A Metalhead’s Journey to the Light

By Cullen Toner

Many have expressed emotions of extreme shock and awe after discovering the explicitly Christian lyrics and aesthetics of my newest album, Deus Vult. How could I, the former singer/songwriter of New Jersey’s most popular Satanic band, find God and religion after 15 years of playing in bands with misanthropic, anti-Christian themes? What would cause a complete 180 degree change in lifestyle, a complete about-face in world view? And why would I recklessly proclaim such a change in heart to a world of black and death metal that would so surely respond in confusion, mockery, and utter malice?

To even consider the answers requires a great deal of courage and intellect, as most in the world of extreme metal have extensively conditioned themselves to the idea that metal, in all of its rebelliousness, is the antithesis to Christianity. But since the spirit of metal is one that has historically challenged authority and convention in a quest for deeper truth, those who truly understand its foundation will not cower from the mere suggestion of radical thought. And to those to I can assure that a long quest for logic and wisdom has unexpectedly led me at the foot of the upright cross. Not only did this provide happiness and fulfillment for the first time, but the foundation for meaning and purpose that many metalheads are currently in a vast search for.

In an attempt to explain as objectively as I can, this is how I came to embrace Christianity as my faith, and what it meant for my relationship with metal music.

Failed by the Narrative

I was born the late in 80’s in the liberal bubble of a safe suburban neighborhood. As an introvert most interested in Nintendo 64, Star Wars novels, pro wrestling and other escapism, a love for metal was as a given. When depression (or possibly just uncertainty) came along, my parents like many opted to take me to a psychiatrist rather than a pastor or priest. And like most teenagers, this led to Adderral and anti-depressant prescriptions that made everything worse… ultimately leading to the subsequent loss of all meaning and hope for the future that such things tend to bring.

When times were at their worst, I found comfort in the lyrics, music, and stories of Norway’s most infamous black metal musicians, particularly Dead and Maniac of Mayhem and Varg Vikernes of Burzum. I had exchanged God for the metal gods, and metalhead became my sole meaning, purpose, and identity. Eventually Dissection became my favorite band, and Storm of the Light’s bane my favorite album, as the dark melancholic melodies reflected my experience and world view better than anything else. Primarily a guitar player, the technique of Jon Nodtveidt became the foundation of my own style to the point of near replication (I would grow deeply saddened by his suicide in 2006).

At the time I considered an existence without God and his morality as the ultimate liberation. I never considered long term consequences for anything and lived only for the pursuit of short term pleasures. Furthermore, most of the TV pundits and educational leaders seemed to support this school of thought, and that Christianity was some 2000 year old nonsense by unscientific men. Because of all of this, I thought I was so much smarter than people who had things such as community religion. “Those sheep, in their weakness” I thought. But ultimately, I was being fooled. And I would later spend many years trying to untangle all of these fatalist tendencies so I could actually join society and not live in the basement of my parents my whole life. I did not know it at the time, but this was ultimately a philosophical outlook called Volunteerism:

Voluntarism is the theory that God or the ultimate nature of reality is to be conceived as some form of will (or conation). This theory is contrasted to intellectualism, which gives primacy to God’s reason. The voluntarism/intellectualism distinction was intimately tied to medieval and modern theories of natural law; if we grant that moral or physical laws issue from God, it next needs to be answered whether they issue from God’s will or God’s reason.

For a time this way of living worked. But the older I got, the more one problem seemed to keep coming back as one troubling truth: I was never happy, never fulfilled, never could find my place. There was no ultimate meaning, no greater goal or purpose. Being in a metal band, being a fan of metal, it wasn’t enough. And if you’re reading the countless, countless, countless articles on mental illness in metal, you’ll know that this is an issue facing many metalheads and musicians in the world today.

The Quest for Knoweledge

Like many liberal college kids, I tested every school of thought imaginable in my young adult life. This lead to wanderings into philosophy, new age, and various left hand path spiritual practices. I was willing to gamble on them because why not? All of the authorities were failing my generation and myself, so what did they know? Again, it felt like wisdom, but ultimately was foolishness.

