A little known fact about me is that I actually started my professional writing career as an interviewer and reviewer for Christian music magazines Heaven's Metal and HM. During my stint, I had the opportunity to do stories on great bands like P.O.D. and N.I.V. as well as reviews of up-and-coming bands like Circle of Dust.
The time was the early 1990s and labels like REX and Intense were spitting out heavy metal and punk albums on a monthly basis. Tooth and Nail Records was just putting out its first few albums. In an oversaturated digital age, it was a sensation we'll likely never experience again.
I am an avid user of Spotify. I love the idea that I have hundreds of thousands of albums and bands at my fingertips to listen to at the drop of a hat. Those include some lost gems from eras past. I've reconnected with several artists that have slipped my mind over the years, many of them stemming from my years as a youth filling my brain full of The Crucified, Vengeance Rising, Sacrament, and even Stryper.
As a tribute to Doug Van Pelt and his Heaven's Metal and HM Magazine, I've begun a Spotify playlist highlighting and celebrating the Christian metal scene that was so very special to me growing up. Not that I don't still listen to faith-based artists, but like I said earlier the 1980s and 1990s were a particularly poignant time that will never be repeated. I don't only focus on those decades. The playlist also includes tracks from bands all the way up to now.
The Heaven's Metal 101 playlist is meant to be a journey back in time for some longtime Christian metal listeners and an introduction and educational journey to newcomers. It is a work in progress and will continue to be. If while you're enjoying it you feel like a song or band should be added, don't hesitate to contact me and let me know.
And to Doug Van Pelt, I'd just like to say thanks for my first writing gigs and a magazine that fueled my love for Christian heavy music. As I grow older, the many experiences I had at Cornerstone and local concerts provide me with wonderful memories I'll never forget. I've indeed led a blessed life and met some incredible people along the way. The Heaven's Metal 101 playlist is a collection of the artists who helped shape those moments.
To access it, just go to Spotify and search for Heaven’s Metal 101.