Christian Rock - Standalone Genre or Not?

author: jomatami date: 03/14/2014 category: features
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Christian Rock - Standalone Genre or Not?
Christian rock stands out as one of those debatable genres, with a solid portion of fans constantly arguing about whether it deserves the title of a standalone style.

Defined on Wikipedia as "a form of rock music played by individuals and bands whose members are Christians and who often focus the lyrics on matters concerned with the Christian faith," Christian rock does little to musically stand out apart from implementing the Christian theme.

So is Christian rock a genre of its own? Many bands out there use the mentioned Christian theme, but a different number declares themselves as Christian rockers. Eventually, it would seem that the Christian rock label, just like Christianity itself, is a matter of personal choice, or at least the band's collective decision.

Anyhow, we'll make a brief rundown of some of the prominent Christian rock acts declaring themselves as the style's representatives, as well as a few major bands using Christian imagery without dubbing themselves Christian rockers. Check it out below.

Bands Declaring Themselves as Christian Rockers

Stryper

Commonly dubbed the greatest Christian rock act of all time, Stryper even got their name as a Bible reference. Inspired by classic hard rock acts, band members weren't too much into the overall message, so they decided to spread the message they knew and loved through the means of rock sound.

Skillet

Formed in 1996, Skillet scored major success in the US with their mixture of alt rock, hard rock, nu metal and symphonic metal wrapped up under the Christian rock/metal banner.

P.O.D.

Commonly considered simply nu metal titans, P.O.D. have a strong connection with the Christian world. The band's name is an abbreviation of "Payable on Death," making a direct connection with the Christian theology explaining that since Jesus died on the cross, Christians' debts to God have peen paid for.

Christian Rockers Not Declaring Themselves Christian Rock

U2

Often using Christianity as the center theme of their songs, U2 have evaded the Christian rock label over the years. Some of the obvious Christian rock picks would definitely include "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" or "40," a song featuring direct lyrics from Psalm 40.

Black Sabbath

Despite being related to Satanism, Black Sabbath had quite a few Christian elements in their music. "Black Sabbath," "War Pigs," "After Forever" stand out as just several of the obvious picks.

Lenny Kravitz

Perhaps you didn't know this, but Lenny Kravitz is a devout Christian, and has spread the theme of Christianity through many of his songs, including the hit single "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" The song is reportedly sung from a perspective of none-other than Jesus Christ.


So back to the big question - should Christian rock be labeled as a standalone genre?
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