Are you a rock fan? Heavy metal fan? Maybe you appreciate Alice Copper or Brian Welch not only for their talent in producing music, but also for their faith. In case you didn’t know, Christian rock bands have made a stage for themselves over the last 20 years, and many of them have become known in the heavy metal or rock genres outside the Christian scene. These bands are talented, creative, and produce solid music that can be appreciated by followers of these genres. However, there only a couple handfuls of bands that have been longstanding favorites. Here is a list of bands that have a strong presence and continued popularity. (Don’t worry, the videos will be nothing like those cringe-worthy Christian music videos you’ve seen in the past.)
Top 10 Christian Rock Bands of All Times
Christian rock band or heavy metal band, Skillet, has been a longstanding favorite for many. John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Jen Ledger, and Seth Morrison formed the band in 1996 in Memphis Tennessee. Fun fact: I met them at the Agape Music Festival in 1997, when they signed my CD after their performance. Since then, they have become widely known within and outside the Christian world. They’re considered to be one of the most hard-working bands. Perhaps, this is why they have risen to the top among many top Christian rock bands lists. They have 8 albums, and two Grammy nominations. According to Billboard, their most popular son is Monster.
Formed in 1996 in San Diego, California, Switchfoot is one of the most well-known Christian rock bands outside the Christian community. The band includes Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas, and Drew Shirley, and Jon Foreman is well-known as well for his music he’s produced on his own. The movie A Walk to Remember put them on the mainstage across the U.S. with it’s inclusion of the song Only Hope, and many followers appreciate them for their active performances.
Since 2004, Michael Barnes, Anthony Armstrong, and Randy Armstrong have been band members in the heavy metal band, Red. They formed their Christian rock band in Nashville, Tennessee, with songs about everyday struggles. They’ve sold nearly a million albums across the world. Listen to their top song, Already Over.
4. Thousand Foot Krutch
Band members, Trevor McNevan, Steve Augustine, and Joel Bruyere, formed Christian rock band, Thousand Foot Krutch in 1995 in Ontario, Canada. This hard rock or heavy metal rap band has about six albums, and more recently have been leaning toward alternative rock. Thousand Foot Krutch has won awards such as, Artist of the year, group of t he year, rock song of the year, video of they year, and hard music song of the year. According to Billboard, their top song is The End is Where We Begin, and it peaked in 2012.
Originating in Portland, Oregon, Kutless has been a Christian rock band since 1999, and they’ve produced at least seven studio albums, including some worship albums. Band members Jon Micah Sumrall, James Mead, and Neal Cameron have been nominated for several prominent awards in the last fifteen years, celebrating their albums and band. Listen to one of their first top hits below.
Short for Payable on Death, P.O.D. began in San Diego, California as a heavy metal band in 1992. Their name refers to how Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. Remarkably, band members Sonny Sandoval, Wuv Bernardo, Traa Daniels, and Marcos Curiel continue to be on the scene today. They’re considered by many to be the greatest Christian rock band of all times. Although they still create innovative music today, the longstanding popularity of Youth of the Nation makes it one of their top songs.
Heavy metal band, Disciple, came out of the country music capitol of the world, Knoxville, Tennessee in 1992. Band members, Kevin Young, Andrew Stanton, Josiah Prince, Jason Wilkes, and Joey West were high school friends, and they began performing in the early 1990’s in a church in Lousiville. Their song, Game On, became popular, in part because it was used in T.V. commercials and shows, such as Criminal Minds and CSI: Miami. Disciple has also won rock album of the year twice. To learn more about Disciple, watch this trivia video set to Game On.
Unlike many of the bands on this list, the Newsboys originate in Queensland, Australia. This Christian rock band is sometimes consider to be more pop. Rock or pop, they’ve certainly held onto their popularity since the end of the 20th century. They have six gold albums out of their sixteen total, and band members, Jody Davis, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein, and Michael Tait, have even release a book. Listen to one of their top songs, Shine live.
9. Third Day
Christian rock band, Third Day is one of the oldest bands on this list, beginning in 1991 in Marietta, Georgia. It’s members, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, Tai Anderson, and David Carr named the song after the day Jesus rose from the dead, which the Bible cites. Third Day is overtly Christian, unlike some of the Christian rock bands on this list, but they’ve still sold more than 10 million albums. According to Billboard, their most famous song, Soul on Fire, peaked in 2015.
10. Relient K
From Canton, Ohio, Relient K is considered a Christian rock band, a pop punk band, or an alternative rock band. Band members, Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes, John Warne, Jon Schneck, and Dave Douglas formed their band in 1998, and those who attended the Cornerstone Festival in the early 2000s would have seen them on the mainstage, along with Five Iron Frenzy and other popular bands of the time. Relient K’s best three albums have gone gold, and Be My Escape is one of their most popular songs.