Christian metal bands make rock music with a Biblical message. Thanks to them, listening to rock music is an uplifting experience. Each of these bands has had a unique journey that has led them to where they are today. Here are 10 bands you need to listen to today.
The internet is full of many Christian metal bands and solo artists. Each band has its way of infusing gospel into rock music, but some stand out for their unique sound.
10 best Christian metal bands
Getting the best of these from the internet can be daunting, so we did the filtering for you. Here are Christian heavy metal bands you probably do not know about:
10. The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada is an Ohio band founded in 2005 made up of Kyle Sipress (lead guitar), Jonathan Gering (keyboardist and programmer), Giuseppe Capolupo (playing the drums), Jeremy DePoyster (working the rhythm guitar), Mike Hranica (lead vocalist) and Andy Trick (bass guitarist).
The choice to do entirely Christian music was easy for TDWP as all its members are Christians. TWDP are pioneers in the use of keyboards to fuse vocals and conventional instruments. It was clear from the start that their new style of play would be the future of Christian metal.
Their entire discography has seven albums. In between releasing new albums, the band gave their fans a few well-received EPs.
The name is drawn from a story by a similar name; it has since been adopted to a movie. TWDP has topped U.S. Indie charts twice, first with With Roots Above and Branches Below in 2009 and two years later with Dead Throne.
P.O.D. stands for Payable on Death. It is easy to speculate the origin of the title. The origin story of the band will, however, add a twist to that.
The origin of the band dates back to 1991 when the first two members were playing at keg parties covering songs by their favorite bands at the time. Wuv Bernardo and Marcos Curiel were Eschatos.
At the time, these two had not envisioned P.O.D., and they did not play any gospel either. Bernado’s cousin and MC, Sonny Sandoval, lost his mother after an illness. In his grief, he converted to Christianity.
To help his cousin through that time, Bernado invited him to play with the Eschatos. They went on to recruit Gabe Portillo as the bassist at the time. Traa Daniels has since replaced him.
Marcus is the lead guitarist; Sandoval is the lead vocalist, and Bernado doubles up as drummer and rhythm guitarist. Eschatos became P.O.D. after the trio recruited Gabe.
Since that time, they have signed for multiple record labels, including Rescue Records and Atlantic Recording Corporation.
P.O.D. was thrust into the limelight by their third studio album, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. The album achieved a platinum rating in 2000. They followed it up with Satellite, which went triple platinum.
They have received three Grammy Award Nominations and won multiple other accolades. They have 11 studio albums with the latest, Circles, being released in 2018. P.O.D. had a fast rise and have become mainstays among top Christian bands in the genre.
Deliverance is a Los Angeles based band started by Jimmy Brown II in 1985. The US-based band is in a very different category to the U.K. band sharing the name.
Their first major media attention came after they featured on California Metal, a compilation of five albums released by new Christian metal bands at the time. Regency Records released the compilation.
Over the years, the band has undergone several changes with nearly every player leaving except the founder. At the moment, the band features Jim Chaffin, a talented drummer, and Manny Morales as the bass guitarist. Glenn left and later reunited with Jimmy.
Deliverance has had several periods of inactivity. The most recent hiatus was a one-year break in 2011. They have been active since 2012.
Having multiple members over time comprising of the top Christian rock artists has resulted in the release of very good music. Deliverance has released more than 10 albums.
Their albums include Deliverance, Learn, River Disturbance, Assimilation, and their latest offering; The Subversive Kind (2018).
7. Wolves at the Gate
Wolves at the Gate took the world of Christian metal by surprise in 2008. Their unique style of play has earned them great recognition with thousands of loyal fans across the globe.
Wolves at the Gate first signed with Solid State Records label. Their music is still produced by the label.
The first album dropped in 2011. Their wildly successful studio album, Eclipse, is what thrust them back into the limelight and earned them a position among the best Christian metal bands.
Since 2008, there have been many new acts in the band. Today, the band has Steve Cobucci as the guitarist and vocalist and Ben Summers performing as the bassist and backing vocalist.
Other members are Nick Detty, who joined in 2012 as the unclean vocalist and pianist, Abishai Collingsworth as the drummer starting 2015, and Joey Alarcon as a guitarist from 2018.
The first E.P. highlighted the differences between conventional Christian metal and the music Wolves at the Gate set out to make. Each of their albums seeks to get in touch with a specific human emotion we all experience. Eclipse is a culmination of all these endeavors.
In the Moorabbin suburbs of Melbourne, Steve Rowe formed a little known rock band called Lightforce. His efforts at the time would set the stage for the start of one of the most successful Christian death metal bands in the world.
In 1990, Lightforce became Mortification, which means killing the desire of the flesh. Since 1987, Mortification's roots have been set in making Christian music in a niche category of rock, death metal.
Steve played alongside Jayson Sherlock as the drummer and Michael Carlisle as the guitarist. Mortification has seen many players come and go. Currently, the band is comprised of Lincoln Bowen (lead guitarist and backing vocalist), Andrew Esnouf (playing the drums), and Rowe.
