Friday, July 6, 2012

Flashback Friday: Swedish Metal

No this isn't a post extolling the virtues of Saab and Volvo. This is still a Flashback Friday video post. Music is still the subject. No, I'm not kidding. You know, there is more to music and Sweden than ABBA. Actually, Sweden played a part in Christian Heavy Metal history.

Jerusalem was founded way back in 1975 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its founder and lead singer was (or actually, is) Ulf Christiansson. Rock always was Second to Jerusalem, Evangelism was at the forefront. They were always proud to be In His Majesty's Service.

The first two albums were simply called Volume 1 and Volume 2. Their Breakout, and the album that launched their first tour of America, was Warrior in 1982. For DJ's like me, the most famous song on warrior was Sodom. Now, don't get your fur ruffled. It was about the moral condition of the entire world now and how "It seems like we've got lots in common, we've evolved in a very strange way. It seems like we've come full circle, Sodom in the world today. This is the complete audio. It's over twelve minutes of Metal Heaven. Jerusalem, like Rez here in the States, never shirked from Social Commentary, and sometimes their music was eerily prophetic. On their album Dancing On The Head of the Serpent, which featured a Snake crushed under a boot, an image to controversial for Swedish Christians, was a song called We're Going to Take Europe, and invoking that "The Walls of Europe are going to fall, by the power of God. As a Word of Faith adherent (Name it and Claim it for you haters), from 1988 to 1991 the word went out, and then the Walls Fell, by the Power Of God. They released an album (in Swedish) called SHE in 2010.
Jerusalem wasn't the only Swedish Metal Band. Leviticus came from Skovde, Bjornn Stiggson was the founder. Most of their albums were in Swedish, but The Strongest Power was released to the United States. While it's not surprising when Christians find songs in the Bible, they usually stick to the Psalms, the official song book. Leviticus took on a more obscure source. Judges, and the song of Deborah and Barak. Leviticus didn't have the staying power of Jerusalem. They disbanded in 1990, but they, along with Jerusalem, paved the way for the Success of Christian Rock in Europe. Delirious, Savior Machine, Iona, they all probably wouldn't have made headway without their Scandinavian brethren taking the original slings and arrows. I mean, when you think of European music, you think of Classical, not Heavy Metal. There probably wouldn't be a Frizon Festival. And the rock tradition continues to this day. Blindside is a post hardcore band that hails from Tumba, Sweden. I will close with a video from their 2004 album (it's the first one I found). This is All of Us That concludes this edition of Flashback Friday. There will be a special Flashback Friday next week. In honor of the 30th Anniversary of Petra's More Power To Ya, I will be doing a review of the album next Friday. Until my next post, I am Awaiting Your Reply.