Since its conception, the heavier side of Christian music has been scrutinized, laughed at, and made a mockery of due to ignorant accusations of its “questionable” foundation. Nevertheless, since its approximated conception in the early 1980s, Christian metal has grown not only in size, but in variety as well. Bands have branched out to various metal sub-genres such as thrash, hardcore, metalcore and post hardcore, as well as many others.
As with any genre, there have been various groundbreaking acts in the Christian metal industry. Below we have compiled five of the most influential, genre-defying acts the entire underground community has ever seen, let alone just the Christian industry. Disagree? Leave a comment; just keep it clean! Enjoy.
5. The Devil Wears Prada
One of the few acclaimed Christian bands to come out of the Rise/Ferret Records camp, The Devil Wears Prada have become quite the force to be reckoned with since their conception in 2005. With four full-length albums, countless tours around the world, a following most would envy and Christ at the helm, TDWP have made it quite obvious they aren’t your average metal band. Currently, they are finishing up what some consider one of the most anticipated albums of 2013 – not to mention their career.
When it comes to genre-defying Christian metal, Mortification is most likely the first band that comes to one’s mind. Throughout their ambitious career, Mortification helped pioneer Christian metal into what it is today. They delved into everything from death and thrash metal to grindcore and groove metal, setting the bar extremely high for younger acts. After officially forming in 1987 under the name Lightforce, the band is still breaking new grounds today and continuing to spread the Word of God.
3. As I Lay Dying
If one were to ask for a band to define the metalcore genre, veteran Christian outfit As I Lay Dying would be a prime response. The band puts forth no effort whatsoever in trying to hide their faith, as it is the cornerstone of their existence. In an interview a few years ago regarding the band’s faith, frontman Tim Lambesis unfalteringly stated, “If you truly believe something, then it should affect every area of your life. All five of us are Christians.” However, despite the band’s strong Christian following, success has not been limited to the Christian-based crowd; they have shared the stage with metal greats such as Slayer, Anthrax, and Slipknot.
As with any object in existence, Christian metal had its beloved origins, and at the forefront of those origins was none other than revolutionary glam outfit, Stryper. The band is not only officially acknowledged as the first Christian metal band to receive success from mainstream culture, but they also have an imposing resume to back their prized reputation. With a staggering nine full-length albums to their name, you’d think the band would be satisfied enough to ride out the waves of their previous successes. However, it’s simply not the case. They are currently gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated tenth full-length album, titled Second Coming, which is slated for release sometime later this year.
As with their career, the decision to put them on the top of this list will most likely be picked apart by the fellow occupiers of the Internet. Nevertheless, this list was compiled with delicacy, determination, and an unbiased mindset. Therefore, once all of those attributes were conglomerated equally, it was simply obvious that Underoath deserved to be atop this list. Throughout their iconic career, the band has set the yet-to-be-surpassed standard in the Christian post-hardcore/metalcore scene. With genre-defying albums such as They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line not only certified gold, but also containing timeless tracks like, “A Boy Brushed in Red Living in Black and White” and “Writing on the Walls,” Underoath were not simply given this prestigious position of the best of the best – they earned it.