A Little More Vol. 1

Today I’m going to continue with my Christian Metal topic and talk about some bands that you should check out if a) you just got into metal/hardcore/etc., b) you just became a follower of Christ and you’re looking for a little more from your favorite genre, or c) you’re looking for something different or new from metal today.  Remember, I don’t review music here. I believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I don’t think people give some of these bands enough credit. 

Some of the lame excuses I’ve heard not to listen to these bands are: there’s no talent in metalcore, everyone in the “scene” or this genre sounds the same, Christian bands suck, and Christian lyrics suck, etc. If you can get past these misconceptions, assumptions, and ignorance, I guarantee you will fall in love with them. Disclaimer:  if I don’t have the genre right… forgive me, there’s so many.

Showbread
Post-Hardcore
One of the best long-time Christian emo/post-hardcore acts ever. They have made a lot of records, a lot of fans, and this is a must-have if you like the genre. They will quickly become a staple to your music library.

Sleeping Giant
Hardcore
While they are slightly metal/metalcore, I put them in hardcore because of their mainly-hardcore roots. Sleeping Giant lives up to their name. They are a force to be reckoned with and a band to keep an eye out for. If you love hardcore music, this band is a great pick. If you’re a Christian or you’re exploring in your beliefs, I believe you will find this bands to be very moving. Their lyrics are honest and will turn you upside down.

As I Lay Dying
Metalcore
The most well-known Christian metalcore act of all time. All of their records are masterpieces from beginning to end. They epitomized the metalcore genre and made huge breakthroughs for Christian metal. Their lyrics are pretty personal, usually consisting frontman Tim Lambesis and his struggles in life. This band has become popular with Chrstians and non-Christians alike. If you listen to a lot of metalcore and don’t have them in your music library, then you don’t really love metalcore that much!

Haste the Day
Metalcore
Haste the Day have been around for 8 years now and have already pounded out 4 records. The first to albums were with the well-known Jimmy Ryan (now with Trenches). Then subsequent 2 albums were done with vocalist Stephen Keech. I’m sure fans of metalcore young and old will find a place for HTD in their heart. Their songs range from mostly-sang to mostly-screamed and chock-full of break-downs. While maybe not a must-have band for some people, others will find them irresistable. The members are all Christians and the lyrics on the most recent album, Dreamer, are very open about their faith.

Norma Jean
Metalcore
What can be said about The Almighty Norma Jean? If you listen to any metal or metalcore at all, you should know them very well. If you don’t, you can take that as an insult and go buy some of their albums now. Just kidding! Of all the bands listed today, this is the only band that listeners either love or hate. From their first record (under the band name Luti-Kriss) to their most recent album, titled The Anti-Mother, they have carried their own very unique sound. There is really only one characteristic in their music that permeates all the records: chaos. From extremely chaotic to slightly crazy, all of the albums carry the sound. This band is a personal favorite of mine.

With an appropriate name borrowed from one of Skillet’s songs, this will be the first of many installments to introduce you to Christian metal. I won’t post bands that aren’t interesting. They will be relevant to both believers and non-believers of Christ. I hope you found this information interesting. Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

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What’s In the Music?

In a world of regurgitated, fake, and studio-perfected music, it’s no wonder the music industry looks like a downward spiral. I guess it depends on where you look at it. If you look at pop music or, I suppose, mainstream music, it would reflect that commonly accepted view today. In my experience, however, I have found the opposite. I don’t listen to most mainstream music at all. In fact, I listen to metal, hardcore, and garage band types of genres that contain many sub genres that would make any pop music guru say, “what the heck?”

As I Lay Dying Live In Dortmund

As I Lay Dying Live In Dortmund

My type of music can include many, but not limited to, of these genres and sub-genres: death metal, metalcore, post-hardcore, emo, screamo, black metal, progressive metal, and so many more. What is it that leads people like me to fall in love with this kind of music? My family has been asking me the same question for a long time. And for the last 6 years, I haven’t been able to give them a solid answer. This is a person that used to love country music, punk rock, and classical (still love classical though). This is a person with 10 years of classical music training on the violin. What brings someone to the point of falling in love with music where 90% (completely guess this figure) of the vocals are incoherantly screamed? What is it in this underground ‘scene’ music that has almost an entire new generation of kid captivated? I think I have an answer.

