Christian Metal Bands – Who is Your Favorite?

People sometimes consider heavy metal as the Devil’s music. But Christian metal bands prove quite the opposite. They are sometimes labeled as white metal bands, but they belong to diverse genres like thrash metal, power metal, or even black metal.

God is probably the last thing that comes to mind when talking about metal music. But that is the case here. Christian music has taken over in the past several years. Bands have broken the boundaries. Nowadays, you do not have to be a Christian to enjoy bands like Demon Hunter, August Burns Red, and more.

What is Christian Metal?

There are many names you can find this genre under. Some of them include heavenly metal, white metal, or Jesus metal. Basically, it is a form of heavy metal music distinguished by its Christian-themed song lyrics and the dedication of the band members to Christianity.

Performed usually by professed Christians, the music is dedicated to Christians. The music itself exists in most of the subgenres of heavy metal music. The only common link is the lyrics.

Christian metal music emerged in the 1970s as a form of evangelization to the wider heavy metal music scene. Some of the early bands included the American Resurrection Band and Barnabas. Nowadays, there are many more Christian metal bands.

Demon Hunter

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The American Christian metal band started producing music in 2000. Brothers Don Clark and Ryan Clark created the band. Now, only Ryan remains. They have sold more than half a million albums.

Their style combines nu metal sounds and qualities heard in metalcore.

August Burns Red

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The American metalcore band was formed in 2003. They were nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016 for Best Metal Performance for their song Identity.

The band shares some progressive metal elements and frequently feature highly melodic guitar riffs. The band’s name is often a topic of theories and questions. One theory is that the band’s original vocalist Jon Hershey dated a woman named August who burned his dog Redd alive. But the band has revealed it was a comical story and there is no actual meaning behind their name.

Stryper

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The American Christian metal band was formed in 1983 as Roxx Regime, but they soon changed their name to reflect the Christian beliefs.

They are the first overtly Christian heavy metal band to gain acceptance in the mainstream. Stryper signed with Enigma Records in 1983.

Their album To Hell with the Devil achieved platinum sales status. During the 1980s they represented the popular glam metal style.

The Devil Wears Prada

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The name of a movie and book is also a name of an American metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio. They formed in 2005 and have released seven full-length albums to this day.

The band fused the finest elements of American metalcore and European melodic metal.  In 2011, they said, “we have not promoted the band as being Christian for a long time. Most of us aren’t Christians, but we do aim at writing music that is fun to play”.

As I Lay Dying

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Founded in 2000 by vocalist Tim Lambesis, the band has managed to land the Number 8 spot on the Billboard 200 chart with their album An Ocean Between Us.

They have performed at events such as Warped Tour, Bloodstock Open Air, Taste of Chaos, and With Full Force.

They went on an indefinite hiatus in 2014 when their vocalist Lambessis was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for murdering his estranged wife.

Living Sacrifice

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The American Christian metal group was formed in 1989 and has released eight studio albums since. The first three were recorded under R.E.X Records. Their original vocalist Darren Johnson was a more thrash metal and death metal performer. Since then, they have evolved into a groove metal band under Solid State Records.

Many bands look at Living Sacrifice as the inspiration and influence.

Extol

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We now have a Christian metal band outside of the US. Extol was formed in Norway in 1993 and plays a variety of styles including progressive metal, black metal, thrash metal, and more.

They have released five studio albums. Many critics praise their precise and technical musicianship. Collectively, they have sold more than 500,000 albums worldwide.

Mortification

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The Australian Christian extreme metal band was formed in 1987 as a heavy metal group. During the early 1990s, they played death metal, grindcore, and many more styles. Their 1992 album Scrolls of the Megilloth is among their best.

In 1994, the band achieved commercial success with their album Blood World. Australian rock music historian Ian McFarlane described the band in his 1999 encyclopediaas ”Australia’s foremost Christian-inspired death metal band”.

Skillet

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Arguably the most popular band nowadays, the American Christian rock band was formed in 1996. They started with husband John Cooper as lead vocal and wife Korey Cooper as rhythm guitar.

They have released 10 albums so far, two of which received a Grammy Award nomination. They have gone through several line-up changes, with founder John Cooper remaining the only original member.

The band is famous for its relentless touring schedule.

Norma Jean

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The American metalcore band started in 1997. They have gone through several lineup changes. Today, there are no original members in the lineup. Norma Jean has released eight studio albums and received a Grammy Award nomination in 2006 for Best Recording Package.

Their musical style is hardcore punk and metalcore.

Becoming the Archetype

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Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999, the band has released five albums. They are part of the new wave of American heavy metal.

The members are professed Christians and the band took its name from Genesis 1:26.

War of Ages

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Sometimes they are known as WoA. Formerly known as Point Zero, the American Christian band was formed in 2002.

They have a strong Christian faith expressed in the lyrics. They aim to make a difference in a world that is covered in darkness.

Whitecross

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The American Christian metal group from Illinois was formed in 1985. They released their first recording in 1987. Some of their early work is laced with fast and technical guitar work.

They have won three Dove Awards so far.

For Today

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The American Christian metalcore band was formed in 2005. So far, they have released six full-length albums.

In July 2016, they announced via Facebook that the band will embark on a farewell tour and will disband after that. Before disbanding the band, two of the members, Ryan and Brandon Leitru formed a new band called Nothing Left.

For Today played their last show on December 18, 2016, with Silent Planet, Oh, Sleeper, Norma Jean, and Fit for a King.

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