Tourniquet – Stop the Bleeding

tourniquet-stop-the-bleeding

Tourniquet was one of the first bands I was introduced to as a young Christian. It wasn’t this album, it was 1994’s Vanishing Lessons. When I was thinking about who to focus on this week Tourniquet came to mind and that was the album I was thinking about. However, I want this site to span a wife swath of metal sub-genres and eras. I also want to discover music I hadn’t been exposed to yet in order to expand my available playlist.

Stop the Bleeding is my favorite thing to come out of this project thus far, and that’s surprising. This era of metal is one I usually groan about when I think about it. I’m much more a Metalcore guy personally. That said, this album is amazing. I must have listened to it 100 times in the last few weeks since beginning looking into it. From the opening guitar lick to the final fade out of the last track this album is stellar! Guy Ritter works wonderfully in the vocals in a way I normally dislike quite a bit. The whole band is tight and powerful. Add to that the fantastic lyrics and this record speaks for itself at full volume.

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Demon Hunter – Outlive

Album cover for Demon Hunter's Outlive

Demon Hunter is actually the direct reason for this site. I was wanting to get back into listening to Christian music after a long period of only listening to podcasts with an occasional sprinkling of secular metal. I’ve talked a little about this in the about page but in short I felt lost and overwhelmed, desiring to listen to Godly music which was ACTUALLY Godly, not just trying to manipulate an audience. I was browsing some bands wikipedia pages and came across Demon Hunter. I’ve known their music since their self titled debut but that was a long time ago and who knows anything anymore right? Well, there was a comment on the wiki about how Christian fans really loved Demon Hunter’s bold stance for Christ and that Secular fans had really come to respect Demon Hunter for their solid music and the fact that they really didn’t compromise their stance on their faith.

That stewed around my brain for a while and I pulled up a few different albums of theirs to check out. I settled in with Outlive because it’s a brand new album and I figured it would paint a good picture into where they are at. Listening to it, reading through the lyrics, and listening to interviews with Ryan Clark it is clear that these guys are simply not going to back down from their faith. I’ve actually been working on this update for two weeks due to stuff happening in my personal live but it gave me quite a bit of time to sift through a lot of information around this album. The lyrics are interesting to me. They aren’t like The Burial where every sentence feels like it could be out of the bible or a biblical text book but instead is from a place of living the Christian life day in and day out in a challenging environment and how you grapple with it. It’s subtle and deep and I’ve come to truly appreciate it.

The Burial – In the Taking of Flesh

Album cover for The Burial's In the Taking of Flesh.

The Burial is a band that I discovered rather recently off of a podcast called The Antidote (Episode 180) about a year ago. I got really into them for a few weeks then ended up drifting back to other stuff. When I started kicking around the idea for this site I remembered that their lyrics had been pretty good so I looked them up again.

I was wrong. Their lyrics aren’t pretty good. They are phenomenal! I had a difficult time whittling down the album to three lyric clips for the album page because reading through all the lyrics, basically every song on the album should be one of those clips.

Top that off with the fact that these guys are some of the most talented and capable technical players in all of metal and you’ve got the building blocks for an amazing record. I’m not usually a fan of instrumental metal but even their instrumental track “Quintessence” is enthralling.

Before I write up one of these albums I do a few things. I read every lyric to ensure there is nothing troubling and that the band actually fits with the idea of this site. I also listen to the entire album start to finish three times, at least once in the morning and at least once in the afternoon/evening. I also try to find interviews from the band about the album to get further insight into what their mindset was like for the album.

In the episode of The Antidote linked above Dave Hawkins, the host, asks Elisha Mullins, the bands vocalist and the writer of the whole album “The opening track on ‘In the Taking of Flesh’ is ‘En-Hakkore’ which means ‘fountain of the crier’. Would you say that song name, really, could be used to describe what ‘The Burial’ is all about?” Elisha responded “Yeah, I would say that’s accurate. Obviously that’s from the… where I read that was from the story of Sampson. Ya know, he’s out in the desert like ‘I just killed all these guys with a jaw bone, like, am I now just going to die of thirst?” And then God springs up a fountain for him to drink from and it was called ‘En-Hakkore’ and the translation I had said ‘the spring of him who called’ which, it’s the same thing, it’s semantic, but it’s much more poetic. So I liked that a lot. In reality that’s the voice of ‘The Burial’ if you will, that’s our sound. God is this spring, the spring of him who called.”

