Christian metal, also known as white metal, Jesus metal or heavenly metal, is a form of heavy metal music usually defined by its message using song lyrics as well as the dedication of the band members to Christianity. Christian metal is typically performed by professed Christians principally for Christians who listen to heavy metal music and often produced and distributed through various Christian networks.
Christian metal bands exist in most of the subgenres of heavy metal music, and the only common link among most Christian metal bands are the lyrics. The Christian themes 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 message through lyrical content. This may not necessarily show a direct connection or reference to the Christian faith but often it does.
Christian metal emerged in the late 1970s as a means of evangelization to the wider heavy metal music scene and was pioneered by the American Resurrection Band and Barnabas, the Swedish Jerusalem, and Canadian Daniel Band. Los Angeles' Stryper achieved wide success in the 1980s. In the mid to late 1980s, extreme metal genres were popularized by bands such as Vengeance Rising, Deliverance, Believer and Tourniquet. In the early 1990, the Australian death metal band Mortification rose to prominence within its country's underground metal scene. At the turn of the 21st century, the nu metal band P.O.D, with two platinum-selling albums, achieved a mainstream commercial success rivaling that of Stryper. The metalcore groups Underoath, Demon Hunter, As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean (dubbed by Revolver Magazine as "The Holy Alliance") also brought some mainstream attention to the movement in the first decade of the 2000s, achieving ranks in the Billboard 200.
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.
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Christian metal news
- December 7: Kekal announced that their new album, 8, will be released by Whirlwind Records sometime late December.
- August 9: Drottnar finished mixing on the upcoming second album.
- July 16: Slechtvalk released their album A Forlorn Throne on Whirlwind Records.
- October 30: As I Lay Dying won the Best Music Video award for 'The Sound of Truth' at the Hollywood Film Festival.
- October 23: Crimson Moonlight reactivated, no current plans revealed.
- October 11: August Burns Red have announced that they will be supporting Lamb of God on tour in 2010.
- September 18: Shadow Gallery announces new vocalist, Brian Ashland.
- September 18: Theocracy announces a European tour, lasting October 23-31.
- September 14: Jacob's Dream posted new music video, "Welcome to my World", from the album Beneath the Shadows.
- April 28: Slechtvalk signs with Whirlwind Records, a German label with Lengsel and Pantokrator on their roster.
- April 20: Seventh Angel's new album entitled The Dust of Years is recorded and currently being mastered.
- January 26: Fearscape signs with Bombworks Records. Scent of Divine Blood will be re-issued with a bonustrack and new artwork. The band is also writing material for new album.
- January 19: Deuteronomium will release a 4 song EP on April 18. The EP includes a cover song and 3 songs that were not included on From the Midst of the Battle.
- January 12: Drottnar is currently recording a new album (Myspace.com/drottnarnorway). The follow-up for their successful debut Welterwerk will be recorded at a high-quality studio.
- January 3: Divine Metal Distro and Jesusmetal.com announced a new Christian metal magazine, Untombed magazine. The magazine focuses on underground death and black metal bands and is currently looking for contributors. (More info: myspace.com/untombedmagazine)
- January 2: Frost Like Ashes has put Gods of the Great Whore on hold because of a computer crash; their next album is tentatively entitled Who Walks in the Darkness, and is to be based on a novel by R. A. Salvatore entitled Homeland.
- November 18: Believer signs with Metal Blade Records. A new song titled "Medwton" had its world premiere on Bam Margera's Radio Bam show.
- October 15: Sympathy's new album, Anagogic Tyranny, will be released on November 11, 2008.
- October 1: Seventh Angel's first two albums, The Torment and Lament for the Weary, will be re-issued by Polish Metal Mind Productions. The band has written half of the material for their new album. (Metalmind)
- September 18: Theocracy's new album album Mirror of Souls will be released in Europe November 21st by Ulterium Records. Sound Pollution will handle the distribution in Sweden, Indie Distribution in Norway, and Metal Heaven in the rest of Europe.
- September 18: Tourniquet announced that they will perform a show at Norway's Nordic Fest on November. Tim Gaines (Stryper) will join the line-up on bass.
- September 17: Underoath's Lost in the Sound of Separation peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200, selling over 56,000 copies.
- September 17: Blabberjesus.com, a new Christian metal news resource, was launched in association with Divine Metal Distro and JesusMetal.Com
- September 9: Brian Head Welch's new album Save Me from Myself is released.
- August 29: Narnia's new vocalist is Germán Pascual. Germán grew up in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, but moved to Sweden in his teens. Previously he has worked with various bands and artists, such as Minds Eye and Mendez. (Myspace.com/narniaofficial)
- August 20: Deuteronomium's From the Midst of the Battle peaked at number 11 on the Finnish Top 40 Charts.
- August 3: Holy Blood is going through major line-up changes; vocalist Fedor Buzilevich's wife re-joined them as a keyboard player, and the rest, apart from Fedor, left the band to form a new group. Holy Blood is currently searching for new members and writing new music for fourth full-length album.
- July 2: Drottnar is currently on US tour and will play at Cornerstone Festival on July 3.
- June 11: Holy Blood's album The Patriot will be officially released in June 30, 2008. The exclusive release event will be held at Cornerstone Festival, Illinois.
- May 29: A book on Christian metal entitled The History of Christian metal is currently in works. The book will be written by Trevor Ray, a HM Magazine writer who has experience and education in the music industry, and he is currently doing research and interviews for the book. link
- May 23: Seventh Angel announced their reforming, and a new album is due out later. The current line-up consists of the original members Ian Arkley, Andrew "Tank" Thompson (drums), Simon Bibby (guitar), and Mark Broomhead (bass).
- April 29: Christian Liljegren parted ways with Narnia after a mutual agreement. The band began recording a new album in April 9. (Blabbermouth.net)
- April 13: Becoming the Archetype announced that they will be entering the studio in July to record their third full length album. The band recently confirmed studio time with producer Devin Townsend and the album is tentatively titled Dichotomy. Specific recording dates and track listing to be released in May. (MySpace bulletin)
- March 29: The German classic metal band Seventh Avenue released their new album titled Terium on Massacre Records.
- March 21: John Fowler, drummer of the reputive Christian glam metal group Rage of Angels, passed away. Melodicrock.com reported that Fowler suffered a brain aneurism and was on life support. Fowler was a member of the groups SteelHeart and The Voodoo Jets.
- March 13: Frost Like Ashes signed a record deal with Sullen Records, an imprint of Open Grave Records. The band's next release will be an EP titled Born to Pieces, which will be available at Cornerstone Festival.
- March 13: A documentary on Christian black metal is currently in production. Entitled Light in Darkness – Nemesis Divina, the documentary will focus on the Scandinavian Christian scene and particularly on groups such as Crimson Moonlight, Admonish and Frosthardr. Light in Darkness will be produced by Stefan Rydehed who recently finished work on a documentary on the black metal band Mayhem. (Blabbermouth.net)
- February 19: Sympathy signed a record deal with Bombworks Records. The Canadian technical blackened death metal band's third album titled Anagogic Tyranny is expected to be released by mid 2008.
- February 4: Living Sacrifice created an official MySpace to announce the reforming of the band. Currently Living Sacrifice plans to tour with Demon Hunter and record a new album in 2008.
- January 25: P.O.D. made the title track of their new album available for free download on their official website.
- January 18: Underoath announce that they have 7 songs ready for their new album and will be entering the recording studio in a month and a half