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Various Artists: Metal For Jesus
Metal For Jesus Various Artists Christian Liljegren Album Review

Various Artists: Metal For Jesus

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal

Christian metal, white metal as it is sometimes called, rose from the inroads Christian musicians made into the rock music industry during the rise of the Jesus (People) Movement in the early Seventies in America. This had it's roots in the Sixties counter-revolution, only on the faith-based side of things. Early proponents included Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill.

Metal For Jesus Various Artists Christian Liljegren Photo

Metal For Jesus: l-r, Jonsson and Liljegren.

When metal made a push in the late Seventies and early Eighties, culling mostly from NWOBHM, Bay Area thrash, and Sunset Strip glam, Christians followed suit. Some would say they copied, but that's a topic for another day. Bloodgood, Deliverance, and the almighty Stryper are a few of the bands that rose to fame in the great Eighties albeit, excepting Stryper, mostly in the Christian music ghetto.

Over the next 30 years or so Christian musicians would continue to create and bands proliferate, not only here in the States but also in the European theater. Metal For Jesus gives you a large introduction into the current contemporary Christian melodic metal of the last two decades in the Swedish arena. Various artists is partly a misnomer for this collection 17 songs. All the bands, Divinefire, Audiovision, Modest Attraction, Golden Resurrection, and Narnia feature one unifying character: singer, songwriter, and producer Christian Liljegren. He gets some help from owner, Johannes Jonsson in this compilation.

The 17 songs here stray little from melodic, heavy, or power metal in one form or another. They're big on melody, harmony, strong guitar and synth solos and, of course, Christian themes. Liljegren and his many bandmates have no trouble presenting classic melodic metal. It's par for the course and, at times quite good. The largest portion of the songs, 11, come from his bands Golden Resurrection and Divinefire. I've heard many of these songs before and can say that this strong European melodic metal.

The real question is whether Liljegren gets the tenets of Christianity, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, right. Otherwise, the notion of Christian metal would be moot. There would be two ways to find out: interrogate the man on Biblical and theological matters, or check out the lyrics to the songs. The former could be a bit problematic considering time and location. To the latter, you can read the lyrics here for clues.

Essentially, Liljegren announces a traditional Evangelical Christian faith: we're sinners without hope in this world and separated from God in this life; Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins and rose from the dead for our justification (being made right with God having the righteousness of Christ). Those who believe in Christ have new life and a relationship with God in this life and the next. Simple, because it make sense.

Unfortunately, this message will likely not resonate with the average heavy metalhead who, generally, sees no right relationship between Christianity, or any religion for that matter, and heavy metal music. Yet, music is merely an avenue of expression for thoughts, ideas, stories. Whether religious or not, rock and metal bands are 'preaching' something, anything from new age oneness to classic paganism to sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Christian metal musicians and bands are simply declaring the Gospel and their faith in Jesus Christ. Put in this context, it makes perfect sense.

(Actually the real issue isn't the music. It's the truth claims of Christianity, and the simple fact that the Gospel declares all men to be sinful doing sinful deeds, separating from themselves from God, and therefore deserving his wrath and punishment, whether in this life or the next.)

Metal For Jesus is a fine introduction into Scandi melodic power metal and the core of Christianity, the gospel of Jesus Christ. To that end, this compilation succeeds. Recommended.

Golden Resurrection - Proud to Wear the Holy Cross - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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In Short

Metal For Jesus is a fine introduction into Scandi melodic power metal and the core of Christianity, the gospel of Jesus Christ. To that end, this compilation succeeds. Recommended.

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