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Black Metal History Month, Lists

7 Christian Black Metal Bands You Need To Hear

Posted by on February 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm

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The following post is a part of Black Metal History Month, our monthlong celebration of all things black metal. Check out all of our posts here and pick up the official t-shirt.

In the world of metal nothing seems more contradictory than to have religion, more specifically Christianity, tied with it. And deeper in the world of metal, nothing could possibly be more contradictory than to have black metal with explicitly stated Christian messages. If you side with Euronymous’ criteria of black metal, (that is, only music that is both heavy and satanic), then technically Christian black metal can’t exist at all. Many bands actually feel the same way, which is why choose to be defined as “unblack metal”; though if we’re completely honest with ourselves, Christian black metal is still a correct answer.

Accuse me of not being kvlt enough, but I’ve always felt that black metal was better defined by the sound and not so much the message. We all know that black metal has signature sounds to it, and that both heavy and satanic music exists without being under the label of black metal. Having this mindset has let me into the world of unblack metal, and allowed me to understand and appreciate the goals of these bands. There’s just something intriguing about a group of Christians getting into a scene of music created with goals that specifically includes their persecution.

So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the unblack scene and are a little curious, I’ve compiled a list of 7 Christian black metal bands you should know (Get it? 7? Because of Christian?)

Granted, the unblack metal scene is relatively small, and if you wish to explore it further you’ll more than likely run into the same bands over and over. That said, this list that I’ve compiled is just some of the more noteworthy bands that have come up over the years. Also, with the exception of the first entry, keep in mind that this is not a ranked list.

Horde

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When you talk about unblack metal, it’s impossible not to mention Horde in some way.

Horde is the solo project of ex-Mortification drummer Jayson Sherlock. Sherlock, who enjoyed black metal but wasn’t fond of the messages decided to create an alternative for like-minded people such as himself. What came of it was Horde and it’s only release, Hellig Usvart (roughly translated “holy unblack”, which is accepted where the name of the subgenre was coined).

According to Sherlock himself, he wasn’t the first musician to embark on a Christian black metal project, but Horde certainly was the first famous example. It pissed off gobs of black metal fans and even allegedly prompted death threats towards Sherlock. Horde is undoubtedly the starting gun to a controversial subgenre within a controversial subgenre.

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I also covered Hellig Usvart at length for last years BMHM.

 

Antestor

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While Horde showed the world that unblack metal was possible, Antestor perfected the art. They are probably the most notable unblack band, and have probably influenced every single unblack band to come after them.

In the early ‘90s, Antestor started as a Christian doom/thrash band under the name of Crush Evil. Their Christianity was well known, and was even brought to the attention of Papa Euronymous himself who posed vague threats to Crush Evil as a result. Nonetheless, Crush Evil pushed on, changed their name to Antestor, and also began writing songs directly with a Norwegian black metal sound. When asked about their faith while still playing black metal, vocalist Kjetil Molnes explains that “We identify ourselves as black metal as a music style, not black metal as an ideology or belief.”

Antestor, being stationed right in Norway, apparently get their share of troubles from both black metal fans and bands, but they still continue on. They even got Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg to play drums for two of their albums. If that doesn’t give them even a little cred, then I’m not sure what could.

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Crimson Moonlight

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Crimson Moonlight became notable on the unblack scene in the early 2000’s in Sweden. Although starting with a more symphonic and ambient style of black metal, albums like Veil of Remembrance showcased a shift to more death metal influences. They’re definitely one of the heaviest unblack bands I’ve ever heard, and they’re a great band to pop in when you’re just looking for something a little brutal and a little dark at the same time.

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More Christian black metal bands on the next page

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COMMENTS

  • Asshole

    People are violent not their religion. You all act like christians are evil, you aren't as good like the others. In our religion we are not innocent, no one is. Only God decides to take you on a better place or not. It takes a little bit of mind to believe in it, not to live in hatred. Christianity isn't just a belief, a lot of people say they believe but most of them do devilish stuff. Christianity isn't a easy belief, have you ever realized how hard is to love, to live by the rules, to be good with everyone? If you think christians are evil, then read about the devil and tell which is more evil.

  • larryaschro

    None of the Christians I know are like this, that a huge generalization. The people holding these signs are more zealots than Christ followers.