A common theme arose no matter which of these paths I chose: everyone who lives this way seems to be miserable. From the people I know, to the people writing these works, to the people pushing this music. This is not only true within metal and most authors, but even in pop culture celebrities, journalists, and everyone pushing liberalism, leftism, and atheism. All of them seemed smart, seemed wise, and seemed well educated. But ultimately, the entirety of their happiness was built upon materialism: be it success, popularity, mortal beings, or simply the need to feel like they mattered.

My go-to during the years in darkness

Tired of Losing

After 10 years of wandering through mental and spiritual gymnastics, I got sick of losing. I got sick of following the teachings of life failures and thinking I was so superior because of independence or intellect. And at this time, a voice inside asked a simple question:

“You’ve tried everything else. Why not try faith in Jesus?”

And that’s where it started, just as a practical question from within. Why not? I was living at home at 26, making barely above minimum wage, in shitloads of college debt, no woman in my life, I was barely above NEET status. Nothing that was supposed to work worked. What did I have to lose? Why not gamble on surrender?

It was a long and hard path from here, to untangle the web of lies I had woven. Lies such as “individualism and independence was all that mattered” and “you’re better off being your own God.” Men are shitty gods, materialism is a shitty idol, and judging your self-worth by your social media persona is a horrible way to live. But through prayer, faith, and most importantly patience, I broke the chains one by one and was able to finally entertain a perspective that had always eluded me.

It was still a challenge to come to terms with the idea that community and actually going to church could be a good thing. Isolation can be a great short term comfort, but the long term it’s a prison. But little by little there were practical, logical confirmations that I was on the right path. For example, the creator of string theory, Michio Kaku, offers a very scientific answer on creationism after many years of intense research:

“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence, not unlike a favorite computer game, but of course, more complex and unthinkable,” he said.

“By analyzing the behavior of matter at the subatomic scale affected by the semi tachyon pitch radius, what we call chance no longer makes sense, because we are in a universe governed by established rules and not determined by universal chances plane.

“This means that, in all probability, there is an unknown force that governs everything,” he noted.

This goes against everything you will ever learn about in school or see shown in movies or liberal media outlets. Growing up in this world closes your mind even to possibilities. But are these “intellectuals” really smarter than a celebrated astrophysicist who has researched it extensively?

Moving the Anchor

There were many important lessons in my beginnings with the faith, and one I specifically recall as a great starting point to the new wisdom: Humanity cannot survive without anchoring their heart and existence in something. For some people, it’s their career. For others, it’s their band or their music scene. Sometimes people anchor their existence in popularity, sex partners, drugs, social media followers, Pitchfork reviews, or being noticed by famous people. But since all of these things come and go, there is ultimately doom and depression when whatever they are anchored to is no longer there.

In metal, we are several decades past an apex in creativity. You can’t “make it” as a metal band anymore, and will never get the capital investment that your metal idols saw. You’ll never be as big or influential as those 80’s death metal bands or 90’s black metal bands. To put it simply, metal is dying and may soon be over. This leaves many metalheads to depression since their anchor is in some micro metal scene or the overall culture of metal. Now we commonly see some who are moving their anchor over to hard-left politics, communism, and anarchy but this too will all lead to misery. Others will reject their natural humanity to the point of suicide or simply give up on their future and cling to their past in as many ways as possible.

But the apostle Paul, who also spent much of his life persecuting Christianity (and actually murdering Christians) only to find the light, offers a more practical solution in Hebrews 6:

“…we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul”

When you’re anchored in God/Faith, you’ll remain grounded through any situation the world throws at you. Scenes change, governments change, companies collapse, houses foreclose, people die. But no matter what’s happening on the exterior, you’ll maintain stability in being anchored what is eternal, what is timeless, what is forever.

Once I had become anchored in the word, in the Holy Spirit of God, and in my faith that God would use whatever troubles to guide me to my purpose, only then was I able to unwind everything else. All of the lies of the modern world, the destructive materialism of social media, the miserable world view of modern culture. From there everything changed – political outlook, values, purpose, lifestyle. Many things became the opposite of what they were because I had never truly opened up to the possibilities before.

