Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
For decades, Christian metal bands have fought to find their place within Heavy Metal. Scoffed at by Non-Christians, ostracized by the religious community, and perhaps never really being accepted within the scene, that battle continues today.
Author and cooking series host (Brutally Delicious on YouTube), and now producer and director, Bruce Moore recently tackled the subject. He is the man behind a new Documentary exploring the relations between Christianity and Metal titled ‘Metal Missionaries‘ (Video Trailer below).
After two books, one bearing the same name as this new Documentary, Bruce Moore decided to explore the subject more in-depth. His undertaking led him to discuss the matter with many musicians within metal that profess their own faith and relationships with Jesus Christ. It also led Moore to speak to others that are of a decidedly different persuasion, including members of such bands as Samael and Goatwhore.
Commenting on the latter, Moore offered this:
“I know what I believe, and I’m not really trying to convert anyone, that was never the goal of the movie,” he says. “I’m actually really good friends with Vorph [of Samael] and Ben [Falgoust, of Goatwhore]. You can still be friends and have differences of opinion for sure. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and I think mainstream Christianity has gotten a bad rap from all the nonsense that has happened over the years, so I kind of see their point, in a way.“
Moore says that he aims to show viewers through the movie that bands in the Christian scene are serious and passionate about what they do. In a recent interview with Decibel Magazine, he shared the following:
“I think that, in the metal world, is enough to be considered contemporaries in the whole scene,” he says. “At the end of the day, I don’t know that lyrics make metal; I think metal is defined by the type of music, the riffs, and guitars and distortion and growls. With some of these bands, you can’t even tell if they’re Christian or not Christian. So I don’t know that it makes a difference; it’s all one big metal community, and this is a part of it, and I think as long as they’re honest and passionate then it should be accepted just like anything else.“
Moore recognizes that there’s a stigma around Christian metal bands and that they have to work harder to get attention in the metal underground if they even get attention at all. These bands’ very existence is something that’s taboo or not looked upon favorably by many within the religious sects themselves.
“That’s not anything new,” he says. “There was the ’80s hair bands and you had Stryper, who by all means were just as good if not better than some of the LA scene bands but because they were throwing bibles out and singing about Jesus they immediately got ostracized. That carries through to today—these guys are working a lot harder to get to the same place.“
When asked if aggressive, and oft-times anti-authoritarian, music can accept those that espouse peace and salvation, Moore offers this:
“I definitely do,” he says. “The Bible is filled with tons of almost metal imagery, all kinds of destruction and catastrophe, it kind of rivals some of the stuff that Amon Amarth or somebody would write. The bible’s not pretty and it’s not glossy; it’s dirty. But at the end of it there’s a belief system and a faith that spreads through the end of it.”
The Metal Missionaries documentary is narrated by none other than vocalist of doom legends Iron Man and Argonauta Records solo artist, Screaming Dee Calhoun. Dee touched upon the project in a recent interview with Riff Relevant.
The Metal Missionaries documentary was released on September 1st, 2017, and can be ordered at Reelhouse.