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September 13th, 2007

Christian Death Metal?

The other night I was flipping around, finding myself in unfamiliar territory — the group of religious stations that I usually block out using “favorites” mode or somesuch. I stopped, for some reason, on JCTV (yes, that really is what it’s called) and my jaw was on the floor when this video came on:

Apparently, there is a such thing as Christian death/speed metal. Do they call it “life metal?” Does metal lose its edge and purpose when it is attached to Christian ideals (also known as the “Can you have happy gangster rap?” paradox)?

I had no idea such a genre existed and have to admit that I actually kind of like the song. Perhaps Pinger Robert can chime in with what I’m sure will be a thorough insight into the matter.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Ryan September 13, 2007, 4:02 pm

I should also note that the band in the video, August Burns Red, is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


Rob September 13, 2007, 4:58 pm

I think they and The Innocence Mission should do a show together, since they live so close.

Aanen September 13, 2007, 6:19 pm

Are they actually saying words or are they just screaming really loud? Sounds like screaming to me. I suppose you have to listen to death/speed metal to understand it. Or just be really stoned out of your mind.

Paul September 14, 2007, 1:43 am

‘Do they call it “life metal?”‘

Best proverbial question on the Ping this year.

jk September 14, 2007, 2:29 am

Despite living in Lancaster, I have never heard of these guys. Because I am old?

Rob, thanks for the Innocence Mission nod! They are currently on the CD player in my bathroom.

Rob September 14, 2007, 3:15 pm

jk – I love the Innocence Mission. They just happened to be playing down here a couple years ago on my birthday and I was thrilled. They were supposed to come back down a few months ago, but Karen got sick. Ah well!

I need them in my bathroom. If I had a bathroom.

Robert September 14, 2007, 8:54 pm

First, let’s get our genre terms straight. This band’s sound is not (approximating) death metal at all. It’s metalcore, a genre that’s pretty stinky because it keeps one foot firmly in the artless, knucklehead-favoring sound of hardcore.

I’d have to take your word that they’re a Christian band. Maybe five words were comprehensible in the entire song. Comprehensibility is at a low value in metal, but very little metal intends to “inspire” or “share a message.”

As for the possibility of Christian death metal . . . isn’t that like showing up for a birthday party psyched to eat cake only to find a box of stale Twinkies?

Ryan September 14, 2007, 10:49 pm

I knew that using “death metal” would get you since it’s not, but “Christian death metal” is a much catchier title.

Though, I admittedly have always had a hardtime differentiating between deathmetal, grindcore, and the myriad other sub-sub-genres and crossover combinations.

Abbey September 19, 2007, 2:41 am

What’s the point of it being called Christian music if you can’t tell if they’re singing about Jesus and not just screaming?

jon leverington June 5, 2008, 8:21 pm

what does it matter if its called christian death metal
just cause its brutal doesnt mean it has to be evil
i mean brittany spears and christina agulira sing bubble gum pop music but talk about boneing
its not the music that matters its the lyrics

Stewart June 10, 2008, 10:02 pm

Christian metal reaches a crowd that your typical sing-song praise and worship bands will never touch. Very rarely I think do non-Christians enter a church because they “love to hear some praise and worship!”
Any type of music can be “Christian” music, it is not the sound but the offering of it as praise to Christ.

Chanuk February 10, 2009, 2:50 pm

Wait, August Burns Red is a CHRISTIAN BAND? Well that’s surprising to me. Same when I found out All Thar Remains is christian (apparently) well I still like them. I mean the stuff that I’ve heard from them doesn’t seem to have any religious undertones being screamed at me or anything.

PlayMp1 April 21, 2010, 5:12 am

“First, let’s get our genre terms straight. This band’s sound is not (approximating) death metal at all. It’s metalcore, a genre that’s pretty stinky because it keeps one foot firmly in the artless, knucklehead-favoring sound of hardcore.”

Exactly what I thought. I saw that the band was August Burns Red and immediately thought “Great, more people believing that screams and growls = death metal,” and I was right. Death is death metal. Cannibal Corpse is death metal. This is not.

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