This is a spin-off of a conversation in the distros thread. Those who are ideologically opposed to Christian themed lyrics in metal can ignore this (it's a perfectly valid stance to take) as the intent here is not really to start a debate on that, but rather to recommend some bands to those who don't care about lyrics or are OK with Christian-themed lyrics but have not actively sought out such bands. As I mentioned in one of those life update posts, I became an Orthodox Christian several years ago and so when I got back into metal I spent a lot of time exploring bands with Christian lyrics (that I had ignored for ideological reasons years before). I found that (in my opinion) the Christian scene is actually a lot broader and deeper than people know because there's so much segregation. Back in day I thought Stryper was all there was. A few names break through and get some attention, but they often aren't even the best examples and other stuff gets buried and relegated to a small audience. I think there may be some good bands here that many of y'all have never heard about because of the quarantining of Christian oriented metal. Here are some things that I would mention (by genre) either because I like them or they are generally well regarded: Heavy: Saint - Time's End (1986) or Too Late For Living (1988) - textbook Heavy Metal ala Judas Priest Bloodgood - Detonation (1987) - fast and melodic, great solos and choruses, and really epic songwriting ("Crucify" and "Messiah" about the Passion and Resurrection. Probably too much lyrically if you aren't a Christian, but shows both speed and ballad tracks). Emerald - Armed For Battle (1987) - raw and energetic (recently re-issued by No Remorse Records) - I think this band has a lot of respect outside the Christian scene already: Barren Cross - Atomic Arena (1988) - compared stylistically to Iron Maiden Bride - Live to Die (1988) - I like the speedier songs best (try "Fire and Brimstone") Diviner - Fallen Empires (2015) - solid modern Heavy Metal by Greek Orthodox Christians. I love this band. Stryper - Fallen (2015) - their early material is limp-wristed compared to this album (also check the Sweet cover of "After Forever") Impellitteri - Venom (2015) or Nature of the Beast (2018) both with Rob Rock on vocals. Chris Impellitteri SHREDS. There's even a killer cover of "Phantom of the Opera" on NotB. Power/Progressive: Recon - Behind Enemy Lines (1990) - leans more towards classic Heavy Metal sound (try "Ancient of Days") Seventh Avenue - Tales of Tales (1996) - classic Power ala Helloween (a band with Christian messages itself) Theocracy - S/T (2003) - one of the most respected bands in the scene. Check out below clip and "New Jerusalem" Divinefire - Glory Thy Name (2004) - cool band, heavy and fast, mixes in growled vocals Harmony - Chapter II: The Aftermath (2008) or Theatre of Redemption (2014) - latter is softer, but some real catchy stuff Signum Regis - Through the Storm (2015) or The Seal of a New World (2019) - faster/heavier side of Power Metal Narnia - S/T (2016) - well-respected band with great singer Christian Liljegren Speed/Thrash: Realm - Endless War (1988) - Christian themed lyrics if not part of the "scene." Vengeance Rising - Human Sacrifice (1988) - love how raw this is + psychotic vocals - the lyrics might be cheesy but this rocks Believer - early stuff is more traditional, later more progressive (only first 3 albums), highly respected Straight up (first album 1989): Progressive, Tech Thrash (third album 1993): Also check the cool orchestral track "Dies Irae" off the second album - 1990. Who else was doing this then? Deliverance - S/T (1989) or Weapons of Our Warfare (1990) - well-crafted, catchy, fast - several of the songs on the S/T were first recorded in 1985 so pretty early stuff as well. Tourniquet - Stop the Bleeding (1990) - I love the bits of falsetto vocals Seventh Angel - The Torment (1990) or Lament For the Weary (1991) - great gritty, doomy Thrash From the first album: The second album is more nuanced and complex as well as highly regarded. It took me some time, but it gets better and better with repeated listens. The difference between the two albums is kinda like Metallica going from Kill 'Em All to a more mature sound on Ride or Master. Sacrament - Testimony of Apocalypse (1990) - well regarded, hasn't hit me yet Possession - Eternally Haunt (1995) - cool death/thrash with a lot of variety and mixed growly/falsetto vocals. Freakings - Toxic End (2017) - beer swilling Thrash revival Ritual Servant - Metallum Evangelii (2019) - more Thrash revival (listen to "Amongst the Wolves") Death: Opprobrium (formerly Incubus) - Serpent Temptation (1988) - Ripping and pioneering Death/Thrash, all their stuff is good Mortification - S/T (1991) - my favorite (thrashier), Scrolls of the Megilloth (1992) - classic, and Post Momentary Affliction (1993) - more experimental Deracination - Times of Atrocity (1992) - solid old school, mid-paced Death Paramaecium - Exhumed of the Earth (1993) and Within the Ancient Forest (1996) - fantastic death/doom Crimson Thorn - Unearthed (1994) - brutal Obliteration - Dying Age (1997) - brutal - if you like also look into Discern, Disencumbrance, and Oblation (three of them appeared on a 90s compilation called Chords of the Grave). Sympathy - Arcane Path (2004) - technical and melodic but absolutely pummeling (listen to clip below and "The Shining Ones" WOW) Extol - S/T (2013) - well-done progressive death Renascent - Praise of the Lord God Almighty (2016) - crushing symphonic death metal (try "Reign of the Ancient of Days") Fleshkiller - Awaken (2017) - an Ole Borud project, basically the follow-up album to Extol's S/T Implement - Bleeding Alone (2019) - lots of groove ala Blood Red Throne (Un)Black: Horde - Hellig Usvart (1994) - foundational, raw (try "Thine Hour Hast Come") Crimson Moonlight - Eternal Emperor (1998) - Stormblast style symphonic black, and Divine Darkness (2016) - fast and brutal black (Try "I Am Tribulation") Vaakevandring - S/T - symphonic black, powerful and emotive with some of my favorite vocals Antestor - The Forsaken (2005) - modern approach to symphonic black metal (Try "Rites of Death") Antestor also played some pretty sick death/doom in their early days (1993): Slechtvalk - At the Dawn of War (2005) - started as melodic/symphonic and moved toward Viking, this is where shift began. It continued on A Forlorn Throne (2010) and Where Wandering Shadows and Mists Collide (2016) Drottnar - Welterwerk (2006), Stratum (2012) - technical black - very impressive Moreld - Tidarkverv (2011) - Norwegian folk/black with a fairly unique sound Hortor - Dios de Dioses (2013) - solid Mexican act with extensive catalogue Hesychast - Ageless (2016) - atmospheric, experimental black with Russian Orthodox influences Elgibbor - Resist him (2017) - raw and atmospheric black by a prolific musician and former satanist Frosthardr - S/T (2018) - black with thrashy rock n' roll riffage Panegyrist - Hierurgy (2018) - avant garde/experimental black Reverorum ib Malacht - Im Ra Distare Summum Soveris Seris Vas Innoble (2018) - I don't know what to say about this. It's twisted stuff. Dark and pummeling. Skald in Veum - Stridslysten (2019) - ferocious, fast black metal ala 1349, Marduk Vials of Wrath - Days Without Names (2015) and Dark Winter Memories (2019) - fantastic Agalloch-influenced project full of atmosphere but still with a black metal bite. I think the unblack scene might actually be the best and most diverse part of the Christian metal underground. I'm not gonna do Doom because I think it is unique in that Christian oriented lyrics are foundational and considered pretty normal in the sub-genre which is quite different from the others, especially the extreme metal sub-genres. I've put some effort into sharing this small sampling of what I've found so I hope it is of benefit to someone. J., you've got some work to do.