With some bands, it’s hard to blame people who think heavy metal is the music of the devil. There is a scene however that substitutes Christian glorification for the typical heavy metal themes. Despite being part of a variety of musical styles, including thrash metal, metalcore, power metal, and even black metal, these bands are frequently referred to as Christian metal or white metal. There are many performers who identify as Christians like Dave Mustaine or Tom Araya of Slayer; this list however covers bands who praise Christianity in their lyrics.
Stryper Stryper are known by many as the quintessential Christian metal band. They are probably the first band that springs to mind when somebody mentions Christian heavy metal or White metal. Stryper stand out from the majority of the bands on this list because they were very outspoken Christians who frequently distributed Bibles to the crowd during live performances. The band have made platinum and gold records several times. They split up in 1992 but got back together in 2003. In 2018, Frontiers Records released their most recent album, “God Damn Evil.”
August Burns Red
American metalcore band August Burns Red started in 2003 and has since received many Grammy nominations. While attempting to avoid becoming overly religious, the band members identify as Christians and allow their faith shine through in their music. Furthermore, despite their insistence that they are not a Christian heavy metal band, their lyrics clearly have a Christian theme.
This Swedish power metal band takes the name of the make-believe continent of Narnia from the “Chronicles of Narnia” book series. The band’s music has several neoclassical elements as well as other common power metal components. Its lyrics combine Christian glorification with stories from The Chronicles of Narnia. After splitting up in 2010, the band got back together in 2014.
Their songs are heavily influenced by Christian Faith and the Bible. However they are another band on the list that does not identify as Christian Metal. Early works by the band combined death and thrash metal, similar to bands like Death or Pestilence. Subsequent works include numerous experimental and classical influences.
The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada is an Ohio-based band established in 2005. T he band’s name is frequently associated with the Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway film; however it really makes reference to the title of the 2003 novel that served as its inspiration. It also expresses the band’s theological and anti-materialistic viewpoints; asserting that when the Last Judgement occurs, we will all stand before God on an equal footing.
You could easily mistake Mortification’s lyrics for the traditional war and violence clichés utilized by equally vicious bands like Grave or Carcass. However the songs are all written from a personal, religious perspective. There is an underlying strong Christian message. The fact that they have fourteen albums to their credit does not lessen how brutal they are, and they are still going strong.
Extol, a 1993-founded band from Norway that is also from the Scandinavian region. The group has a distinctive fusion of thrash, death, progressive, and black metal genres. Together with lyrics that express thei religious convictions, they forge their own recognisable path. The group is now on hiatus but have sold over 500,000 albums globally to date.
This legendary heavy metal band, who started in Los Angeles, California, in 1989, has a diverse musical background. It includes flamenco, thrash metal, and neoclassical elements. After the departure of singer Luke Easter, they currently go by the name The Tourniquet Ark and have released eight albums.
Antestor / Horde
The earliest Christian metal bands in the then-expanding black metal scene can be attributed to these two bands. The title “Horde” is a play on words alluding to the phrase Darkthrone play unholy black metal. They altered it to holy unblack (translated as Hellig Usvart, in Norwegian which is the name of Horde’s debut. Horde is largely regarded as the pioneer of unblack metal.
Jayson Sherlock, the band’s sole member, asserts that despite their debut leaning closer toward doom metal, Antestor should be regarded as the first unblack metal band.
This is different from some of the black metal bands in the list. It is more akin to upbeat power metal realms, the perfect setting for inspirational Christian songs. Theocracy stands out among other bands playing traditional European power metal. This style of music is not nearly as common in the US as it is elsewhere in the world. What began as Matt Smith’s solo endeavor and resulted in four CDs eventually became a band. The beautiful lyrics of Theocracy expertly incorporate their Christian values. You need look no further than “I Am” to see proof.
Since the Death
One of the more intriguing musicians on this list might be this one. The Death, also known as Oscar Rask, has released three recordings since starting the group in late 2016. The most recent album, The Black Must Come Out, was released during the pandemic. The stylistic inclinations are difficult to pin down, and the lack of direct comparisons is perhaps a compliment. Imagine a mixture of black metal, punk rock, doom metal, and death metal.
Moonlight in Crimson
Little explanation is necessary if you have been a fan of Christian black metal for the previous twenty years. Consider them to be Horde’s legitimate heirs—the pioneers of Jesus black metal. This is harsh black metal, much like Skald in Veum. They are vital listening for their pulsating, ominous, and gripping black metal.
A new icon for black metal/blackgaze is on the rise. The sub-subgenre may have been established by Deafheaven, but Daygraves is honing it despite being Daygraves is a relative newcomer to since forming in 2020. The five-track EP Silver, the single “The Final Empire,” the crossover album Nocturns with Within Thy Wounds, and other releases by Daygraves give an incredible initial impression; atmospheric, melancholic, and introspective.
Skald in Veum
The most recent album, Stridslysten, is filled with speed and fury. It’s a blend of extreme black metal reminiscent of Crimson Moonlight. The Swedish band, which describes itself as Scandinavian black metal, has released two albums. This band is possibly the most eerie and dark in this list; fans of the genre will experience a spiritual uplift as a result of the band’s outspoken evangelistic stance and Christian background.
A Hill to Die Upon
One of the most renowned bands is another seasoned black metal act that also draws inspiration from their Christian religion. If there is such a thing as genuine black metal, AHTDU fits the criteria. Their most recent album, Via Artis Via Mortis, came out in 2017 and their skill is unmatched, blending orchestral metal and a splash of doom.