  • Brad Will

    There is much theological ignorance in this old thread.

    WBC are 5-point Calvinists. They hold to doctrines foreign to Scripture, but they believe their doctrines taught in the Scripture. Their doctrines did not exist until hundreds of years after the Apostles were martyred.

    Original Sin came about through Augustine. Predestination is a Greek philosophical idea that found it's way into Christian theology through Augustine as well. Penal Substitutionary Atonement and other false atonement theories stem from the Satisfaction Models that came about starting around 1000AD-1200AD.

    WBC and it's Calvinism is dead theology, and it's one of the reasons they believe that homosexuals are reprobate and incapable of repentance. They believe God predestined homosexuals to be that way, and is sending them to Hell for it. Totally illogical and unjust, but that is Calvinism.

    Despite WBC not being "real Baptists", Baptists are semi-Calvinists as they hold to many of the same doctrines. Original Sin, PSA, PotS (Perseverance of the Saints, in the form of Once Saved Always Saved).

    Calvinism and it's doctrines are false doctrines. God does not predestine some to Heaven and the rest to Hell. The future is open and you can choose today where you are currently destined for. Repentance is not a continual 'sin-confess-sin-confess' cycle. You have worldly sorrow, and godly sorrow. One leads to a total repentance, the other doesn't. Choose this day who you will serve.

    Atrocities committed in the name of God are by people misusing Scripture. Look at Jesus as the example. He was fully just, and very merciful. To the broken, He showed mercy. To the proud, He resisted them and showed anger towards them for their stiff necks and hard hearts. It wasn't necessarily just "Jesus was against religion". It was "Jesus against those who were proud and would not listen to the truth".

    The unbelievers on this thread who get the notification. Stop being so ignorant. I could pick apart every argument and show how unwise your statements are. If you want to engage me, do it. I will show you where you've gone wrong and I hope you can receive it. I will do my best to be as rational and coherent for anyone to understand if you want to know 'how you are wrong'. Entertain the thought.

  • xazmuthx00

    Good start. But I would add a hill to die upon and drottnar. Oh and skald in venum

  • William Baker

    You should also have mentioned DROTTNAR- very unique, progressive/technical{well their first album was more primitive, but after that album}- like Mayhems "grand declaration" album meets atheist meets, well you have to hear em, youtube em; they also have a really unique image and their subject matter/lyrics are unique …and that would be so even regardless of their religious beliefs. Also SORROWSTORM.
    And also check out, Mordecai, Immortal Souls, Kekal, Armageddon Holocaust, …there's more christian black metal than you might think, and more of it is actually pretty good than you might think.

    I've always thought SLECHTVALK was incredible, their war that plagues the lands album is one of my fave black metal records of all time

    I say this as an ex-christian too, a Deist/PanDeist freethinker occultist with Dark Doctrines SaTanism, Gnostic Luciferian, and Thelemite inclinations, some new age and gnostic christianianity- amongst others.

    Good metal/music/art is good metal/music/art. Period.

    I say this as an ex-christian too, a Deist/PanDeist freethinker occultist with Dark Doctrines SaTanism, Gnostic Luciferian, and Thelemite inclinations.

    Good metal/music/art is good metal/music/art. Period.

  • Arthur Ramsey

    List needs Vardoger, Vials of Wrath, and Opus Irae on it

  • Gilberto Jorge-Fiuza
  • faceonfire

    no Extol? good list though. shame I have to wade through a page of religious debate when it's a metal site.

  • Mathew Cherry

    Excellent job man, explained it perfectly, I thought I was going to suffocate from all the single sided ignorance in the room. @disqus_pqF5Qn0GVf:disqus you nailed it on the head.

  • TheLaicanarth

    you forgot deathspell omega :v

  • i cant understand the lyrics to antestor and it would probably scare a child.

  • you are known by your fruit and westboro doesnt represent jesus. archeology and many witnesses in a hebrew misogynist culture risked their lives testifying jesus god the son rose from the dead.read colosians 1 king james bible. more original autograph copies of christian bible than homer,plato,socrates,the illiad. josephus wrote of jesus, your prayers are selfish so jesus wont answer them romans 1 god shows himself in nature.

  • crusades were self defense against muslim terrorists.