Please educate the punkless!

Yes, I’m still having trouble with people who know not of what they speak. I think the problem all stems from calling it punk rock, so people automatically smash the two genres together in their head, and then cannot manage to find a difference. I had to explain to a friend this morning that Flyleaf and Reliant K are not punk bands. The next time someone tells me that Hawk Nelson is the greatest punk band ever (yes, this actually happened) I will have to resist hitting them very hard with a very real and very punk studded object.

So….if you ever hear someone spouting off incorrectly about punk, please take them aside and explain the error of their ways to them. It will save the rest of us a lot of pain and grief!

I came across an interesting issue the other day while listening to several different bands. Is there such a thing as Christian punk?

After much debate and research I came upon an answer….no. Two very important themes to punk music are Anarchy (“Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power political disorder.” – wikipedia) and Nihilism (total rejection of established laws and institutions, anarchy terrorism or other revolutionary activity, total and absolute destructiveness especially towards the world at large and including oneself, an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth – dictionary.com). So both of those beliefs/practices go against all standard Christian beliefs, which leads to my answer of no, the two types of music cannot exist together.

In the same way I would also be inclined to believe that while you CAN have Christian metal (Demon Hunter, Underoath, etc), you CANNOT have Christian Black Metal (since it tends to contain satanic beliefs or similar stuff)

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At the Mercy of the Thorns

I realize I haven’t posted in a while, but I hadn’t heard a song that really “struck me” to right about – until last week. I had heard this song once before, loved it, but then totally forgot about it until Iwas playing around with my Youtube channel while studying. The song is called Thorns by Demon Hunter, but you don’t have to be a metal fan to be able to appriciate it.

Here is the video with lyrics, there is also a fan made graphic version that I didn’t post.

I just really connected with this song from the first time I heard it.  The meaning and implications of this song are just so deep it’s hard to even comprehend. It’s about self-injury, but unlike so many other songs about the same topic, it shows a different depth to it.  Basically the song is saying that we don’t have to  hurt ourselves for what we do, Jesus has taken the punishment of bleeding for us.  It is no longer our burden to bear, and we can give it up to  him.

I am not sure if this has the same meaning to anyone else that it does for me, but I thought I would share anyway. I guess you might not be able to understand the emotion unless you have been in that place. I think this song can apply to anyone – not just those who physically hurt themselves. We all have a tendancy to beat our selves up (emotionally, physically or mentally) over stuff that happens, and there comes a time we just need to let go.

Here is a quote from the band:

“In the few months before I began writing lyrics for this record, I was hearing a lot about cutting. This, for those who don’t know is the act of inflicting pain on one’s self (often times by cutting with a knife, or burning with a lighter) in order to take their mind off of some emotional pain. Although I don’t personally know anyone who has dealt with this (that I am aware of), the idea of writing a song about it was really placed on my heart. I guess I thought I might be able to speak to some young people about this particular issue. I couldn’t help but draw a connection between someone wanting to inflict pain on themselves and Jesus having been sacrificed so that we wouldn’t need to bare the guilt of sin. My thought was that Christ had already been cut for us, so there was no need for us to inflict pain on ourselves. That work has been paid for in full by the cross. The chorus lyrics hope that this person (represented by a young female in the song) might find this truth in her darkest of times, when she realizes that the emptiness she hoped would leave after inflicting this pain, still remains. Her flesh, broken, is emptiness. Christ’s flesh broken is mercy for us.” – Demon Hunter

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. -Colossians 1:19, 20

Memento Mori?

The very same metal band that started appearing on stage all over the world several years ago is finally coming out with their second album – Memento Mori. “It is a Latin phrase meaning “Remember you will die”. It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose: to remind people of their own mortality.” (lovely wikipedia quote).

New Single!

