If you are new to Christian rock, please read this
post about the definition of Christian rock and some of the biggest questions about Christian music.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Christian Hard Rock

For this post, I want to take a look at Christian hard rock and present a few bands in this genre.

First, hard rock is a very loose genre. This means that hard rock music sometimes mixes with genres like alternative rock and metal. But, most people describe hard rock music as having an emphasized lead guitar along with a rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums. Vocally, much of hard rock features loud, raspy vocals with occasional screams. Musically, hard rock is both loud and aggressive. Hard rock is also known as post-grunge and alternative metal.

Hard rock began in the 1960s out of Blues Rock and Garage Rock. Bands like The Who and The Rolling Stones helped create the genre of hard rock. Hard rock reached its peak commercially in the 1970s and 1980s with bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, ACDC, and Bon Jovi. Since hard rock music is loosely defined, most of the hard bands of the time were labeled with other genres like heavy metal, glam metal, and blues rock.

In the 90s, one form of hard rock became very popular. Grunge rock exploded with the band Nirvana, while other bands also paved the way of grunge rock like Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. In the 21st century, a new wave of hard rock music has emerged: post-grunge and mainstream rock. Bands like Three Days Grace, Seether, Nickelback, Shinedown, and Hinder are the new wave of hard rock.

Like many mainstream acts, Christian hard rock features emphasized guitars with driving rock songs. Most Christian hard rock bands choose to talk about issues of today and they also sing about Christian themes. For this post, I want to share with you six bands that are making waves in the Christian hard rock scene.

The first band is Thousand Foot Krutch. They have released 5 albums since 2001 on Tooth and Nail Records. When they began their career, they were a rap rock band. But over the last few years they have turned into a hard rock band. The song I want to share with you is called E For Extinction, which is off their fifth album Welcome to the Masquerade. E For Extinction is about how people put on masks and camouflage to hide their inner feelings and emotions from people. This song is also named after a 1960s X-Men comic.




The next group is Falling Up. They have released six albums since 2004, including a greatest hits album. Falling Up broke up as a band in early 2010, but made an announcement a few months later that they were back together. Most of Falling Up’s early work was hard rock music fused with driving piano. But, in their last couple of albums they have turned to a more experimental rock sound. Here is one of their early hard rock songs. It is called Moonlit. Most of their song lyrics are a little vague and open to interpretation. To me, this song speaks about how we should let go of our sins, secrets, and pain to God.




The third group is 12 Stones. They have been a band since 2000. They have released three full length albums and an EP since then. 12 Stones has had a lot of popularity in the secular market. They have had songs featured on WWE, soundtracks for Elektra, The Scorpion King, and Daredevil. Lead singer Paul McCoy was also featured as the back up vocalist for the breakout song for Evanescence called Bring Me To Life in which he won a Grammy for best Hard Rock Performance. The song I want to share with you is called Lie to Me off their album Anthem For The Underdog. This song speaks about a broken relationship; this could include an intimate relationship, family member, or someone you simply look up to. Lead Singer McCoy sings about how this person has messed up and it has greatly affected him and his beliefs.




The fourth group is Pillar. They have released eight albums since their formation as a band in 1998. Like Thousand Foot Krutch, they also started out as a rap rock band. After their first couple independent albums, they transformed into a pure hard rock group. They have also been nominated for one Grammy for their album The Reckoning. The song I want to share with you is off their latest album, Confessions, called Whatever It Takes. This song is about falling away from God and doing whatever it takes to get back with Him.




The next band is Red. They are a relatively new band, only released two albums since 2006. But, their first two albums have garnered huge success. Both albums were grammy nominated. Red has also dominated radio charts with nine consecutive number one singles. Their third album will be released on February 1, 2011. The song I want to share with you is off their second album called Innocence and Instinct. According to guitarist Anthony Armstrong, Death of Me is all about actions. “The song is really a regretful introspective moment, where you realize that your own actions have led you down a path you never wanted to take. You are the one who keeps tearing yourself down in some kind of vicious cycle that never seems to end,” said Armstrong. I love the concept behind this music video. It is really really cool.




The final group is Kutless. They have released ten albums including two worship albums, two special editions, and a live album. Two of their albums have also gone gold. Kutless’ name is a reference from Romans 6:23. The band says the name derives from Jesus taking away our cuts, therefore we are Kutless. The song I want to share is off their fourth album. Shut Me Out is about standing up for your beliefs in Jesus Christ and not letting anyone shut out your voice or opinion.




