Zao Zao began in the early '90s in West Virginia and rose to become one of the loudest, emerging bands in the metalcore scene. With a heavy Christian theme, the band's early albums were inspired by religious imagery and were heavily faith based. Yet, as time progressed, and the band's line up changed, this influence became less and less tangible in the act's music, especially since none of the original line up remains in the band. The outfit's seminal 20014 album, The Funeral of God, has been its most well known effort to date. The group has toured on the Warped Tour and alongside other bands such as Misery Signals, Unearth, Dillinger Escape Plan and Shadows Fall. Also be sure to check out the more abrasive, darker and mysterious album eighth, 2006's The Fear is what Keeps us Here, produced by iconic musical engineer Steve Albini.
Believer This thrash metal band from Pennsylvania was always reluctant to label themselves as a Christian band, even though the lyrics had been primarily faith based, early on in the band's career. Along with groups such as Cynic, Pestilence and other similar death metal bands, Believer's emphasis on Thrash metal truly made them a different breed among other extreme metal bands. With origins on the East Coast in the mid '80s, the act disbanded in 1994, but has reunited with an evolved sound, one that fuses elements of experimental rock, classical, symphonic and even operatic metal. Believer's lyrics have often dealt with themes from the Bible, and personal struggles with religious faith. Be sure to listen to 2009's Gabriel, and 2011's Transhuman, and then contrast the sound with the band's early releases, such as 1991's Sanity Obscure.