Ironically it was here where my life finally got to where I wanted it to be for so long.  I rapidly leap frogged up the corporate latter to executive management, found a good looking but wholesome trad girl, and moved into a nice Manhattan apartment in the Upper East Side. I was finally succeeding.  And I was finally satisfied

But the most important change in my life was that I, now as a child of the almighty God, stopped seeking meaning and value in empty, worldly things. In obedience to his way, I know I’ll achieve my purpose, no matter what trouble or change befalls me through the rest of my days. I might end up losing everything I have, but I know I’ll be okay, because I have the spirit and the word and a heart anchored in my faith.

Lost Metal Wisdom

There is a lot to say about my Christian growth terms of theology and spirituality, but I’ll save that for elsewhere in favor of a question many must be asking – how did this affect my relationship with my favorite music?

I was surprised to find how many Christians were in metal that I never noticed. Most fans never realize that musicians from their favorite bands – some considered the most anti Christian bands in existence – are actually practicing Christians to varying degrees. Black Sabbath, whom I believe to be the first heavy metal band, were entirely composed of Christians. In fact, the entire reason they use the cross in so much of their artwork and imagery was to identify themselves as such due to fans mistaking them as Satansists. So right from the get go, the first band in all of heavy metal was Christian. When the 80’s rolled around, the new wave of metal was also riddled with Christian musicians – James Hatfield of Metallica, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, even Tom Araya, OF SLAYER, is a Christian. Yes Slayer… the band most consider to be the definition of metal – has a Christian vocalist. In death metal? Pete of Morbid Angel was a Christian (Trey pulled most of their inspiration from the Jewish Kaballah). And though I cannot provide a source of confirmation, I have been told by friends who have toured with Mayhem that Hellhammer is a very devout Christian who says a prayer before each of their shows. What I do know is that he played drums for the Christian band Antestor on their 2004 album The Forsaken. His interviews past and present also seem to confirm this possibility.

Hellhammer played drums on this Christian album. I discovered this after my conversion… the artwork alone felt like a sign…

Due to the fierce societal rebellions that occurred in death metal and black metal, many fans of these genres old and young came to view metal itself as incompatible with Christianity. Much of this stems from the classic black metal age, whose explicit rejection of the church in Lutheran Norway was the entire foundation and purpose of the genre. The fierce Satanism of the musicians was shocking to the world at the time and the alleged main driving force. However, the book Lords of Chaos observes that the musicians of Norwegian black metal were mostly children of Atheist parents, whom were surely outcasted from their communities. In a way, I believe these young people were fighting the battles of their parents, having carried their bitterness. In any event, all of them have retrospectively admitted that “nobody was ever really Satanist.” It was all a lie from the beginning. Some still argue that this energy was harvested from a darker force, while others view all music as a celebration of creation and ultimately, the creator.

If we are to define metal, some of us would consider it “the attempt to capture, replicate, and understand what is timeless, eternal… logic, order, traditionalism, the desire to know what is not known.” I agree with this assessment, but I have a single world for all of those things: God.

Conclusion

Like Tom Araya and Hellhammer, I too continued recording albums with dark, destructive themes for a few years. But I eventually deiced that I was not going to be “that type of Christian” and ended that path for good. The more I got into theology, the less it mattered to me to stick with tropes and get positive feedback. I stopped caring about the outside world and started listening to what was inside (but in fairness, they are career musicians and I am not, so I can’t judge them for continuing to do what feeds their families).

My outlook on why I did music and what I wanted to get out of being a musician changed completely. It didn’t matter anymore if my band was signed, if my albums sold, if my music was popular, if I got reviews in metal blogs. Instead, I make music about what matters most to me, which is my faith. The faith, the spirit of truth, that which I sought out in all corner’s of conscious thought despite it being within all along. That which drives me, inspires me. It no longer matters to me what men think of my music. What matters is what God thinks, and God wants to be worshiped, and so my music is now worship of God.

So what does this music sound like? Did I wimp out, get emo, get weak? Well, dear reader, I’ll let you decide for yourself below.

Beau-Séant!

