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.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thank You

After much consideration and thought, I'm sad to announce that my Christian rock blog is coming to an end.  When I started writing 2 ½ years ago, I simply wanted a place to share my thoughts and love for music.  Since then, my hobby has exploded with over 100,000 views from readers from all across the world.

Over the last two years, if you were involved in any way, I cannot thank you enough.  Whether you left a comment, viewed a blog post or simply watched a video, it’s been a blessing for me to share this journey with all of you.

From the very beginning, I’ve always felt like this blog was bigger than me.  Yes, I wanted to write top ten lists, conduct interviews and share videos from my favorite artists.  But, more importantly, I wanted this blog to be a testimony about the love and changing power of Christ.

When I first started this blog, I was a junior in college.  Now, I am pursuing a Master of Divinity degree, and I am serving as the pastor of a local church.  God has closed the door on this chapter of my life, but I’m eager and excited to see what the future holds.  Even though this is my final post, I will continue to leave my blog up for you to enjoy and read.  Keep rocking for Jesus!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Monday, December 3, 2012

Top Christian Rock Songs of 2012

This is Part 1 of my top 20 songs of 2012.  This list features songs 20 through 11.

20.  Stay Close - Fireflight

“Stay Close” is by far the hardest song on Fireflight’s new album.  A musical stretch for the group, “Stay Close” highlights the drumming skills of Adam McMillion, while also showing off the full range of Dawn Michele’s vocals.  Here is the trippy music video for “Stay Close.”

19.  Murdered Love – P.O.D.

A rock and roll onslaught, “Murdered Love” is all about the crucifixion of Christ.  Being the title track off arguably their most controversial album to date, “Murdered Love” is full of spiritual imagery, screams and hard rock.  In P.O.D.’s words, the death of Christ was the day that they murdered love.  Below, is the official lyric video for the song.

18.  Draw the Line – Disciple

According to Kevin Young, Disciple’s latest album, O God Save Us All, is a musical story of someone coming to Christ.  “Before you’re a Christian, life feels a certain way.  Then you’re introduced to the gospel, receiving Him and walking with Him.  And then, life is over and you get to be with Him.  The album covers all of those bases.  It’s about the life of a Christian.”  Serving as the lead single, “Draw the Line” details the crucial moment in which a person gives up their life for Christ.  This is a fan made lyric video for the song.

17.  Anthem of the Lonely – Nine Lashes

After being signed to Tooth and Nail Records in 2011, Nine Lashes released their debut album earlier this year.  The lead single, “Anthem of the Lonely,” is a straightforward piece of modern rock that’s similar to Red and Three Days Grace.  For the official video, Nine Lashes developed a story about torture and to a point, perseverance.

16.  Losing – Tenth Avenue North

“Losing” is a powerful story of forgiveness.  In the chorus, lead vocalist, Mike Donehey, boldly sings, “Oh Father, won't You forgive them.  They don't know what they've been doing.  Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them, cause I feel like the one losing.”  Using a background choir, an abrupt key change and some very challenging lyrics on forgiveness, “Losing” is one of the best songs of Tenth Avenue North’s career.

15.  Pushover – Manafest

“Pushover” is a prime example of Manafest’s growing vocal talent and song writing abilities.  Featuring crunchy guitars and hip hop beats, “Pushover” is a great, rap rock anthem.  The official video combines the two passions of Manafest:  music and skateboards.

14.  The Lesser Worth – The Wedding

“The Lesser Worth” includes my favorite musical intro of the year.  To begin the song, The Wedding features a young child saying, “Let me see a circle pit.”  By far the hardest song on their new record, “The Lesser Worth” feels like one big jam session with screams and riff driven rock.  Interestingly enough, The Wedding even collaborated on this song with Story of the Year’s frontman, Dan Marsala.  Here is the lyric video for “The Lesser Worth.”

13.  Redeemer – War of Ages

For going on 10 years now, War of Ages has been offering listeners album after album of catchy metalcore.  With a sound similar to As I Lay Dying and The Great Commission, “Redeemer” is chalked full of chugging guitars, guttural growls and clean vocal choruses.

12.  We’re All Liars – Sent By Ravens

Coming in at number 12 is “We’re All Liars” by Sent By Ravens.  Drawing inspiration from hate groups such as Westboro Baptist Church, “We’re All Liars” is a scathing depiction of people who deny others the gift of grace.  Adding to the song’s already intense and heartfelt message, the official video is a creepy portrayal of nightmares and dreams.