Here is a awesome biography from amazon! –

“The Belton, TX-based heavy rock quintet Flyleaf formed in 2000 when frontwoman Lacey Mosley tried out a string of the dark, hard-edged songs she consistently wrote as a brooding teen on drummer James Culpepper. After a brief period of playing together, they recruited guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, members of a local outfit that had recently called it quits. In 2002, bassist Pat Seals joined, and the band, initially known as Passerby, was born.

The road to Flyleaf’s 2005 self-titled debut on Octone Records was dotted with more green lights than red: the band played wherever it was invited around its home state at first, gradually building the kind of fan base that allowed it to open for acts such as Bowling for Soup, Fishbone, and Riddlin’ Kids. By 2003, with word of Mosley’s arsenic-laced lyrics and blow-torch-style delivery spreading through Texas and beyond, Flyleaf earned a spot at the annual South by Southwest music conference. A contract from Octone was rushed to the signing stages by 2004.

An EP, issued in early 2005 and also called Flyleaf, benefited from the un-obscure production team of Rick Parasher (Pearl Jam, Blind Melon) and Brad Cook (Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age). Key tracks such as the roiling “Cassie” and the emo-tinged “Breathe Today,” both of which appear on the full-length, furthered Flyleaf’s reputation, as did raging live shows alongside Saliva, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down, and Staind.

For the fall 2005 release, producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Papa Roach, the All-American Rejects) joined Flyleaf in Los Angeles. A batch of 20 songs was winnowed to 12, with Mosley’s searing vocals and Bhattacharya’s and Hartmann’s storming guitars offsetting each other to effect a sound by turns morose, compassionate, hope-swollen, and bitter.

The moodiness befits Mosley’s background: as one of six siblings in a single-parent household, the confessional songwriter spent her childhood moving from apartment to apartment whenever the bills went unpaid. She openly acknowledges an early addiction to drugs and alcohol that fueled bouts of depression. As of the release of Flyleaf’s full-length, the band was committed to sobriety.”

They are also a Christian band, which few people realize .Mosley said. “I don’t know the answer. We’re a band, it’s part of who we are, so it comes out in our music, and it’s the fuel for what we do. And finding faith saved my life. So I’m not ashamed of it at all. And most of our album reflects that.

Red!

Ok, I tried to embed some music by Red in here, but that was less than successful. I guess I will just stick a few videos in or something like that.  For those of you who don’t know Red, they are this amazing Christian metal group, but you would never guess that they are Christian from the sound. They sound sort of like a cross between Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace, and look like Demon Hunter. I saw them for the first time in concert about two years ago (the most pit was insane), and just fell in love!  The lyrics are dark and inspiring, and they have great voices with a great metal sound. Since then I have bought both their Cds (End of Silence, and Innocence & Instinct), seen them again in concert, and met them, and they continue to inspire and amaze me to no end. Just the title of their second CD is enough to make you go “wow”.

Listen to this-

It’s one of their softer songs, but so insanely beautiful.

This one is Shadows – co-written by Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin!

I found this article on their website this morning, and thought it was particularly cool! Sorry, I know it’s long!

“Still riding the momentum of its huge-selling Grammy-nominated debut album End of Silence, Red returns with Innocence & Instinct, a provocative new album forged in a perfect storm of inspiration and catastrophe. From the literary spark of Dante’s Inferno to the bloody aftermath of a 75-mph highway crash, Red absorbed a flood of ideas and emotions that empowered the band to create next generation rock songs. Finding the sonic sweet spot where epic and primal converge, Innocence & Instinct features animated dynamics that super-charge its innocence vs. instinct theme.


“Innocence & Instinct is about the duality of man,” explains guitarist Jasen Rauch. “The album examines the fight between our childlike innocence and the instinctive side that makes us do things we shouldn’t.”

The group’s debut, which sold over a quarter-million copies and earned several awards and nominations, focused heavily on personal struggles. Bringing back Silence producer Rob Graves and mixer Ben Grosse (Sevendust, Disturbed, Depeche Mode), Innocence & Instinct goes a giant step further by tackling the fight itself. It’s about the dueling impulses that wage war within our souls.