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45 thoughts on “A Metalhead’s Journey to the Light”

  1. Flying Kites says:

    Cullen has waifu lol

  2. ChristAIDSianity says:

    “New Jersey”
    “Trend hopping”

    This says it all.

    1. Morsay says:

      There seems to be a concerted effort to paint most BM/DM bands as racist as of late. It’s funny you mention Anton Grand as I was just reading this review https://demonecromancy.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/antoine-grands-revised-history-of-black-metal/

  3. Cynical says:

    “So what does this music sound like? Did I wimp out, get emo, get weak? Well, dear reader, I’ll let you decide for yourself below.”

    Your music makes you sound like the most confused X-tian in the world. Music, alone among artforms, is non-representative, thus its composition is directly will/form rather than representation/matter (for more information on this, see Schopenhauer’s treatment of the topic in “The World as Will and Representation”), meaning you can’t separate the sound from the expression. With that said, angular chromatic progressions and racing blastbeats don’t represent the god of creation and mercy.

    Oh, and if you think Jon Nodveidt’s brand of satanism was about individualism and “being your own god”, then you’re incredibly clueless. MLO/TBL, as an O9A-inspired group, are explicitly theist, aeonic, anti-ego, and anti-individualist.

    1. Reduced Without Any Effort says:

      I don’t see a dark, punishing sound as being incompatible with Christian faith as I read it. Christianity depicts not just hope in Jesus and God, but the darkness and incorrigible flaws of humanity that necessitate salvation from above. It could also perhaps be said from a Christian perspective that the more the world becomes a product of man, the greater the inherent darkness within, which would make dark portrayals of humanity more justified.

      Disclaimer: Not a Christian myself, but a theist nonetheless.

      1. Nathan Metric says:

        It’s not a priori wrong for a Christian to write dark and punishing music. There is a problem if the music implicitly asserts the virtue of being dark and punishing. You can either express darkness because darkness actually exists in the world (realism) or you are expressing darkness because you are one with darkness (romanticism). His music sounds like war metal. War metal only has one idea to express: the domination of evil over the good and the virtue of power. His music even if he changes the lyrics does not match the music. The music intrinsically romanticizes evil.

  4. G-d says:

    Life was a fucking mistake. It’s nothing but trash. Happiness is weakness of the soul and a grave sin. Obnoxious preachers will suffer the most painful of suffering for their feeble-minded insolence and speaking G-d’s name in vain.

    This is the will of G-d and will be made flesh.

    May the plagues spread far.

  5. Cynical says:

    Oh, and one last thing, your claim to being the most popular satanic band out of New Jersey is laughable given that Incantation, Goreaphobia, and Profanatica have all spent most of their careers operating out of the Tri-State area, Revenant were from New Jersey, and so are Ruinous, Funebrarum, and Disma.

    1. Cynical says:

      Oh, and also most of Ceremonium.

      1. Cynical says:

        Oh, and also Disciples of Mockery.

        1. The Nut Cutter says:

          It goes to show the total poser nosedive this site as taken, which has always had a critical blindspot for what is going on in the death metal underground. Intense irony, but I think this whole site was just trolling use all along. It really hasn’t been worth a damn in a long time, so I go from looking at it every now and then to be completely uninterested. This site has been an utter failure, at least now I won’t have to read a fucking thing about metal on the internet anymore. I’m a big boy and can form my own opinions!

  6. This is an article that obviously took a lot of effort, so I think it warrants a well thought out response (even if you were just trying to promote your music, ha-ha).

    Michio Kaku has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t believe in the personal god of prayer, or he whom (in these exact words) “smites the Philistines”. I often times see Christians taking the words of theoretical physicists (like Albert Einstein’s belief in the order of the Universe as “God”) to back up their own faith, but without fully examining the meaning behind them.

    Anyway, I always thought it would be kinda cool to see a metal band that used militant, crusader-like, “burn at the stake and then in hell” kind of Christian imagery. But just talking about the light of Christ and vanquishing evil? To piggyback on the comment “Cynical” made, it doesn’t really fit the music…

    I also don’t think we should be so quick to dismiss the anti-Christian sentiments of Norwegian black metal. Certainly for some bands it was child’s play, but the overarching mindset in that scene was rooted in nationalism, and a desire to return to the ancient Pagan ways of their forefathers. I think that’s a legitimate ideological expression. There is stark contrast between that and aimlessly abandoning god “only for the pursuit of short term pleasures”.

