This compilation began as a simple playlist of a few new bands that I was begging to take interest in, (thanks to Pandora and Jango for keeping entertained for hours at work), which eventually grew into an entire new spectrum of musical curiosity. I don't consider myself a "metal-head", and music to at this volume and intensity is rarely found in my "favorites list". Fortunately, being a musician, I am always plunging the unsearched archives for a "new sound" and generally unexplored territory. Though this music is probably too heavy for most (I had a hard time adapting at first), it is easy to find a few appealing snippets or qualities and then you're sucked in.
Themed compilations are not a new thing for me, I'm sure many people are aware of "playlists" and compilations are not far from it. I've covered themes from a chronological history of punk, psychedelic, anarchism and much more. The theme for this compilation is "Christian Metal", something I wasn't sure of at first for several reasons.
Of course, I don't want to be too preachy. But then I thought "how can I deny such great music?". If I can listen to my friends blasting any number of musicians who directly conflict with my world-view, then they can do the same. Though it does get preachy at times, I really tried to make this music listenable on a musical basis, something you can appreciate without having to buy into the message. Mostly, you'll be lucky if you can hear anything besides screaming.
The second reason that this compilation was questionable, in my opinion, is that I don't wish to promote feelings of anger or violence. I definitely don't want to associate it with Christianity. Though I did discover a number of musicians that I thought were amazing, a majority of them fell into the "metal" category, not all of them were metal. Some of them were actually quite wussy, and I have a guilty pleasure for even some of those songs. The redeeming quality I do find in such "aggressive" music is that it's message is a positive rebellion, usually against what the artist defines as "evil" or simply the pressures of the world. Though it's an important teaching to not fall into depression or anger, I don't find this music the least depressing or really even angry. Despite the chaotic style, I find that some of this is probably the most inspired and soul-searching music I've ever heard (how can anything sound more passionate than a man screaming his heart out until he's bleeding from the neck?). It's all in good humor, and remember to take it all with a grain of salt. Something that sold me on the idea was actually a song by Project 86 called "Caveman Jam" which is unfortunately too punk rock to fit in here. Great song about why artists feel compelled to write aggressive music.
Now that I've gotten all of the formalities out of the way, I can describe a little. The title is from an old Black Sabbath song (back in their more religious days when they were writing songs like “Lord of This World” and “After Forever”). Despite having not included that song, it seems to encompass the ideology and sound of the music in general.
There are a few bands which are featured prominently, and I don't care if I didn't evenly distribute the artists because the number one objective is the unified sound. My opinion of a unified sound IS NOT the same type of song over and over again, however there is a definite apocalyptic feel to it. This is something I thought might sound artsy with a few hints of Christmas, being that it was that time of year when I began.
It's obvious my favorite here is Becoming the Archetype, though I'm a little uncertain of the latest album. Trenches, Project 86 and Demon Hunter are also great and are all over the place. The qualifications (in my mind) for a band to be a "Christian" band is that they must do exclusively Christian music. It doesn't count if you just happen to be Christian and play music on the side (U2, Bob Dylan, Phil Collins, Black Sabbath, etc...besides you can never keep up with their beliefs anyways). Also, this trait leads to a particularly spiritual type of music that I thought should be the theme. All of the tracks fit the requirements, with the exception of “Carol of the Bells” and other sound excrepts. Another commonality that you will find is blending between tracks or strange intervals and sound bytes in between. I'm sorry if this gets annoying, it's just something I feel adds flavor to the whole thing. I hope that you can be inspired just as I was, if you enjoy the message as well then even better.