In writing the album, Red found Inferno to be an illuminating guide. The literary classic, which starts with Dante and Virgil standing before the Gates of Hell, illustrated ways in which the band might tackle deep issues in a more poetic way. And if Dante enhanced the storytelling, a highway crash in late ’07 accelerated the band’s emotional core. As the tour van smashed into a guardrail and violently slid sideways across the highway, the band experienced new heights of horror that they channeled into Innocence & Instinct.


“It brought an intensity and depth that we couldn’t reach without going through this experience,” Rauch reflects. “In the months after the accident, it felt like everything was in overdrive.”


“In a split second, it changed our lives,” adds six-stringer Anthony Armstrong, whose twin brother Randy handles the band’s basslines.


Setting the tone early, “Fight Inside” rides beautiful piano keys to an unforgettable chorus as glaring agitation builds to a savage finish. The song epitomizes the album’s effortless transitions between simmering angst, melodic hooks and pretty major-key resolves, while its inner-monologue sets up the lyrical theme by cursing the frail duality of innocence and instinct. “Death of Me” furthers the first-person schizophrenia as vocalist Michael Barnes cries “You tear me down and then you pick me up” against a backdrop of deafening guitars, sweeping symphonics and nerve-rattling screams. “Shadows,” co-written by Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin, pushes against the darkness while “Out From Under” could be called Fight Club with guitars.


“There are moments that switch between never feeling so close to someone to never feeling so abandoned, but that’s part of the human experience,” says Rauch. “These extreme feelings, these paradoxes, coexist all the time.”


While several songs veer toward an internal apocalypse, “Never Be the Same” personifies Innocence with optimistic reflections poured out over lush fields of electric and acoustic guitars. The piano-powered “Start Again” addresses the conflicted remorse of a failed relationship, while “Mystery of You” ponders the inexplicable over industrial-strength loops and keys. Innocence & Instinct even features a juiced-up cover of Duran Duran’s utopian “Ordinary World.”


Formed in Nashville, Tennessee over four years ago, Red made an immediate impact with its 2006 debut, End of Silence. The Grammy-nominated disc, featuring the radio hits “Breathe Into Me” (Top 10, Active Rock) and “Already Over” (Top 15, Active Rock), introduced the sonic layering, rich orchestration and visceral dynamics that became Red’s signature sound. The album steadily built momentum cracking the Billboard 200 a year after its release as sales steadily broke out to hundreds of thousands of copies sold. Not surprisingly, the album became a hit with other bands as well, leading to tours and shows with Papa Roach, Sevendust, Three Days Grace, Flyleaf, Buckcherry and Seether, among others. These opportunities contributed to the band’s impressive 500+ live show schedule between albums.


Heading into Innocence & Instinct, Red had no shortage of creative sparks. A near-death accident ignited their emotions, a literary masterpiece spurred their creativity, peer support lifted their spirits, heavy touring empowered their performances and fans challenged the group to do even more to impact their lives. These experiences infused Innocence & Instinct with layered narratives, heightened sensibilities and an artistic boldness that dramatically raises the bar for new millennial rock ‘n’ roll.


In Dante’s Inferno, the Gates of Hell read, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” But when the Gates finally face Innocence & Instinct, Hell won’t know what hit it.”

If you like this band you might also like: Breaking Benjamin, Demon Hunter

  • More Favorite Albums

    Fallen

    Fallen by Evanescence

  • American Idiot

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  • Comatose

    Comatose by Skillet

  • Innocence & Instinct

    Innocence & Instinct by Red

  • Dear Agony

    Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin

  • Never Take Friendship Personal

    Never Take Friendship Personal by Anberlin

  • Storm the Gates of Hell

    Storm the Gates of Hell by Demon Hunter

  • Scars & Souvenirs

    Scars & Souvenirs by Theory of a Deadman

  • Phobia

    Phobia by Breaking Benjamin