I hope you have enjoyed this look at Christian hard rock music. If you like this genre, here are some more hard rock bands to check out: Skillet, Decyfer Down, The Letter Black, Fireflight, Kids in the Way, and Day of Fire.

26 comments:

  1. I would love to hear Christian Hard Rock music. Thanks for these videos you shared in your post. Keep coming.
    My friend Tim Jones in Spokane is also in a band and on tour. He would love to read this.

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  2. Thank you for reading and commenting! I appreciate it. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the videos and the music. I am a big, big fan of Christian hard rock. Thanks for passing this blog on to your friend!

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  3. Wow, this is an amazing article! Really informative, and now I know what rock bands praise God. I enjoy heavy music, but the problem is that they don't glorify the Lord.
    Thank you so much for posting.

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  4. Thank you for the kind words! I am a big supporter of Christian rock. I definitely love heavy music. There are a lot of great Christian hard rock bands that do praise the Lord. In this post, I just mentioned some of the bigger artists. But, check out these bands. Their music has great messages, and they use it as a tool to glorify Christ.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this information. It is really interesting to know that there are also Christian hard rock bands. I guess their songs can very much related in our present situations. Thank you for this list. These bands are certainly a must-search! Hard rock has and will always be part of the music industry.

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  6. Thank you for reading and commenting! I am a huge fan of Christian hard rock. I agree, they are definitely a must-search!

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  7. pod disciple chevelle blindside demon hunter flyleaf. are also what i would call hard rock but they are just a touch heavier than the bands you have posted. also if you really like screaming some heavy metal bands that are christian are for today oh sleeper wolves at the gate haste the day august burns red underoath sleeping gaint spoken i the breather the devil wears parada war of ages or love and death. if you like more of hardcoare punk you should look at emery or the red jumpsuit apparatus or if you like just plain punk or alternative look at relient k the almost fm static capital lights or nevertheless and three days grace has many songs with a christian message behind it

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  8. Thanks for the comment. Yeah, there are quite a few great Christian hard rock acts. There are simply too many to include on one blog post. I can see that you are a major fan of many different styles within Christian rock. You are more than welcome to check out my other posts! God Bless.

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  9. Check out We As Human.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. Yes, I am a big fan of We As Human. Actually, their debut album was my second favorite album of last year!

      http://christianrock123.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-top-ten-christian-rock-albums-of-2013.html

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  10. check out Scarlet White and Rekoncyle and can you help me find a band that sounds like Shinedown.

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    1. At least in the Christian rock genre, there are not too many bands that are similar to Shinedown. But, some good bands to check out are Nine Lashes, Disciple, Day of Fire, and Decyfer Down. Plus, Red and 12 Stones are also pretty close to Shinedown's style. Thanks for reading!

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  11. For me female rock stars is an eternally interesting topic. My favorite rock stars are Ann Wilson and Tina Turner. I really wish I can be like them though I assume many people won’t have heard their names even.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!. If you enjoy female rock stars, then check out my blog post on the most popular women in Christian rock today.

      http://christianrock123.blogspot.com/2010/09/women-in-christian-rock.html

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  12. Thanks for the post. I am a Skillet fan. I was having a hard time finding other hard rock Christian music acts, They don't play them on the radio. This helps.

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    1. Thank you for reading and for your support. I too am a huge Skillet fan. I hope you are able to enjoy these other Christian hard rock groups.

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  13. This is a great post! I was wondering is there is an updated post, or list, for today's music? Thanks, again!

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    1. Thank you for the comment and support! Yes, I admit this blog is a few years old, and so a lot of these bands are either no longer making music or they have switched to a different genre.

      If you are interested in Christian hard rock, here are some really good bands to check out. They are all still playing shows and releasing music: Skillet, Red, Seventh Day Slumber, The Letter Black, XXI, Flyleaf, Lacey Sturm, Thousand Foot Krutch, Spoken, Disciple, Decyfer Down, and We As Human.

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  14. Great! Thanks for the update. I'm already working on a new playlist.

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    1. I'm glad to hear it. If you finish a playlist, I would love to hear some of the bands that you like.

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  15. Love the post on Christians bands. Would like to see more hard rock Christians bands

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  16. Shinedown is not a hard rock christian band. Yes they do have some nods in few of their songs to religion. But if you research them they do not specify as a hard rock christian band like how Thousand Foot Krutch does.

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  17. Thank you. These are all awesome! Sure could've used then to get me through some rough times growing up.

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