    Anyway, I’ve got nothing against the success you’ve found in life and the spiritual direction you’ve taken (even though I personally find it misguided). I listened to “Deus Vult”. There are certainly some cool riff ideas in there. The way all three melodies come together at 1:51 is really quite clever, and evil sounding. Best regards.

  7. fenrir says:

    “You’ve tried everything else. Why not try faith in Jesus?”

    But actually, you had not tried “everything else”.

  8. Maggot Paste says:

    Born to be dead.
    Repent to die.
    Ignorance looms in the unconscious mind.
    Born to be dead.
    Repent to die.
    Waste your last breath on the Lord Jesus Christ.

  9. ZFG says:

    tl;dr -> emotional problems + shitty taste in metal (Storm of the Light’s Bane Christianity. The whole thing of ‘why not try Christianity?’ is so stupid, as if one could choose to believe in something. Gathering spiritual knowledge is a process, it transforms you, there is nothing really to choose about it.

    You’re still on a quest for self-validation, so you’re doing it with ‘controversial’ click-bait articles about Christianity on an extreme metal website. Oh the special snowflake. Just because a few extreme metal musicians were Christians doesn’t mean anything (did Tom Araya write Angel of Death? did Pete Sandoval write Chapel of Ghouls? etc.) and really does not validate you in any way, it’s just a talking point to make you interesting.

    Finally, to be fair, your record is listenable and more interesting than a lot of other crap floating around these days. But its spirit reminds me of Lykathea Aflame’s Elvenefris : good composition, bad atmosphere, toothless death metal!

    1. ZFG says:

      My comment got truncated. I had put stuff between the ‘less than’ and ‘greater than’ symbols and everything disappeared. You guys either have a web security issue or just a bad text parser. Check these links out, they might help:
      https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_entities.asp
      https://www.owasp.org/index.php/XSS_(Cross_Site_Scripting)_Prevention_Cheat_Sheet

      Now back to my FUCKIN paragraph, restored:

      tl;dr – emotional problems + shitty taste in metal (Storm of the Light’s Bane sucks compared to The Somberlain) + aimeless consumerism/materialism = a Christian metalhead.

      Another lost soul ripe for harvest by the spiritual merchants.

      I personally believe in God, but I can do that without believing in the fucking Bible or other desert Semitic cults or even any other bullshit cult. Have you read Spinoza ? Have you read Plato and Aristotle, or the Stoics ? Have you read any philosophy ? I don’t think you really questioned things, I think you just wanted the easy answers and the emotional cushion, so you went to the buffet of modern ideas, and got disillusioned since it’s all just shallow bullshit, but still you tried to find a soothing answer, ergo Christianity.

  10. Psychic Psych Toad says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed both the album and the article.

  11. satan is gay says:

    Nice article. Also the new music sounds good.

  12. Korrektor says:

    You should get Korrekted, but overall the music is pretty good. Monotonous but this is my proggy leanings coming out. Someone else spoke of atmosphere and that may be fruit for thought.
    I’m sure Jesus loves your efforts. I love you but stand Korrekted.

    1. Ice Cube says:

      Fuck you nigga…

      1. Flying Kites says:

        Chill da fuck out Cube.

  13. AAAAARGH! Bloody 2-handed chainaxe blow says:

    This site has become a double negative. You can’t sodomize the weak and be a Christian. All of a sudden the new counter culture is the counter culture to the counter culture? If you want to be a Christian alt right site, just be one.

  14. 1349 says:

    SUDDENLY I feel lucky that I was born in the USSR!
    I faced very little religion AND no psychoanalysts & antidepressants.
    I never was liberal and most people around me never were.
    I was lucky to graduate from a technical institute that the USSR/xUSSR is packed with.
    I’m lucky to have significant portions of ancient paganism still alive around me.
    I like metal music but very rarely hung out with its loser fans.

