If you asked me what the heaviest Christian release of all time was, a strong contender would be the self-titled EP from Portand’s Warlord (not to be confused with the secular heavy metal band of the same name). One of the earliest releases on the Tooth & Nail imprint, Solid State Records, their debut EP featured deep, dark, heavy riffs and lengthy songs. In fact, this 4-song effort clocks in at longer than some full-lengths, due to the longevity of the tracks.
Often overlooked and underappreciated, the release was the first of its kind in the Christian market. Featuring a combination of slow and heavy tunes with hardcore riffs, it was neither heavy metal nor hardcore punk, but a hybrid genre known as “sludgecore” or “sludge metal.” It was also a pioneering release in that each of the 4 songs featured worshipful lyrics, with some of the tracks featuring themes lifted straight out of the Church hymnal, thus strangely aligning the band with the “alternative worship” movement we highlighted last week.
The band released this legendary EP, and then one more full-length for Solid State before calling it quits. Here’s the 9+ minute track “Where the Road Forks” from the debut EP.