Mortification has released 14 studio albums. Each new album showcases an evolution of their music, the rhythm is different, and they seem to explore freely between thrash metal and extreme metal music.
The talented Steve Rowe is brilliant at bringing out these new styles as the band reinvents its identity. It appears as though the style of play changes with the membership of the band.
Mortification has no shortage of albums, video releases, and reworked versions of songs. Nuclear Blast Record's signing of the band ushered an era of revisited old music. This new territory allowed the group to take on old music with heavy influence from modern rock music.
5. Demon Hunter
At the turn of the millennium, two brothers, Ryan and Don Clark, formed Demon Hunter. Based in Seattle, Demon Hunter defined its identity as a never-changing band dedicated to releasing Christian metal.
The titles of their music often reflect the emotion embodied in their albums. They have stuck to this theme since their formation. In their defiance of trends and rebellion against pop cultures merging of rock genres, D.H. managed to sell more than half a million records.
Is Demon Hunter still a Christian band? Yes, DH is still a Christian band. Nu metal is the subgenre they are specialized in.
The current members of the band are Ryan Clark (lead vocalist), Jon Dunn (bass guitarist), Patrick Judge, Timothy Watts (playing the drums), and Jeremiah Scott (rhythm guitarist).
Demon Hunter made their breakthrough appearance with Through the Black in 2002, one of the best Christian rock songs to date. Later that year, they released the album Demon Hunter under the label Solid State Records. At the time, all songs were written and produced by the brothers, Ryan and Don.
Other notable releases include True Defiance, Summer of Darkness, and Extremist. Demon Hunter has released 10 albums since 2002; the last two albums are War and Peace. War is heavy on the instruments and is very loud, whereas Peace has a focus on the melody.
In 1998 while at Fort Hays University, two roommates and their friends started Pillar. Brad Noone and his roommate Rob Beckley teamed up with friends Michael Wittig, Dustin Adams, and Travis Jenkins to form the band.
Coming out of Hays in Kansas, Pillar started their touring career in their home state. The recognition the tour had generated was followed up with the release of their debut album.
Later, the band then relocated to Tulsa in Oklahoma, where they are now. Band membership currently includes Rob and Kalel as lead singer and bassist, respectively. Noah Henson and Lester Estelle came on as lead guitarist and drummer respectively.
The Reckoning was perhaps their most notable work, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. Another great release is For the Love of the Game that has been used in many sports montages.
Pillar won three awards in two categories at the Dove Awards in 2001, 2002, and 2003. They have received praise all around the world and earned a spot among top Christian artists.
3. War of Ages
WoA started as Point Zero in 2002 in Pennsylvania. WoA seeks to bring the gospel to the world in a niche genre.
The majority of metal rock music has taken a gothic identity with fans and events held in often darkly lit venues. The themes are often dark or gory. WoA infuses the message of the gospel in this kind of music to reach these audiences.
The current band members are Leroy Hamp (lead vocalist), Steve Brown (lead guitarist), Jack Daniels (rhythm guitarist), Elisha Mullins (bassist), and Kaleb Luebchow (drummer).
Together, these five players have produced chart-topping music year after year. They remain relevant to date. They appeal to audiences without losing the authenticity and charm that earned them their fame.
You might recognize Red from the albums Innocence & Instinct or End of Silence. Both these albums were nominated for a Grammy Award just three years apart.
Red started in 2002 as a project by Nashville brothers, Randy and Andrew Armstrong. They played the bass guitar and rhythm guitars, respectively. Michael Barnes was in the founding trio, taking the lead vocals since the beginning.
Red is an accomplished music band across the world. It has released 8 albums so far.
Red’s latest music is in an unreleased album Declaration to be launched in 2020. Red has remained relevant throughout the years as one of the best Christian rock bands in the world.
Many Christians start their journey in faith after a secular life that does not sit well with their soul. This was no different for Stryper.
The group was formed in 1983 in Orange County, California and was originally called Roxx Regime. They made secular metal music back then. Shortly after this, they decided to switch lanes and do Christian rock instead.
The new name is from Isaiah 53:5. The drummer Robert Sweet later coined the acronym for Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness.
Other members are Michael Sweet (lead vocalist and guitarist), Oz Fox (guitarist), and Perry Richardson (bassist).
Stryper quickly became one of the best Christian metal bands. They signed on with record label Enigma Records and went on to release their first album, The Yellow and Black Attack. The album was a hit.
They were active for 10 years after formation. They later broke up in 1993. This was followed by several solo projects by the members. In 1999 and 2001, they reunited for various events and performances.
They finally got back together permanently in 2003 and signed with Big3 Records and have since released several other albums. Stryper has remained active since that time with its latest album being released in 2018.
Christian metal bands continue to reinvent themselves and release new music. Most of the Christian hard rock bands on this list have been around for more than a decade and have enjoyed great success. The long lifetimes of these bands are a testament to the high quality of metal music they make for us.