    I have no reason to turn to Xtianity. Xtianity is just a deception and a manipulation technique used instead of substances.

    America destroys people.

    The music sounds OK though.

    1. Proles of the world unite! says:

      Preach it, comrade!

    2. butfuckked without any effort says:

      ” I’m lucky to have significant portions of ancient paganism still alive around me.”

      No, you don’t. Neopaganism is a new age hodgepodge cobbled together in the mid 20th century. Paganism was an oral tradition, and guess what happens when an oral tradition is broken: you lose it.

  15. 1349 says:

    The band’s logo should use more aggressive crosses. The ones you’ve drawn look meek and cowardly.
    Try Celtic-like variations. Or these Orthodox variations: https://vk.com/album-113607626_254378921

  16. T. Desecration says:

    “James Hatfield [sic] of Metallica”

    source on this? I thought he was an atheist who disliked his mother’s Christian Science beliefs which ended up destroying her life (“The God That Failed”, etc.)

    “even Tom Araya, OF SLAYER, is a Christian. Yes Slayer… the band most consider to be the definition of metal – has a Christian vocalist.”

    eh he may say he is, but how Christian is he really? It strikes me as a typical “oh yeah I guess there’s something more out there, plus I’m from cultural Catholic country so I’ll just say I’m a Christian even though I don’t really practice or think that much about it in my day-to-day life” type of deal I’ve encountered in most people who come from Italian/Hispanic/Polish/etc. backgrounds even though (especially in the way they live day to day) their life is not really that in accord with religious tenets at all.

    I mean, put it this way, if I actually was a Christian – i.e. I literally believed that YHVH is the one True God and Jesus Christ is his son and my saviour, that Satan and his demons are real and out to get me etc etc, I would not at all be comfortable with singing the lyrics to songs like “Hell Awaits”

    ” In death metal? Pete of Morbid Angel was a Christian”

    Incorrect. Pete is indeed a Christian nowadays, however that was only after leaving Morbid Angel in the past decade and not during the days of recording their classic materials, and one of the main reasons he left M.A. is due to his newfound religious conversion and its incompatability with the lyrics/music/lifestyle of the band.

    1. Mothers Against Christianity says:

      South America is majority catholic, but some of the shit that happens there will even put the muslim world to shame.

    2. speed boner says:

      >james hatfield
      >hatfield
      lol you stupid ass retards

      1. T. Desecration says:

        It was Cullen who misspelled the name, hence my addition of [sic] when quoting him, as I definitely know his name is HETFIELD

  17. NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist says:

    This is faggotry!

    1. AAAAARGH! Bloody 2-handed chainaxe blow says:

      I can see tranny rapists and shemales enjoying this with a nice pipe and some whisky neat.

  18. Metal Mystic says:

    Rip the sacred flesh
    Sodomize the holy asshole
    Drink the red blood of the mother of earth
    Masturbation on the dead body of Christ
    The king of Jews is dead
    and so are the lies
    Vomit on the host of Heaven
    Masturbate on the throne of God
    Break the seals of angels
    Drink the sweet blood of Christ
    Taste the flesh of the priest
    Sodomize holy nuns
    The king of Jews is a liar
    The Heavens will burn
    Dethrone the son of God
    God is dead
    Holyness is gone
    Purity is gone
    Prayers are burned
    Covered in black shit
    Rape the holy ghost
    Unclean birth of Jesus Christ
    Heaven will fall
    Fuck the church
    Fuck Christ
    Fuck the Virgin
    Fuck the gods of Heaven
    Fuck the name of Jesus

    1. Korrektor says:

      Golly gee damn !! These are powerful words!
      Get Korrekted fool!!!

  19. you wanted an easy answer so you became emo, you became weak, and now your music lacks purpose says:

    Typical metalcore drug addict turns his life around victimhood masturbation. You weren’t failed by a narrative, you failed yourself with mainstream rock stardom delusions and solipsism. This article is arrogance without the substance, more like a listing off of excuses as virtues. Dissection and Antestor suck too.

