"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Interview

Winter's Dawn Drummer Amnon Defends Christian Black Metal

Expanding on our recent Unearthing the Metal Underground column on Christan "unblack" metal, Metalunderground has also posted an editorial on the role of religion in black metal. While researching various unblack metal bands for the article, I spoke with several metal bands from both sides of the religious divide to get their input. As a teaser for the editorial, we've posted the full answers to the questionnaire I sent to each band.

After first talking with the band Frames, which took the anti-religious stance, I next corresponded with drummer Amnon of U.K. based Christian black metal act Winter's Dawn. Amnon explained his thoughts on the term "unblack" metal and how he sees it as a style of music that can be separated from its original message.

xFiruath: What does black metal or extreme metal personally mean to you, either as a musical style or a philosophy?

Amnon: Black metal for me is about passion, atmosphere, and feeling.

xFiruath: Do you personally see a distinction between unblack metal bands and black metal bands? That is to say, do you think bands with religious members and religious lyrics should be categorized differently?

Amnon: This is a controversial area, some say that Christian black metal bands must be called something else i.e. “unblack” because a black metal band must have a certain type of lyrics or spirit. I tend to dislike the term unblack myself and prefer to say Christian black metal, where “Christian” is the message/lyrics and “black metal" is the musical style.

xFiruath: There’s no question that black metal saw its major awakening with Norwegian bands that either had anti-religious sentiments or had members who were themselves involved in anti-religious activities. Do you think that black metal can be separated from its beginnings without becoming something else entirely?

Amnon: For me personally, black metal is a style of music, just the same as rock is a style of music. I know black metal elitists may disagree with me here and say that the music and the message are tied together too closely to be separate, but I don't mind adhering to my own interpretation.

xFiruath: How do lyrics influence your decision to listen to a band? If you heard an amazing black metal band you loved, but later discovered the lyrics were anti-Christian, would you continue listening to them?

Amnon: The lyrics of band have a big influence regarding whether I will listen or not. Being a Christian I don't want to listen to songs that are blasphemous towards the God I worship. Some say, they are just listening to enjoy the music alone, but I prefer to embrace a band completely, including the message they present.

xFiruath: How would you feel about listening to a pro-Muslim black metal band with all Islamic members (or a pro-Jewish black metal band, or pro-Scientologist black metal band, or pro-Mormon black metal band, or so on…)?

Amnon: It would depend on the lyrical content, again I wouldn't listen if they were blasphemous etc.

xFiruath: What would your response be to a Christian who prayed on the subject and found they had a sincere conviction that black metal was an absolutely evil tool of the devil?

Amnon: I would respect their opinion and conviction.

xFiruath: After listening to a lot of Christian rock and metal bands, I’ve found they tend to segregate out based on lyrical content. How do you feel about Christian unblack metal bands using war and gore themed lyrics, such as about battles between angels and demons? How about lyrics dealing with the times God kills people (or commands others to kill people) during the Bible? Do you think unblack metal bands should only have positive and uplifting lyrics?

Amnon: I don't have a problem with lyrics that are biblically based.

xFiruath: What Christian bands do you personally listen to, metal or otherwise?

Mostly black metal bands: Antestor, Crimson Moonlight, Sanctifica, Horde, Frosthardr, Drottnar, etc.

xFiruath: What specifically in your life led you to either believe or disbelieve in ideas like God and the supernatural?

Amnon: I first believed in God after finding the Bible compelling and since then my faith in God and the Bible are based on personal experience of seeing God at work in my life.

xFiruath: What’s going on with your band these days?

Amnon: Winter's Dawn are currently recording songs for our 2nd full-length album that should be out Winter 2011, updates will be posted on our myspace here.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

What's Next?

Please share this article if you found it interesting.

You can get related band news and info in the sidebar and on the respective band pages.


