Since its inception, the mission of Decibel Geek has been to expose people to hard rock/heavy metal artists who have been overlooked by the mainstream media. This can be a daunting task, however, as hard rock/heavy metal is multi-dimensional with several sub-genres that all have a rabid fan base. To that end, some of the staff writers have decided to branch out and form blogs devoted to shining a spotlight on music we enjoy that might not get as much attention on the website. For me, that is Christian hard rock/heavy metal. Welcome to Positive Noize!
So, what can you expect from this blog? I intend to include album reviews, band bios, latest news, show reviews, retro reviews, a history of the genre and many other things that I hope you will find informative and entertaining. This will NOT be a forum to preach or push my (or anyone else’s) beliefs. I want to assure you that Positive Noize is strictly about the music itself. My hope is that you will discover new music and appreciate the artists that will be represented here.
The next question is – what is Christian hard rock/heavy metal? According to Wikipedia, it is heavy metal music with a Christian message. Okay, that’s what you call a no-brainer. Wikipedia goes on to say that it is considered to be more of a “concept rather than a genre since it has no specific musical characteristics“. This is understandable because, over the years, Christian metal has spread across all areas of the genre. You can now find Christian artists in thrash, metalcore, prog rock, death metal and just about any other type you can find.
For me, like most others in my generation, it started with Stryper. Their 1986 classic To Hell with the Devil completely changed my view of Christian music. They weren’t the first Christian metal band, but they were the first to grab my attention. Up to that point in my life, I found Christian music to suffer from a sameness of sugary gospel platitudes that did not speak to me. I found it exceptionally difficult to stomach that stuff, especially as this was around the time that I also discovered my love for 80’s glam metal. With Stryper, I could have both.
These days, I enjoy many types of hard rock/heavy metal artists but, as a mom, it makes me happy to be able to listen to the music of these Christian bands with my children. My preteen daughter enjoys listening to metal all because we were able to introduce her to some great songs with which she can connect. My son is more of a rap fan (I know, how did I fail him?) which also has Christian artists. From there, I know they will branch out to other bands but until they are old enough for that, I feel good that I introduced them to the genre I love via music with a positive message.
The #1 album in my top ten for 2016 (read it here) was Long Live the Rebels from the Christian band, Disciple. There were so many great albums that were released last year that it was a tough decision, but I chose the album that I loved from start to finish and that I listened to repeatedly throughout the year. This really is a great album and I hope that you will look into it. I plan to do an actual album review of it in the near future. I have tickets to see them (along with some other Christian bands) in a couple of weeks and I hope to be able to review that show as well.
In conclusion, I ask that you set aside any preconceived notions and just enjoy the music. I’m happy that some of the writers have chosen to focus on their own niches so that we might truly cover this genre as a whole. There is so much great stuff out there! It’s impossible to feature them all but this is definitely a step toward that goal. I am excited to bring you these artists!