  20. god is a fucking faggot stop being a pussy

  21. butfuckked without any effort says:

    Metal used to be anti-Christian because metal is a magnet for controversy, and anti-Christian thought used to be controversial. But in reality, anti-Christians were doing the bidding of the rootless, nihilistic atheist materialists from a certain Khazar tribe who now rule us. More and more metalheads are realizing this.

    For white Westerners, Christianity (particularly Roman Catholicism) is the only authentic link to our past–from our immediate past, to our distant pagan past, to the Hellenic roots of Western thought. Christianity synthesized these things and provides a nexus of what it means to have European blood.

    1. Cock Mutilation 4 Christ says:

      Christianity is the reason why there are joos in most of the western world in the first place, because who is going to do all the banking otherwise, not those good christians, thats for sure. Only to get kicked out when shit really hit the fan, but money talks and profits are begging to be made, you see.

      And this is why most Americans mutilate their cock.

  22. Reduced Without Any Effort says:

    Overall, I liked it. It had energy and didn’t overstay its welcome and the riffs were above average and I appreciate the theme as a non-Christian sympathizer. I went ahead and bought it.

    Some constructive criticism for the next one:

    Though I elucidated in another post that I don’t see the dark sound as being incompatible with Christianity, the theme also brings with it the opportunity to bring some inspiration from Christian civilization’s great music of years past. If you can read music at all Fux’s Study of Counterpoint is a great book, historically studied by classical giants such as Mozart and Beethoven as they were learning composition, that teaches counterpoint in a renaissance style used in some of the most breathtaking sacral music.

    In addition you could pick up a book on basic harmony to provide some inspiration for harmonic narrative. I personally have read and can recommend Tchaikovsky’s Guide to Practical Harmony but I have also heard good things about Korsakov’s practical manual. You can clearly write good riffs and even ornament them well, so why not study the art of weaving them together some more? You don’t have to nor should you necessarily be just another black/death metal band, especially since the motivation is coming from a different place. There is plenty of room to explore the contrast between the darkness of humanity and the terrifying yet merciful light of God.

    I have to say too though I know it can be prohibitively expensive, real drums and an actual studio recording of the instruments may benefit the impact of the music greatly. It has that “recorded digitally in a bedroom” sound, though I appreciate that it isn’t drowned in reverb and you deserve credit for that production choice as it preserved the clarity of the instruments well much like a post-Hell Awaits Slayer album.

  23. Nuclear Whore says:

    Best Christian album for me is “Straw” by Mental Destruction.

    Will bookmark article to see what it actually says.

    Check bio of one of that wrote “Amazing grace”, there’s a detail there…

    Jesus Saves.

  24. ihateeveryone says:

    I always thought that metal was in direct opposition to false deities and idols? I thought metal was in direct opposition to basing your beliefs on fairy and folk tales? I thought metal was supposed to be in direct alliance with self confidence and individual achievement? No?

    1. butfuckked without any effort says:

      “I always thought that metal was in direct opposition to false deities and idols?”
      Yes, key word: false. False deities and idols.

      “metal was in direct opposition to basing your beliefs on fairy and folk tales?”
      You’re telling me the genre that literally hails a mythological figure (Satan) is against folk tales? You’re telling me the genre with lyrics about dragons, satyrs and valkyries is against folk tales?

      “I thought metal was supposed to be in direct alliance with self confidence and individual achievement?”
      Go look at your average tumblr girl and tell me you think “individualism” as an end in itself has had a healthy affect on Western culture.

  25. Nathan Metric says:

    You may believe that God gives your life meaning, but God is only capable of giving your life meaning if he actually exists. So really it’s the TRUTH that is the ultimate source of meaning! Not God. God can only give you meaning if he is actually part of this thing called the truth. Sadly, this author doesn’t believe in the truth anymore but rather is part of the Templar “Deus Vult” people who like religion for its good consequences on culture and their individual lives. It’s ultimately Machiavellian and not philosophical. They have confused an orderly existence with an existence that is genuinely meaningful.

    Not a fan of the Satanist/Nihilist thing either, but no amount of good consequences is ever going to turn a lie into a truth. The Truth is the only God I need and it’s a more resilient and universal God than the Christian one.

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