The 10 Best Christian Heavy Metal Bands
Christian metal has changed drastically since the 1980’s. We saw a change from 80’s hair metal and thrash metal morph into the many genres we have today including: death core, power metal, and progressive death metal. Every type of metal has one thing in common: they all proclaim faith in Jesus Christ! Whether you love 80’s hair metal or today’s death core it’s important to remember that it is not the sound that is of ultimate importance, it is the message being proclaimed that matters the most. Here are my 10 favorite Christian metal bands with my favorite lyrics! Quick note…after each lyric is a set of parenthesis. The first part is the song and the second part is the album that each band released. Enjoy!
Stryper is by far the most popular hair metal band from the 80’s. They dominated the Christian metal scene from their first full length album, Soldiers Under Command. Their sound and yellow and black attire made them an instant success. Their version of “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” was an awesome idea for that album.
Favorite Lyric – “Through Him, without sin there is victory! And we’re fighting all the sin. And the good book — it says we’ll win!” (Soldiers Under Command, Soldiers Under Command)
9. Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter has one of the most loyal fan bases out there. Christians and non-Christians relate so well to their music. Ryan Clark’s lyrics are always intentional and poetic. Combining his amazing thoughts into the music brings you into an unforgettable experience. They have released 6 studio albums to date and they have no signs of stopping soon!
Favorite Lyric – “One final heart-break, and blinding lights will guide our way. Free us our blind state. They will call us by our name. UNDYING!” (Undying, The Triptych)
Mortification is a thrash/death metal band from Australia. Steve Rowe is the founder and lead singer/bassist for the band. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 1996 and survived after an 18 month battle with it. The album released after Steve was cured is called Triumph Of Mercy, which deals with his battle with cancer. Mortification was one of the top Christian metal bands of the early 90’s. Scrolls Of The Megilloth is their most popular album, although my favorite is their first one titled, Break The Curse.
Favorite Lyric – “Demon Forces, they must bow! Saints of God arise and kill deprivation! Evil bondage
will not claim the church of Christ!” (Brutal Warfare, Break The Curse)
7. August Burns Red
ABR is a metal core band with a huge following. They formed in Pennsylvania and have released 6 studio albums. Despite the many line-up changes they have faced, ABR continues to push through the trials deliver heavy Christian music! My favorite album of theirs is Constellations.
Favorite Lyric – “You ask me to be blameless. You ask me to be blameless, but who are you to decide what’s right? Don’t say another word. Don’t say another word, you’ve crossed the line!” (Whitewashed, Constellations)
Whitewashed came in at number 49 on a “101 Best Christian Songs Of All-Time” article! Feel free to check it out here: http://www.faithandentertainment.com/50-best-christian-songs-of-all-time/
6. Impending Doom
Impending Doom is a death core band that formed in California. Between the heavy break downs and brutal screams from Brook Reeves you get you may get a sore neck after listening to a few songs! This band is brutal and their love for Jesus is very evident in their songs and when you see them in concert. They have released 4 studio albums, with the latest and greatest being, Baptized In Filth.
Favorite Lyric – “Are we, trapped in division and unbelief, forever separated by our hatred? Follow, Him to the kingdom of heaven where pain and suffering cease to exist.” (Death, Ascension, Resurrection – Baptized In Filth)
Tourniquet is a thrash metal band that formed in 1989 in Los Angeles, CA. The founding members, Ted Kirkpatrick, Guy Ritter and Gary Lenaire, released the first album, Stop The Bleeding, and took the world by storm. There have been many changes in the line-up, including the original vocalist, Guy Ritter leaving in 1993. I honestly feel that the band wasn’t the same after he left. Their first 3 albums were their best.
Favorite Lyric – “Men fail me…But the Son of God saves!” (Broken Chromosomes, Psycho Surgery)
Theocracy, a power metal band, was founded by one man, Matt Smith. He wrote, sang and played all of the parts on the first album! Since then, Theocracy has developed into a 5 man band. They have released 3 albums to date and they are all amazing! They are kind of like a Christian version of Dream Theatre. They write long songs with tons of melodic riffs with harmonies and operatic vocals. Their longest song is the title track from Mirror Of Souls, spanning a length of over 22 minutes!
Favorite Lyric – “I am the hope of the lonely and lost in the blood running down to the foot of the cross
I am the breaking of chains and the tolling of freedom’s bell.” (I Am, As The World Bleeds)
3. War Of Ages
War Of Ages is a metalcore band that hails from Erie, Pennsylvania. This 4 man band has won the hearts of kids and adults alike with their powerful lyrics, heavy guitar riffs and melodically fast solos. They talk about real issues in their music and their vocalist Leroy Brown stated that they are out to “Make a difference in a world that’s covered in darkness.” (Wikipedia.org)
Favorite Lyric – “Innocence can’t hold a candle to light the path we chose. Through the blood of a savior
our death shall set us free.” (Collapse, Eternal)
2. As I Lay Dying
It is a shame to hear about the recent events involving the arrest of Tim Lambesis, the lead singer for AILD. That aside, AILD is a metalcore powerhouse in the Christian metal scene. I would venture to say they have the biggest following of fans in Christian metal today. Tim’s lyrics touch on real issues including: abortion, backstabbing friends, and persevering through tough times. They have been together since 2000 and have released 6 studio albums to date. Their music is aggressive and very heavy and they have really upped the ante on blazing guitar solos in their last few albums!
Favorite Lyric – “As we face distress, we must not lose hope. Stand fast and press on. Triumph awaits us! Sometimes we have to watch our whole lives fall apart before we can rebuild them again, a greater foundation!” (A Greater Foundation, Awakened)
1. Living Sacrifice
Living Sacrifice is my favorite Christian metal band of all time. They’ve been pummeling us with heavy guitar breakdowns and vicious growls since 1997 when Bruce Fitzhugh took over as lead vocalist. The band formed in 1989 under vocals from Darren Johnson. Back then they were a thrash/death metal band that could be compared to the secular band, Slayer. Since the time that Bruce has been the front man, Living Sacrifice has grown leaps and bounds as a band. The first album released with Bruce, Reborn, blew me away. It was a blend of thrash and metalcore at the same time. Then came their next album, The Hammering Process, which in my opinion is their best album to date. It is the first album to feature Rocky, their lead guitarist. He can shred with the best of ‘em! His solos on that album really were the finishing touch to tighten up the loose gaps. And anyone who loves drums must give Lance Garvin some serious props! His offbeat rhythms mixed with technical fills and lightning fast double bass have made him one of the best Christian metal drummers of all time! I can’t get enough of this band!
Favorite Lyric – “Concerned with perception, can’t come off looking weak, least of all with you. If I need this image to be me then where is my God able to shine through?” (Burn The End, The Hammering Process)
I hope you have enjoyed this list of my 10 favorite heavy metal bands of all time! All 10 have impacted the world in great ways. God bless you!
Author Derek Hill
I am a Christian blogger with passions in music, games and news. I enjoy all kinds of music, with my favorite being Christian metal(all kinds). Some of my favorite bands are The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, Living Sacrifice(1997-present), and Becoming the Archetype. I enjoy many kinds of games including 1st/3rd person shooters, platformers, RPG’s and many more. I am a big fan of the multiplayer online games including the Call of Duty franchise of games. I have been saved since I was 9 years old. I am also a father of 2 beautiful children and I love it!