|Demon Hunter would kick my face in for writing this, if they didn't have to forgive me.|
Heavy Metal is certainly no stranger to oxymoron: "Led Zeppelin", "Quiet Riot", "Blind Guardian", and the like. However, it's fair to say that a phrase like "Christian Metal" really pushes it. Jesus has about as much place in metal music as a dolphin in a desert. Sorry about the confusion, bible-thumping rock fans, but last time I checked, people burn down churches in my genre.
Christian Metal (or "White Metal" if you want to be cute), was originally formed back in the mid 80's as a clever way for hard rock record producers to take advantage of the untapped market of young, impressionable children, whose conservative Christian parents had forbidden them from having good taste in music. The most notable out of the bunch was Stryper, famous for writing tunes such as "To Hell with the Devil", and for throwing bibles into crowds of confused, disgruntled metal fans. I'm sure a good amount of Christian parents were clever enough to recognize that Satan resided in big hair and tight pants, not just lyrics, but enough people bought into the nonsense, and Stryper enjoyed significant commercial success as a glam band with a message.
|To hell with Stryper.|
Like As I Lay Dying, Christianity in today's hard rock music is mostly seen in a metalcore outfit: bands like Norma Jean, The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, August Burns Red, Demon Hunter and Haste the Day all claim themselves to be Christian groups and to write lyrics that are inspired by their faith. As much as I disagree with it, being a Christian metalcore band is excellent business sense. Albums by these bands will end up in a metalcore fan's collection, regardless of the individual's faith. Metalcore lyrics are typically such cryptic, forced poetry, that you could put any message behind them, whether it be "praise Jesus" or "I miss my girlfriend a lot". So they can get away with being a non-Christian band for the kid who hates his parents, as well as a Christian band for the kid who loves them, all at the same time. I'm only this upset because it's such an ingenious plot, and I didn't think of it first.
Easily the worst perpetrators of the Christian metal violation is the band Mortification, based solely on the fact that they make music that I want to listen to. It's like a sheep in wolf's clothing. Yeah, I didn't mix that up. These guys are sheep wearing wolf suits. You are lured in by a quality death metal band, and upon routine lyric lookup, you find nothing but Satan getting harshly rejected and all this crap about "preaching the word".
If you find yourself listening to/enjoying a metal act that happens to be Christian, true metal redemption lies in long, sleepless nights listening to the discographies of Deicide, Mercyful Fate, Dissection, Immolation, Venom and for heaven's sake, SLAYER until you get your metalhead on straight.
God damn it.
Sidenote: Haste The Day has recently announced their eventual parting of ways after their "12 Days of Christmas Tour". I say "Haste the Day" when you break up.