11.  Crash and Burn – Write This Down

For “Crash and Burn,” Write This Down sings about the difficulties and struggles of being a full time band.  With a gritty, hardcore sound, “Crash and Burn” is ultimately an anthem about never giving up on your dreams.  Despite living off their parents and facing numerous setbacks, the members of Write This Down are still passionate about making music.  This is the official video for the song.

To see the top ten songs of the year, you can go to Part 2 here.

Top Christian Rock Songs of 2012 Part 2

This is Part 2 of my top 20 songs of 2012. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.

10.  Modern Age – Anberlin

As I said in my review of Vital, “Modern Age” could be the best song that Anberlin has ever released.  With a perfect mix of poignant lyrics and haunting guitars, “Modern Age” is a four minute masterpiece.  This is a homemade lyric video of the song.

9.  Dead Flowers – Demon Hunter

Symbolizing rebirth and life after death, “Dead Flowers” is an uplifting and comforting ballad.  Driven by symbolic lyrics, harpsichord melodies and Ryan Clark’s chilling voice, Demon Hunter once again proves their gift for creating metal ballads.  Reminiscent of “One Thousand Apologies” and “Carry Me Down,” this video features the album cover of True Defiance along with the lyrics of the song.

8.  Moment to Moment – Children 18:3

Clocking in at just under three minutes, “Moment to Moment” is filled with organic punk rock, dual vocals and the Hostetter siblings’ signature style.  By taking inspiration from 1 Corinthians 10, Children 18:3 passionately sing about living life to the fullest.  For the official video, Children 18:3 use a very simple story, but it fits the song perfectly.

7.  Cray Button – Family Force 5

By using Kickstarter, Family Force 5 was able to raise over 24,000 dollars to shoot the video for “Cray Button.”  With a heavy, patriotic theme, Family Force 5’s latest video features everything from American flags to four wheelers to even mud fights.  If you are looking for deep and meaningful lyrics, you will probably be disappointed with “Cray Button.”  There are no spiritual or deep meanings to be found here.  Instead, Family Force 5 offers their usual craziness and fun spirit.

6.  War of Change – Thousand Foot Krutch

According to Trevor McNevan, “Change can be beautiful and painstaking, but rarely is it comfortable.”  Taking that thought to another level, “War of Change” is a soaring anthem of militant charged lyrics.  Combative, intense and spiritually driven, Thousand Foot Krutch urges listeners to be change in this world.  “War of Change” is simply another hit song from these veteran rockers.

5.  Infected – 12 Stones

This is my favorite song on the new 12 Stones record.  Describing how Hollywood and impure lifestyles are polluting this world, “Infected” is an interesting commentary on today’s social and political world.  With killer guitars and high octane rock and roll, it’s great to hear 12 Stones making stadium rock once again.

4.  Awaken – Wolves at the Gate

“Awaken” includes my favorite lyrics of the year.  Proudly declaring the full glory of God, Nick Detty passionately screams, “Oh how You've shown me that this isn't a blind faith in a distant God.  You went before me and You bore my sin.  Awake my soul, My faithful King.  For I believe.”  A forceful burst of screamo, “Awaken” will have you pushing the repeat button over and over again.  Below, is the official lyric video for the song.

3.  New Horizons – Flyleaf

“New Horizons” is one of the more positive songs of Flyleaf’s career.  A hopeful look into the future, Flyleaf paints a picture of peace and encouragement for their listeners.  With Lacey Sturm’s exit from the group earlier this year, “New Horizons” serves as the perfect end to her chapter in Flyleaf.

2.  Touch This Light – House of Heroes

The true genius of House of Heroes comes through their song writing abilities.  They simply know how to make great rock songs.  With the energy and intensity of a live show, “Touch This Light” is a powerhouse of alternative rock.  Here is the official video for the song.

1.  Dead Man – Wolves at the Gate

Wolves at the Gate put their talent and love for Christ on full display with this song.  According to vocalist Steve Cobucci, “Dead Man” is a personal look into the salvation of his own heart.  “The verses from the Bible that are used in that song were crucial in my growth in knowledge, understanding and love for Jesus' perfect work of salvation.”  By overlaying screams and rock guitars with the theme of grace, “Dead Man” is a beautiful example of screamo worship.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at my top 20 songs of 2012.