Christian metal, (also known as 'white metal' to distinguish it as the opposite of black metal), is a form of heavy metal music usually defined by its lyrics as well as the dedication of the band members to Christianity. Christian metal is typically performed by professed Christians sometimes principally for Christians who listen to heavy metal music and often produced and distributed through various Christian networks.
Christian metal bands exist in all the sub-genres of heavy metal music; the only common link they share are the lyrics. The Christian themes are often melded with the subjects of the genre the band is rooted in, normally expressing a Christian point of view on the subject matter.
Christian metal emerged in the late 1970s to introduce evangelism into the heavy metal music scene that traditionally takes a non-Christian perspective. Christian metal was pioneered by American bands: Resurrection Band, Petra and Sweden's Jerusalem. Stryper is probably the most known Christian metal act. Emerging from Santa Ana, the band made their mark during the 1980s. California's Tourniquet (a thrash metal band) and Australia's Mortification (a death metal band) would carry on the tradition during the 1990s. Nu-Metal group P.O.D. and the metalcore groups Underoath, Demon Hunter, As I Lay Dying, and Norma Jean (dubbed by Revolver magazine as "The Holy Alliance") brought some mainstream attention to the movement in the first decade of the 21st century, achieving ranks in the Billboard 200.
YES. Christian metal even exists in black metal, known as 'unblack metal'.
There are notable mainstream acts that feature or have featured Christian members. While these bands may or may not have had lyrics using Christian themes or symbolism, some have caused controversy in their claims to Christianity, such as Tom Araya of Slayer. Others, such as Killswitch Engage, Linkin Park, Megadeth and Metallica also have members who are Christian and often use spiritual themes.
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