Passion. Raw. Real. Alive. Eternal.

It’s these kind of elements that keep me coming back over and over again. The lyrics are alive and ever-moving, raw and passionate, powerful and profound. I don’t pretend to speak on behalf of all of these bands, because there are some pretty foul and crappy metal bands out there. But I will take it upon myself to speak for bands like Killswitch Engage, Living Sacrifice, Norma Jean, Sleeping Giant, As I lay Dying, Demon Hunter, Underoath, Emery, and Project 86 (just to name a few) when I say there is something utterly real and alive inside these people and their music. These aren’t the only bands though, there are thousands more. Even with an economy crisis like what’s happening now, these bands and record labels are still doing just fine. They have a loyal following and I unashamedly admit I’m included.

demonhunter-1

Demon Hunter

If you are someone who has always looked down at these bands, genres, or their music, I challenge you to look a little deeper. I’m not asking you to like it, because it was an acquired taste for me, I’m asking for your respect. If you’ve been a loyal follower of this music, now is the time to get into it and really look deeper. Look into the lyrics. Look into the people behind the music. Look into their hearts. Stay in tune with record labels like Mono vs. Stereo, Rise, Solid State, and Tooth and Nail. You won’t be steered wrong. Never have I found truer hearts than in this type of music. You either love it or hate it, but I hope we can all come to respect the people and their passion behind it.

Setting Up Shop at Church

Sunday, I went on a little day trip to Sedona and Flagstaff, AZ with my Wife Gennavieve, my best friend Kyle, and his girlfriend and my cousin Cherise. The day was a blast. Being a native Arizonan, it was the first time I’ve ever been where it’s actually snowing. I’ve been to snow… but I’ve never seen it actually fall. It was a beautiful sight.

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Anyway, we decided to go The Chapel of the Holy Cross. The place is absolutely gorgeous. It’s been around for over half a century. It sits on top of a huge red rock. You can see in the picture how beautiful it is. While we were there, we visited a little gift shop below the Chapel. The stairs down into it are inside the sanctuary. Thats when Kyle and I realized how disgusting this place is.

They are selling Jesus in their Church and it absolutely makes me sick. I will never go back into that church while there’s a gift shop inside. If selling Jesus is so important, they could at least follow the Good book they claim to believe and make the shop outside of the sanctuary. Unfortunately the only thing blocking the chapel to the shop downstairs is a measly door. Do you know what Jesus did when the Pharisees were setting up shop in their church? Let’s take a look.

15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.

Mark 11:15-19, ESV

Even when you go to their website, it redirects to their store. 

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Don’t get caught up with a Robber’s Den. This is disgusting.

World, Meet Broken and Glowing

Broken and Glowing is a Christ-focused Blog on exploring heavy music, alternative writing, and real people. It is about finding God in a secular world. It is about finding God in all the dark cracks and crevices where previously never thought possible. Here, you will not find CD reviews, but you might find a deep and personal interview with someone who has seen the worst, been to the darkest place, and come back to tell about it. You might discover a way to reach Jesus that might have previously been unseen. This is about discovery.

My name is Loren Wade. I am founding this blog today, February 7th. The purpose of Broken and Glowing is to reach people, to help people, and to show them the love of our Savior: Jesus Christ. Though I’m not the best reflection of the example Christ left us, my prayer is to change that with this blog. Not just for me, but for all of us. I will be sharing my thoughts, reflections, and laments. Also, I plan to have many guest writers, including pastors, friends, and maybe you, if you feel inclined to tell your story, here.

If you’re not a follower of Christ and you’re testing the tires, this place is for you. If you’re Christian and you’re exploring new opportunities, this is also for you. Nothing on Broken and Glowing will ever be written to offend, but at the same time nothing will ever be sugar coated. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s powerful. But most of all, it’s the truth.

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