Christian metal is a term used to distinguish metal bands whose members are Christians, and their lyrics are based on the Christian faith. Some people consider Christian metal to be a different subgenre of metal music than secular metal. Others consider Christian metal to be a term that states the lyrics, and that Christian metal bands and secular metal bands should not be categorized as different subgenres. Many Christian metal bands have become popular with secular metal fans. There are less Christian metal bands than secular metal bands.
The 1970 to 1980s
A few of the very first Christian metal bands were: The Resurrection Band, Jerusalem, and Daniel Band. Though these Christian metal bands were popular among Christians, Christian metal bands were still underground.
In 1984, Stryper came out with their first album, The Yellow and Black Attack! (named after their signature yellow-and-black glam metal suits) and became the first Christian metal band to make it onto the metal scene. It was at around this time, that the term "Christian metal" was founded. In 1986, Bloodgood came out with their debut self-titled album, and became another popular metal band. 1989, The band Deliverance came out with their first album, which is self-titled. Some other Christian metal bands in the 1980s were: Saint, Leviticus, X-Sinner, Impellitteri, and Whitecross.
In the early 1990s, several new Christian metal bands were founded. Mortification became the first Christian death metal band when they came out with their self-titled debut album. The band Narnia, who's subgenre was neo-classical metal, released their first two albums in the 1990s. Skillet, a hard rock/alternative rock band, came out with their first self-titled release in 1996.
'80s bands in the '90s
Many bands from the '80s continued to release albums:
- Deliverance, which came out with their second album, Weapons of our Warfare, their thrash metal release, which is similar to Megadeth and Metallica, in 1990. In 1992, they also came out with the album, Learn.
- Impellitteri, which, 1996, came out with their album, Screaming Symphony.
In the 2000s, numerous Christian metal bands were founded, some of which are popular with contemporary Christian music. In 2001, Kutless came out with their first self-titled album, and made later releases in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009 (two of which were worship albums). Skillet came out with the majority of their albums in this decade, and eventually came out from underground with their album, Collide. The Christian metalcore band Demon Hunter was founded early in this decade. Narnia came out with two more neo-classical metal albums, then changed to progressive metal in their fifth album.