Rescue Me from This Zombie!

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I just heard some of Rob Zombie's new CD, Hellbilly Deluxe. The music is great, but I know the lyrics aren't. I also listen to metal bands like Pantera. I've been trying hard to get these bands out of my life because they bring me down. Could you give me some Christian alternatives? —Matt

I appreciate your honesty and your desire to make some changes. Frankly, I find Hellbilly Deluxe both strange and disturbing. The CD liner features a rather goofy, yet gruesome, "freak show" of horror images. Many pictures aren't only macabre, they're obscene. As for the lyrics, they're full of explicit content dealing with occult themes. I applaud your desire to keep your distance from Zombie's hardcore musical nightmare.

You're also wise staying away from Pantera's brand of hardcore metal. Along with explicit lyrics on Pantera's Official Live: 101 Proof, the CD liner shows a photo of the guys partying down with some hard liquor. Pretty disgusting.

Spitfire

Spitfire

What are the alternatives? First off, I'd like to point you to a new music sampler called This Is Solid State: Vol. One. Produced by the Solid State label (a division of Tooth & Nail), this CD comes packed with 16 hardcore tunes from some hot Christian metal bands, including Living Sacrifice, Blindside, Embodyment, Extol, Zao and Warlord. This compilation album—from a label known for its hard music—will give you a good feel for the many different Christian metal bands out there. Solid State has also recently released Ritual of Life by Stretch Arm Strong and The Dead Next Door by Spitfire. Stylistically, Spitfire reminds me of hardcore metal (similar to Pantera), while Stretch combines hardcore metal with old-school punk (similar to Unashamed).

Finally, I'd encourage you to check out Chevelle, a hard-rocking trio of brothers. On their debut album, Point #1 (Squint), these guys push metal in some truly creative directions. The lead vocals are quite different from the Christian bands mentioned above, which feature vocals similar to Pantera's Philip Anselmo. In contrast, Chevelle's Pete Loeffler offers a style and a range similar to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

I also encourage you to crank up some of these tunes for friends who are into hardcore metal. If you do, you'll not only introduce them to some heavy new sounds—you'll also introduce them to lyrics that are worth listening to.


—Chris Lutes

Send your questions about music; we'll do our best to track down an answer: "Tell Me about It," Campus Life, 465 Gundersen Dr., Carol Stream, IL 60188. You can also reach us via fax (630-260-0114).

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