A large portion of the metal genres are known for pagan-based lyrics. Metal has, for years, had ties with Satanism and Norse paganism. But, of course, there is plenty of metal that has no spiritual/religious/metaphysical quality to it at all.

But, then, there's Christian metal. It may seem like an antithesis to many of us...growling for Jesus and whatnot. But, as a former Christian who seriously dug metal and, as a natural progression (or regression), began to listen to Christian metal, some of it is pretty fucking good. Bands like Zao, Living Sacrifice, Extol, Mortification, Tourniquet, As I Lay Dying, Society's Finest, Soul Embraced and a host of others kick ass.

But, what's the line between metal (especially very pagan-based genres like black metal) and Christianity? Is it lame? Is it a total oxymoron? What do you guys think?

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I'm sure they kick ass, but I get pumped by the lyrics or the idea that they hold similar views as me and are expressing their intense disgust or "evil" through the riffs/drums/vocals...
I enjoy lots of songs w/ somewhat religious connotations: like Jars of Clays song about 40 days...or Collective Soul Heave let your light shine down. But they just don't hit the spot when I'm feeling anti-social and need to vent.
Christian Metal is a f*ckin oxymoron. I remember when Heavy Metal was just becoming popular, ( late 70's early 80's,,,, I'm showing my age here ;) ) I remember the likes of Jerry Farwell, Jimmy Swagart, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson and his 700 Club, screaming there heads off on TV about the "Dangers" of heavy metal. That Satan was controlling the youth with music. That it was "turning us away from god's goodness". It was heavy metal that was causing us to "rebel" aginst our parents and society. It was Heavy Metal that was causing us to "think" for ourselves and not do what we "were told." Even Pope John Paul got into the fearmongering, rallying his flock about the "evils" of heavy metal. I remember the persistant questioning by my mother about my interest in bands like Iron Maiden, Helloween, and AC/DC, ( whitch we all know stood for Anti Christ/ Devil Controll. ) The pititions that were being fowarded to the local music stores NOT to sell anything that was labled "Heave Metal". I remember my room being rummaged through by my parents, and being drug to the church for a "talking to by the priest". I remember the alblum burning revivals. An Ozzy Ozborne poster at a crime scene being touted as "PROOF" that the crime was "Satanic" in nature. I remember the "Cops for Christ" who were "specially trained" to investigate said crimes. I remember all that, and out of all that hysteria, fearmongering, and stories of Satanic Suvivors, came,,,,,,,,,,,Stryper. The worlds first christian heavy metal band. The beat and melodies of metal, comdined with the lyrics of gospel. At there concerts they would ask everyone to join them in a prayer, and distribute bibles after the show. This is how I learned what "HYPOCRITE" ment. Heavy metal has, and always will be rebelious in nature. It is the finger in the face of anything labled "establishment". So how can you be rebelous and still support an establishment? You can't! Like the establishment it supports, it is deceptive at best. It's fake, fraudulent and full of shit. A lot of people forgot the past, or was never told. We first generation headbangers who lived through the hysteria have not...
I heard AC/DC = "After Christ / Devil Comes"

I'm totally on board with you here, Peter.

I think a lot of folks don't quite realize just how frightening and real and wrong the whole "Satanic Panic" thing was, it was a modern day witch hunt. Anyone who is even a little bit aware of that whole "cops for Christ" thing and not alarmed and outraged is missing the point. This was a massive cultural movement, an fundamentalist conspiracy selling lies and deliberately crafting discrimination against non-conformists of all kinds. There were MANY, MANY "authority figures" from cops to teachers to hospital personnel, licensed therapists, social workers, countless folks with real, legal authority of one kind or another who openly chose to accept and spread this pack of lies about a completely fabricated network of "cults" and used this delusion and misused their authority to actively discriminate against, exploit, and persecute normal citizens who basically had philosophical or aesthetic view different from their own. It's ridiculous, but at the same time no laughing matter. I think the full story here still remains to be told, and I hope it comes out. Real and lasting damage was done to real people's lives by this fundamentalist conspiracy, and it wasn't that long ago, there is no reason to think the effects of this do not still linger all around us.
As a fan of doom metal, I find Christian lyrics work pretty well. Classic example being Trouble. Another one that comes to mind is Solitude Aeturnus, who's first album featured lyrics by an early member who was devout Christian. There's just something about the end times and damnation of unbelievers that works well in doom metal. Of course in both cases, the music never gets preachy, which would pretty much ruin the aesthetic.
great question...You have to give respect where respect is due even if you don't want to admit it. There are some very talented christian metal bands. I have much respect for As I Lay Dying, Demon Hunter, Living Sacrifice, and others because at the end of the day...they are talented musicians. However I certainly have no respect for their beliefs and what they stand for.
Pardon my slanted bigotry here, but I have to say I can really enjoy pagan metal, but cannot tolerate even a hint of Christian agnosticism in my music, unless it's totally Satanic. It's just my personal taste, Christianity absolutely ruins it for me. And now that I'm a parent in my 40's with less time and money than ever for pursuing my interest in music, I'd actually love to find a website or something that lists bands with any hint of Christianity, so I don't accidentally waste cab fare going to a Megadeth show or something - I won some free tickets and was glad I found out they have some Christian content now BEFORE I went. It might sound limiting to younger people, (or more open minded people!) but as it is there are hundreds more bands I'd like to see than I'll ever have the time and money to see, even if I exclude all the Christian ones, so I definitely want to exclude the ones that give me an allergic reaction. I don't fault any of you who like some Christian bands, but I absolutely don't.
So true.
Yes,there are in fact christian bands with impressive chops and shredding capabilities.As an Atheist, I feel I'm free to listen to whatever I want with no explaining or apologies to anybody. I can listen to so-called "christian" music (I say so-called because there never was any Christ -he certainly never existed as described in the bible) and it's no ones business.If you fear the jesus message will somehow convert (or in some cases re-convert) you,I weep for your lack of intellect.
On the other hand I can listen to so-called "satanic" music (and here I refer to it as so-called because there's simply no such thing as a satan.There never was,period)and if some bible thumper thinks lucifer incarnate is going to jump out of the speakers,they're even more bat-shit insane than I thought.
Of course, most of them don't think that.In fact, a couple of the most talented metal musicians I know right now ARE christians! They just don't want to make "christian" metal. They listen to Deicide,Cannibal Corpse,etc. and it's just entertainment.That's the same way I look at christian bands.
I mean, if the tunes kick ass who cares? I'd check out a Buddhist or a Hindu band if there even was such a thing.I don't care as long as the music doesn't suck.
Besides,I'm here in FL and all this "satan this" and "satan that" stuff is getting pretty old.All the musicians here are trying to rip-off the the late 80's early 90's era of Floridian underground metal.Either that,or they're ripping off the Norwegian stuff (corpse paint and all). All of this makes the FL scene look like a mockery of a parody of a satire .....of itself.
Don't get me wrong here,most christian bands just aren't worth listening to.I know that.Their stage presence usually reeks of "we're just as good as secular so PLEASE like us" whether they're overly preachy or not.It just doesn't appear genuine.
But then again, the same can be said for a lot of other bands who aren't anywhere near christian.Their lyrics,imagery and persona all reek of "Look at me,I'm EVIL! Look what a big bad-ass I am! Its' all about blood and guts and death and satan! I'm evil! Aren't you afraid?!" NO. You're an imbecilic ass-clown.
That doesn't appear to be very genuine OR original either.

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