Christian metal, occasionally referred to as white metal, is heavy metal music with a Christian message. It is a form of Heavy Metal that emerged in the late 1970s Jesus movement as a means of evangelism among mainstream metal scene, and the American Resurrection Band and the Swedish Jerusalem are cited as the founding groups. Los Angeles' Stryper brought the genre into media spotlight during the mid 1980s. At the same time the secular label Metal Blade Records came up with the term "white metal" in contrast to the rising black metal movement to market the doom metal band Trouble, known for its Biblical lyrics. As a result, "white metal" was used interchangeably with "Christian metal" until the early 1990s when the mainstream popularity of the scene ended and the movement went underground. After that, English-speaking countries (North America, Australia, United Kingdom etc.) and Central and Northern European scenes adopted the "Christian metal" term, while "white metal" remained in use in South America and southwestern Europe. California's Tourniquet and Australia's Mortification lead the movement in the 1990s. The alternative metal groups P.O.D., Underoath, As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean pioneered the genre's revival in the 2000s achieving ranks in the Billboard 200.
Christian metal is typically performed by professed Christians sometimes principally for Christians who listen to heavy metal music and many times produced and distributed through various Christian networks. It is often regarded as more of a concept rather than a genre since it has no specific musical characteristics with bands performing in all the subgenres of heavy metal music. The only common link between most Christian metal bands are the Christian-themed lyrics that are often melded with the subjects of the genre the band is rooted in, regularly providing a Christian take on the subject matter. It has been argued that the marginal yet transnational Christian metal subculture provides its core members an alternative religious expression and Christian identity, and that the music serves the purpose of offering a positive alternative or counterbalance to secular metal music which is known for its generally dark and negative message.
Seventh Avenue was a Christian heavy metal band from Wolfsburg, Germany, formed in 1989. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Herbie Langhans, guitarist Florian Gottsleben, bassist Markus Beck, and drummer Mike Pflüger, Seventh Avenue plays a hybrid style of speed and power metal. Typical for the genre, melodic vocals and guitar riffs dominate Seventh Avenue's music. Occasionally there are progressive elements and more complicated song structures.
They have released 7 albums and an EP. The band launched a demo entitled First Strike in 1993 but the loss of their guitarist delayed their first album, Rainbowland, until 1995. They then signed with Treasure Hunt Records. Their first release on this label, Tales of Tales, topped at 18 on the Japanese heavy metal charts. The 1998 release, Southgate, was licensed to Megahard Records for release in Brazil, where the band subsequently toured. They released two albums, Between the Worlds and Eternals, on Massacre Records, and released their 7th album titled Terium on that label in March 2008.