Metaphysical Monday: Religious Bands

By Seth Hecox on August-27-2012 | Filed under News | Tags : , , , | Share

Metaphysical Monday:  Religious Bands

I’ve always wondered if other major religions have bands that have overtly evangelical lyrics.  Pardon my ignorance on the subject if there are a ton of them, but I’ve never come across, say, a Muslim punk band.  Or a Sikh hardcore band.

Does anyone find it fascinating that it seems that the Christian subculture is the only subculture that exists whose identity is tied completely to a major world religion?  I mean, even if there were several Hindu djent bands (I’m chuckling as I write this), they haven’t associated themselves into a scene or subgenre based on their faith, right?

I don’t really have anything profound to say here.  Just pointing out an observation and wondering if anyone else has noticed.

About the author Seth Hecox

I play music and write articles. I write the Metaphysical Monday article for IVM. I have a folk project due out later this year. I identify with the Reformed aspects of the Christian faith and I live in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Follow my musical life at facebook.com/sethhecoxmusic and my (lame) comedy life at twitter.com/sethhecox. View all posts by Seth Hecox

23 Responses to 'Metaphysical Monday: Religious Bands'

  1. Dean says:

    there is one i know of… Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam. there is an awesome documentary about it too.

  2. John says:

    I actually think this has to do with the fact that Christianity has a non-culture. There is freedom in Christianity to be in any culture or subculture without compromising faith. The idea that there is a Christian sub-culture may be a bit fallacious. Christians are not requred a particular dress, or diet, or separtist mentality as some other religious might. Granted this has pros and cons, pro in the sense that it can go anywhere and everywhere more easily, con in the sense that many arguments arise over what Christians are allowed to consume, watch, wear, imbibe (all on account of people being uncomfortable with the freedom Christians have).

  3. Chris says:

    It could all be based on the fact that Christianity is popular in America, and people here have the money and freedom to express themselves.

    I honestly have music playing in the background a lot, and I don’t notice when it switches from one of the few mainstream heavy artists I listen to to one of the many Christian heavy artists because I listen to music more for attitude than lyrics.

    Classical, electronic, metal, I just want to feel upbeat, triumphant, driven a lot of the time when I’m working or working out.

    When it comes to Christian sustenance, as amazing and beneficial and Christ-centered as timothy brindle’s music is, I still need God’s Word and there is no substitute.

    I do recommend listening to this, though, if you need inspiration:
    http://lampmode.bandcamp.com/album/the-restoration

  4. Taylor C. says:

    You don’t see many “anti-Hindu” bands, either. In music, Christianity is the only religion consistently attacked. So I think retaliation plays a role (not a huge role, but a significant one)… especially in Christian metal.

    • ^^ Thats corect. Im sure ther r sum artists/ bands that atak otha religions as wel, but far n away the most popula religion 2 atak historicaly seems 2 b Christianity/ Catholicism in music n secula media culture as a whole (magazines, newspapers, tv, movies books, etc). I think a part of this line of thinkin is that Christianity is a religion of peace, ther4, these bands/ artists dont fear any kinda retaliation as they wud against a mor confrontational religion such as islam, wer extremeist organizations r mor likely 2 kil them in a grusum way just 4 sayin anythin against ther religion. Otha religions r mor likely 2 outrite boycot that particula band as wel, wer as we as Christians r mor 4givin in nature n open 2 enjoyin the music wile disregardin the lyrix/ mesage of a band that disagrees wit us (i know i do this wen it comes 2 sum secula bands).

      But mor 2 Seths point, ther hav been several bands/ artists of otha faiths that hav gone mainstream. Brandon mentioned sum, but i think the bigest wud b the beastie boys, considerin ther ethnicity was jewish, then they converted 2 budism, yet nobody labeled them a “jewish turned budist band”, wer as many Christian bands unfortunately stil get pigeon holed into an all encompasin “Christian music” genre wer people asume its of the ccm variety.

  5. Brandon says:

    I am surprised no one has mentioned the band Shelter yet. Look them up. Hare Krishna pop-punk band.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelter_%28band%29

  6. Brandon says:

    Matisyahu
    Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

    Then what about all the satan death metal bands? That’s their religion right?

    There are music groups within every major religion it’s just less publicized than the widely accepted Christian music movement. I’m not sure why “Christian” music receives more press except maybe it is more organized and run by the guys in suits ;) It’s also a big money maker and people are going to capitalize off that. I am not so sure a “Muslim Punk Band” would sell as many records if you know what I mean. Who knows, maybe in that particular part of the world, those groups sell more than the American Rock/Pop/Metal/Punk bands?

  7. jim says:

    I”m loven the new Matisyahu

  8. Justin (emergenscenery) says:

    Brother Ali!! He’s a hip hop artist who practices Islam.

  9. Seth Hecox says:

    Ok, I may not have explained myself clearly.

    I didn’t mean there are no people of other religions making music. What I meant was that everyone recognizes that there is a Christian Music subgenre. For instance, there is CCM Magazine (or was) and there are Family Christian Bookstores and Lifeway bookstores that only carry “Christian” bands. However, I’m not aware of a Muslim Music subgenre or Hindu Music subgenre within other genres of music (such as rock, pop, etc).

    Does that make sense and clarify my question somewhat?

  10. Chandler A. says:

    Hmm…interesting. I have a really good friend who’s practices Islam and out of curiosity I was searching for heavy Islamic bands but couldn’t seem to find any.

  11. I always think it is funny when my computer tells me that my music genre is “religious”

  12. Dave says:

    Satanists definitely have their evangelical bands out there

  13. BunnySlippersMan says:

    I think one reason could be that the Bible talks a lot about making a joyful noise unto the Lord, maybe that’s a reason why so many bands decide to be “Christian” bands, if the Bible never mentioned that all the Christians in bands would probably be just that.

  14. thruchristalone777 says:

    I think a lot of it may have to do with the idea of Christian liberty. Through the blood that Christ shed, we have liberty to do what we want. We are justified to listen to and play the music styles that we choose. I’m not sure that other religions are really given that same idea of liberty since in most cases they are trying to earn their way into heaven. As Christians, God’s grace through faith is what saves us, not any type of works, deeds or actions. We aren’t condemned to hell for listening to metal or for creating it, but I’m sure that there are other religions that are completely against metal music. Not sure if that is the reason or not, but it could be a factor.

  15. Karl says:

    I think specifically with Muslims, their religion is so mixed in with every day life that there isn’t a difference between a Muslim band and a secular band with Muslims in it. For example, I was watching an Iraqi poetry program a couple weeks ago and every single competitor had references to Allah in their act. In fact the Arabic language is such that phrases like “insha’allah” ( إن شاء الله) (if God wills) “hamulillah” (الحمد لله) (praise to God), and other such phrases come from everyone, pious to profane.

  16. Iaya97 says:

    What I think is interesting is the differentiating of “Christian music,” especially in the hip hop genre. Look at guys like Lupe Fiasco; he’s Muslim, and I don’t know if his lyrics really reflect that, but you won’t see anyone call him a “Muslim Rapper.” I appreciate how Lecrae has been tackling this issue lately with his Church Clothes mixtape and stuff.

  17. Cobie says:

    108, shelter, the cro mags are all Hare Krishna bands as Brandon mentioned. I also think of bands such as deicide, gorgoroth, dark funeral. Many of the guys in those bands are theistic satanists and the lyrics convey that.

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