By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
"Let's Call It Love" in five words.
Everything between birth and death.
Did you ever need a "Night Light"?
Oh, sure. I wasn't scared of the dark, but the idea that there might be something unknown -- that's what's frightening. But it's not a debilitating fear. Like roller coasters. -- Kristyn Pomranz
From the Desk of Jesus
As someone known for a dramatic resurrection, I can appreciate the comeback impulse, as manifested in your concert at Pop's tomorrow night. Still, I must admit to feeling untold dread when I gazed upon the cover of your latest album, Reborn, and saw your members shirtless and slathered in paint. Not since Creed's Scott Stapp bared his oiled-up chest on the cover of Spin has an alleged fan of mine displayed such disturbing immodesty. Even worse, though, was the music contained within this frightful package. Hark, I hear an unnecessary remake of "Amazing Grace" and many presumptuous phrases about my divine intentions. "I want what You want for me," you sing. Well, I want you to stop.
Even in the '80s, you embarrassed Me, first by selecting the most unwieldy acronym in history (Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness) and secondly by writing words that were not inspired by my divine hand. "Jesus, king, King of Kings/Jesus makes me wanna sing"? I desire disciples, not cheerleaders. Also, it was deeply distressing how you kept implicating me in your music's creation, with lines like "I feel his strength come into me." I play no interventionist role in any of mankind's disasters, including the platinum status of your 1985 album, Soldiers Under Command, yet you continually posit me as your benefactor-slash-muse. Normally, them's smiting words. But I endured your ostentatious support, because you were the best I had at the time. Christian metal still struck many as oxymoronic.
In 2005, groups such as Norma Jean and As I Lay Dying praise me without gaudy, bumblebee-esque wardrobes or love-song-template lyrics containing only a capitalized "Your" to differentiate them from maudlin prom ballads. Normally, I don't ask artists to bury their talents in the ground, but in your case I'll make an exception. If you lay down your instruments and quietly conduct Bible study courses in your communities instead, I promise to give you the prodigal-son welcome. If not, you shall join many other '80s Headbangers Ball regulars in Hell, where you'll both endure and dispense profound agony as the eternal entertainment for sinful fans of quality music.
Jesus H. Christ