Christian black metal - is there such a thing? And what on earth drives Christians to choose black metal as their expression? Well, Stefan Rydehed is about to try to find out why, and I look forward to see the result.
I have seen arguments among the Christian metal bands, that you can't connect religion to musical genre. If you see the trailer on Rydehed's documentary you'll see that this argument is also used by one of the musicians he interviews. And I agree. In principal the musical expression in itself has nothing to do with political or religious beliefs. It's the meaning and purpose you put into it that add any direction as such. So, I guess Christians who love the music, just want to play it.
It brings to my mind the memory of a Christian rock song called "why should the devil have all the good music". I just googled it to see who that singer was, and it turns out to be CCmers who wrote the song based on a misquote of reverend Rowland Hill, pastor of Surrey Chapel in London who according to the sources I found in my limited search actually said "The devil should not have all the best tunes" (don't nail me on this fact - it really was a limited search). Now, there is a significant difference between these two sentences. The first indicates that Christians should (or could) take "all" good music genres and use it to write songs to their god. The latter indicates no such thing. I'm not going to enter that discussion, since I am not a Christian and should leave internal Christian theology and ethics to the Christians. But I think there might be a clue in there somewhere, which might explain some Christian black metal bands. If they think black metal has a bad influence on people, in the context of driving them away from their god and what they are convinced is the truth. They might try to compensate and give them an alternative message - with the same musical genre. They like the genre, but they don't like the message, in other words. And to me this is all fine, whatever rocks their ocean.
But I must say that I find it odd to listen to a Christian black metal band, and to see them perform. The expression is quite aggressive - both in musical terms and in the theatrical package it comes with. And on top of this the genre rests on a mountain of anti religion. It has a kind of misfit to it, when all that is being brought out with a Christian message. I'm not saying that Christians should only write and sing psalms, but why choose black metal? It certainly isn't black metal if they do - it is something else, which sounds like black metal. Let's call it something perfectly, but not exactly, similar, to black metal. I like weird expressions, so by all means. But I am pretty sure that in the case of Christian?s perfectly, but not exactly, similar, black metal, I might like how the music sounds, but I will not like the message :-)