|Origin||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Instruments||Vocals, Bass guitar|
|Years active||1986 - Present|
|Labels||Rowe Productions, Nuclear Blast, Intense Records|
|Associated acts||Mortification, Light Force|
Steve Rowe (born January 1965) is the founder, bass guitarist, and vocalist of the Australian Christian death metal band Mortification which was considered to be a major pioneer in the genre. Prior to forming Mortification he was in a traditional heavy metal styled Christian band known as LightForce. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 1997, but made a full recovery. He is currently the owner and head of the Rowe Productions record label.
Steve was first introduced to heavy metal bands like AC/DC and Deep Purple by his older brother Scott when he was just 8 years old. By the time he reached the age of 15 his favorite bands were Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Judas Priest. Because Steve grew up in a Baptist home with strong Christian values he became disappointed that the music he enjoyed appeared to be so focused on themes that cut against his faith. In 1980 he began to feel as if he did not fit in with the people he knew at church and started spending his spare time partying with his heavy metal friends.
In 1983 Steve purchased his first bass guitar and began learning how to play. The main influences on his style as he was learning were Lemmy of Motörhead, Joey DeMaio of Manowar, and Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. In that same year a youth pastor from the church he used to attend invited him to come back to church and gave Steve a copy of a Resurrection Band album. The album changed Steve's views on what Christian music could be like and was a major factor in his decision to return to the church. Seeing how much rock music combined with a Christian message had helped him, Steve vowed to form a Christian metal band that would change the world. Initially, he formed a band with a few friends back at his church, but it soon became clear that finding people with the same vision and goals would not be an easy task. It was while he was attempting to start this band that Steve became unhappy with the Church he was attending, and as a result, he left and joined the Harvest Christian Centre, which had a huge outreach to groups like metalheads and punks. It was here that Steve finally found a home for his Christian metal vision.
After several failed attempts with different bands and constant lineup changes, Steve formed LightForce in 1986. Initially that band was a failure as well as their first lineup, which was disbanded after only one show. Steve then reformed the band with a new lineup that managed to win the "Melbourne Heavy Metal battle of the bands competition" in which it was competing with five secular metal acts. LightForce was instantly accepted into the Australian metal scene and went on to record their first full album Battlezone and tour across Australia. In 1988 the band released the album Mystical Thieves. The album went on to sell very well and they toured constantly in support of its release, opening for bands such as Stryper, Whitecross and Leviticus.
Just when it seemed set for LightForce to make a big name for themselves in the Christian metal scene, two of the bands members announced they were leaving the band. Steve spoke with the remaining members about forming a more extreme thrash metal oriented LightForce with him handling vocal duties as well as playing bass. The remaining members did not think it would work so Steve reformed the band with guitarist Cameron Hall and Jayson Sherlock on drums. The band changed their name to Mortification and recorded Break The Curse which was released in 1990.
Mortification went on to record many more albums and the band is considered to be one of the pioneers in the extreme Christian metal scene. The 1992 album Scrolls of the Megilloth is considered to be a great classic of death metal. In 1997 Steve was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite doctors who had given him only hours to live on several different occasions and a seemingly failed bone marrow transplant, Steve managed to make a full recovery which he has attributed to a miracle. Mortification then went on to release the 1998 album Triumph of Mercy which dealt with the personal issues Steve faced while receiving treatment for the disease. Mortification is still currently making music and to date has released 13 studio albums. Steve is also the owner and head of the Rowe Productions record label and has performed guest vocals on a song on Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm by Tourniquet.