Best to Start at the Beginning

An image of a cross.

Hello.

This post will become the About page and is an attempt to help visitors figure out what my goal is with this site.

My name is Jonathan and I’ve been a fan of Metal for as long as I can remember. I can remember sitting in my older brother’s room and listening to Danzig’s I, II, and III, White Zombie’s La Sexorcisto and Astro-Creep, and of course, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and the whole gamut of various metal from the time.

In the early summer of 2000 I got saved and knew that among other things my music should probably change to reflect that change. The thing was, the only “Christian” music I knew was that P.O.D. was supposedly a Christian band and Creed had positive lyrics. I traded in every CD I had and got South Town by POD and My Own Prison and Human Clay by Creed (The Warehouse was brutal when it came to CD for cash trade in). The thing is, for a metalhead like me, this simply doesn’t work. I had $25 left to my name and headed to the local Christian book store and asked if they had any metal or hard rock. I got a quizzical look from the sweet old lady behind the counter and she pointed me to their music selection. They serendipitously had a small basket of cassette tapes and an old walkman for sampling music and I set out to figure out what I could find. Only one of the tapes worked well enough to tell anything and it was ZAO – The Splinter Shards the Birth of Separation. Who knew that Christians could produce such amazing metal? I was thrilled and plunked down the last of my cash on the spot to start down a new path.

Time makes fools of us all and my music selection has been of mixed moral character.

May 7, 2013 news drops of Tim Lambesis (of As I Lay Dying) arrest. I’m devistated as As I Lay Dying had been one of my favorite Christian bands. At one point, in an interview with him something he said nailed me right between the eyes and tail-spun my musical choices for far longer than I’d care to admit. I won’t attempt to quote from memory but basically he said that most Christian bands are liars and don’t care about Christ at all and that they are just using Christianity to further their careers. He said that he was basically just using Christian buzz words to pepper his lyrics with enough so they could skate by. I allowed that to hit me way too hard, this guy had been a big figure to me and I felt like I couldn’t trust anything I thought about Christian music any longer.

Well… it’s 2017 now and I recently have started overhauling my life once again. I’m trying to eat healthier, act healthier, and choose healthier music. When I sat down to start figuring out bands I could trust I realized that I had to get past this roadblock in my brain or I’d never succeed on this journey.

This site is intended to help me work through that struggle by highlighting bands that aren’t just on a Christian label or just ‘Christian’ by virtue of some default assumption but whose lyrics reflect that relationship with Christ which is the most basic and fundamental block of Christianity. It’s not that I want to cast judgement on anyone or anything, you won’t catch me smack-talking any band or person. I’m just trying to illuminate groups who I believe have great music and great lyrics.

I hope you find Righteous Metal helpful in your journey down the Righteous path.

Living Sacrifice – The Hammering Process

living-sacrifice-the_hammering_process

Living Sacrifice is probably the most formative band, and the most formative album from that band for my Righteous Metal path would easily be The Hammering Process. This band is brutal and this album places that brutality on full display. From Flatline to Conditional this album embodies what Metal should be. Bruce Fitzhugh’s lyrics are fantastic at highlighting the struggles we all face as humans and how the only answer possible is our salvation in Christ. I still get Born Again’s refrain in my head and it pumps me up every time.

I had a chance to see these guys at a Christian venue while they were touring this album and I’ll never forget hanging outside the venue after the show was over and talking with Rocky Gray about how blown away I was by the intensity that this album blasts and that I’d never heard any Christian music like it and he laughed and said “That’s cuz we’re brutal metal!”