The ten best Christian metal bands of all time

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Vengeance Rising Unlike most other thrashy death metal bands from L.A. in the late '80s, Vengeance Rising stood out like a sore thumb, not because of its sound or imagery, but because of its lyrics and faith. As one of the first American Christian extreme metal bands, vocalist Roger Martinez led the band and recorded two of the most successful Christian extreme metal albums known, to this day, 1989's Human Sacrifice and 1990's Once Dead. But this story took a turn for the unexpected, when after coming back from a tour in the early '90s, with the outfit in major debt, Martinez was abandoned by his band mates, and eventually became separated his initial faith in Christianity, first turning Atheist, then fully embracing Satanism, especially with his music. For a taste of this Anti-Christian music Martinez created with an entirely different line up than the original Vengeance Rising, be sure to check out the 2000 album, Realms of Blasphemy. The music Web site All Music said it best: "Vengeance Rising has one of the most entertaining and bizarre stories in the realm of heavy metal."

Mortification With one listen to the Australian extreme metal band Mortification, you might be inclined to compare the band to such darker, sinister death metal bands as Carcass, Dismember, Grave, or Bolt Thrower. What you might not expect, however, is that the group's members are devout Christian members, and the lyrics are from a Christian perspective. But this doesn't mean the songs aren't brutal, both in music and imagery. With a thrashy death metal backdrop, the act has over twenty albums under its belt, and for decades, Mortification has been pounding out intense music focused on the suffering of sinners in Hell, the epic violent tales from the Bible and even ancient prophecies. Mortification is still going strong, and has even dabbled in power metal, punk and hard rock, but have always, in the end, stuck true to its roots in extreme thrash and death metal. For a taste of the he band's most well known record, be sure to check out the 1992 album, Scrolls of the Megilloth.

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Alex Distefano