14 Comments on "Winter's Dawn Drummer Defends Christian Metal"

Post your comments and discuss the article below! (no login required)

Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

1. Diamond Oz writes:

I like how he assumed a pro-Muslim band would be blasphemous, despite Muslims and Christians believing in the same deity.

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 5:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. wakaka writes:

remember. if it's not christian. it's evil

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 5:47 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

3. hellrat writes:

nah man...if it IS christian, its evil

see now...that's just a fact :)

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 5:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
MetalFan420's avatar

Member

4. MetalFan420 writes:

I have listend to some christian metal even though i disagree with its lyrics or message. This guy says he wont listen to bands that have lyrics he disagrees with so i discredit him. Hearing an islamic metal band would be interesting but my strong dislike of thier beliefs would make it difficult

NP Immortal - In my kingdom cold

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 7:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Ryan9287's avatar

Member

5. Ryan9287 writes:

He never said he wouldn't listen to a muslim band. at least that's not how i read it.

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 8:14 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

6. Diamond Oz writes:

Though but he said he wouldn't listen if they were blasphemous. My point being that since Allah and God are the same person, where would the blasphemy enter into it? All it says to me is he needs to read up on other religions more.

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 8:19 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
mgsvelez's avatar

Member

7. mgsvelez writes:

god bless him, >;:D

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 9:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Grimmsak666's avatar

Member

8. Grimmsak666 writes:

I checked out a few of those bands he named, Wow!!!! They suck!!!!!!! Ha ha ha...

# Jan 16, 2011 @ 10:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RTB's avatar

Member

9. RTB writes:

all entertainment folks...depends on how you spin it..
nothing wrong with christian metal or black, as long as your not murduring your mates or burning any churches/ religous structures, let it roll

# Jan 17, 2011 @ 3:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. wakaka writes:

i hope you know i was sarcastic in that last message

# Jan 17, 2011 @ 12:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. b.bristowe writes:

He said he wouldn't listen if it was blasphemous towards HIS god. It's one thing to take an athiest stance, but another entirely to take the stance of either side and try to understand it.

# Jan 17, 2011 @ 7:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

12. Diamond Oz writes:

HIS god is the same god as Muslims though! Judaism, Christianity and Islam all worship the same god, hence why they're all classed as Abramic faiths.

# Jan 17, 2011 @ 7:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. apk writes:

I'm a little late here, but I agree. My experience with the Abrahamic faiths is that Islam views Christianity as polytheistic because of the trinity and the belief that JC was a living incarnate of god, propping their selves up as the one and only true monotheistic Abrahamic faith. For some reason, the similar "god" of the Abrahamic faith doesn't factor in, rather that JC/trinity are the gods of the Christians, which is impossible for a monotheist, and the argument goes on.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 2:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
coldiem's avatar

Member

14. coldiem writes:

I hate to pigeon hole, but the guy interviewed above exhibits your stereotypical stubborn "I'm a convicted Christian" attitude. They are strongly convicted in their beliefs, yet won't dare listen to anything that might go against them.

In all facets of life there is a positive and a negative. Without one you can't have the other. If you convict yourself to one side of an argument without ever allowing yourself to hear what the other side has to say, you're just as bad as any so-called "blasphemers".

It's like what Oz is saying. These religions all reference the same God yet they all seem to refuse to accept that fact. They just plain don't want to hear it. It's your classic "I'm right, you're wrong. LALALALALALALA" ears-plugged, playground attitude.

Believe what you want to believe, I don't care either way, but at least have the balls to listen to what others have to say before you say "Nah, I'll stick to what I already believe, thanks."

Think of the things you believe in like bricks and what you don't believe as the mortar. Bricks without mortar will just fall down if they are disturbed. However, slap a little mortar between those bricks and you have yourself a solid, sturdy wall of belief. Aren't metaphors fun? :P

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 8:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

To minimize comment spam/abuse, you cannot post comments on articles over a month old. Please check the sidebar to the right or the related band pages for recent related news articles.