian lyrics and themes, a genre of metal created by Christian bands.
Christian metal has its origins in the early 1970s, with Resurrection Band and Jerusalem are cited as the ealiest Christian metal bands. During the late 1980s, the band Stryper helped to popularize the genre.
Because Christian metal is largely characterized by lyrical content there are various musical subgenres within Christian metal. In the 80s the Christian metal bands followed very closely with more mainstream bands producing a large amount of glam, speed, and thrash metal such as Stryper Vengeance Rising and Whitecross. In 1990 the band Mortification became the first widely recognised Christian death metal band. Though they played an old style of death metal very close to its thrash roots their 1992 release Scrolls of the Megilloth is still considered a classic Christian death metal release. At roughly the same time the band Living Sacrifice was creating thrash/death metal and Paramaecium became one of the largest Christian doom metal bands and would influence later Christian bands such as Pantokrator. Horde is widely considered to be the first Christian black metal band. As a one man band with only one release (Hellig Usvart-1994) Horde created relatively large controversy within the extreme metal community by breaking into a market that was largely cornered by Satanic and National Socialists bands. The cds title Hellig Usvart means Holy Unblack which is now often used as a replacement name for black metal made by Christians by those who see black metal as exclusively Satanic. The black metal band Antestor existed previous to the release of Hellig Usvart but their music was not yet musicly considered black metal. They as well as Crimson Moonlight and others make up today's more polished style of Christian black metal compairable to more mainstream high production black metal bands and sharing in their influence from various other metal genres. However, the more traditional and raw low production black metal bands such as Abdijah still exist on record labels such as Son of Man Records. There is a Christian metal band for virtually every sub-genre of metal today. Extol with their mixed and changing style is one band with signifigant popularity among both Christian and Non-Christian metal fans. Divinefire Narnia and Rob Rock are the most prominent Christian power metal bands. Rob achieved initial fame as the vocalist for guitar virtuoso Chris Impelitteri's band during the 80's and 90's and then went solo with his Rage Of Creation album. He also performed guest vocals for the heavy metal band Warrior. There are many other notable bands out there such as Becoming the Archetype, Immortal Souls, Aletheian, Slechtvalk, Crimson Thorn, Saviour Machine, Soul Embraced, and Veni Domine among others.
Certain Christian artists have found mainstream acceptance selling millions of albums to both Christian and non-Christian fans, including P.O.D. and Stryper. Many of metalcore's largest successes are Christian bands, including Underoath, Norma Jean, Zao, As I Lay Dying, Still Remains, and Demon Hunter.
Several general market metal bands who do not identify themselves as a "Christian band" but still use their lyrics to portray God in a positive light. There are some bands, Virgin Black and Klank, for example, who have Christian members but prefer to remain in the general market. Other more notable mainstream acts that feature Christian members are Shadow Gallery, Magnitude 9, Killswitch Engage, Mercyful Fate, Savatage, Megadeth, and Comeback Kid.
Some metal fans consider the use of Christian lyrics to be opposed to the "true" purpose of metal while some Christians consider metal music opposed to their faith. However, many metal fans and artists see metal as a genre of music such as any genre be it blues, ska, punk, or otherwise. The lyrics of any song reflects the beliefs of the piece's author. Therefore Christian metal is created when these metal artist write in such a way that reflects their faith in Christ.
Light in Darkness - Nemesis Divina is a documentary about the Christian Black Metal concept. The documentary was released in early summer of 2008, and it includes Frosthardr, Crimson Moonlight, Admonish, Horde and Pantokrator.
The working crew includes producer Stefan Rydehed, who previously finished work on a documentary on the black metal band Mayhem, and David Nilsson, who will focus particularly on the Scandinavian Christian scene and the aforementioned groups.
Some of the companies invovled in Christian metal include:
- Facedown Records
- Flicker Records
- Mono Vs Stereo
- Raging Storm Records
- Rivel Records
- Solid State Records
- Tooth & Nail Records
- Blood and Ink Records
- Endtime Productions
- GrrrRecords.com Grrr Records is the Label of Resurrection Band, Glenn Kaiser and Many More.
- The Christian Metal Realm A community of Christian metal fans. Features areas for metal music discussion, off-topic general discussion and a prayer and Bible study area.
- MetalForJesus.org Comparisons of Christian Metal to Black, Death, Heavy and other Metal genres
- Reign Radio Streaming Christian Metal
- DanielsMusic.com Concert Photography
- Tongues of Fire News and Reviews of Modern Christian Hardcore and Metal
- Christian Hard Music A Fan forum for all styles of Christian hard music ranging from blues to metal to modern rock
- Firestream A Christian rock and metal fan forum
- Godcore.com Christian Music Database
- Nordic Mission.com
- Endtime Productions.com
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