Monthly Archives: January 2011

Scream at the Devil

Don’t get me wrong. There are some contemporary worship songs I genuinely love.

But sometimes I listen to the strummy, contemplative guitars and the woefully simple lyrics; the deep, slightly gravelly male voices; or the melodic piano with breathy female accompaniment, and I just think… my soul doesn’t sound like that.

It sounds more like…

Sample lyric: Life can be overwhelming / but don’t turn your back on / the strongest crutch / you’ve ever had

Some of you are now utterly terrified. Don’t be. Meet August Burns Red. They’re a Christian metalcore band.

You heard right. But wait, how could such “angry” music possibly be Christian?

I understand that some people can’t listen to metal without either getting angry themselves or wetting their pants in fear. I’m not like that. When the guitars pound and the drums thunder and the lead singer roars, something in me lights up. I don’t get angry. I get inspired.

If you’re a metal fan, maybe you can relate.

The Christian hard rock scene has been thriving for years, now. As with any genre, there are examples ranging from abysmal to sublime. But, despite what you might think, there are some bands that I’d put alongside a Bullet for My Valentine or an Avenged Sevenfold any day.

From the second verse: How can you end my affliction / if you’re the sickness and not the cure?

Red ranges from metalcore to alternative. They incorporate hammering guitar riffs and soaring strings. Innocence and Instinct deals with the inward struggle against sin, as the lyrics above illustrate. I love them. Their new album is coming out shortly.

From the chorus: One final heart-break / And blinding lights will guide our way / Free us our blind state / They will call us by our name / Undying

And then there’s Demon Hunter. Their band logo is a demon skull with a bullet hole in it. And from their sound, they earned it.

Chorus: The innocent will rest in the peace they’ve been given / paintings will sleep on the floor / build walls of lonely dreams / as beauty fades / I can’t take this anymore

What can I say about Haste the Day? I had this song stuck in my head for a week the first time I heard it. Their latest (and I unfortunately, last) album, Attack of the Wolf King, has been melting my earbuds for the last month nonstop.

I could go on. If you want more, check out the likes of Skillet, All That Remains, Project 86, Becoming the Archetype. Browse the catalogs of Tooth and Nail and Solid State Records, and you will be pleased.

They say metal is the devil’s music.

I say it’s high time we took it back and made him cry.

Update: I switched out the August Burns Red video for a different one when I realized YouTube wouldn’t let me embed the original video I posted.