From the "Well, that explains a lot" department

The first Christian music group I ever (and I do mean ever) heard was Stryper. I remember by older brother getting the album Soldiers Under Command for Christmas and I was, shall we say, hooked on the sound coupled with the message. Christian Heavy Metal was a natural for me later in life when I was converted in college.

I came out of a background of listening to New Wave, New Age, Jazz, and Punk music when I became a Christian. At that point, the only real "alternative" sound in Christian music at that time was Metal. Now you can find any musical genre expressed in contemporary Christian music, but at that point even The Choir, Damiel Amos, Undercover, and the other "out there" artists were a bit tame for me.

Enter groups like Deliverance, Bloodgood, Barren Cross, Tourniquet to fill the "void" and provide the antithesis (in more than music) to Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Rich Mullins, and DeGarmo and Key. Not that those artists have not ministered to me (I own quite a few of their albums), but they could not have been what those heavy metal bands were to me at that time.

Would I have "stuck" with Christ without the likes of Vengeance Rising, Mortification, or Jet Circus? The answer is yes, of course, for Christ and the church is more than music (no matter what is being said or practiced now). But He has shaped me through this music. Read what I have said and do not misunderstand it. Part of who I am today is due to the influence He has had in my life through this music and how it expresses the musician's own relationship with Christ.

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