Pick Your Rock and Metal

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Are For Christ's Sake being discriminated against in metal because they are Christians?

FOR Christ's Sake are a band that are signed to a label, have a global distribution deal and yet they feel that they are frozen out sometimes in Northern Ireland: is it because they are Christians?

Musically For Christ's Sake are on the heavy side of extreme metal: they plough a path that is a contradiction in many ways, but in other ways their message matches perfectly with their personal belief.

To lay our cards on the table here, the owner and editor of this site, as well as two out of the other three contributors/correspondents are either atheists or anti-theists. However, rock, punk and metal in Northern Ireland has always turned a willing blind eye to cross-community differences, so why should that same indifference not be turned to a band who do not share our views?

There should be no intolerant attitudes in rock; apart from when discrimination, homophobia and racism rear their ugly heads. These values must be rejected out-of-hand.

But, For Christ's Sake feel they are at the receiving end of a type of prejudice because their profoundly held beliefs - especially as they prepare for the global release of their latest album, Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror.

"We are looking forward to our plans to promote this heavyweight release locally and internationally," said bassist Mark John Payne, speaking exclusively to Belfastmetalheadreunited and rockradioni.

"But we realise that to fulfill all our hope for the release that means we hope to be playing outside Northern Ireland as we get a much better reaction. No disrespect to anyone but the local scene is basically friends looking after friends - a clique if you will."

While given the diversity of the local scene as covered in these pages it is not a feeling that we share, but there is no doubt that it is something that Mark and the rest of For Christ's Sake feel, but which they pledge not to hold them back.

"We're not bitter about this, but we feel the metal scene goes through the same cycle of bands.

"And considering we are a signed band with a worldwide distribution deal in place, we feel we should get more of a look in."

Mark is adamant about the determination the band have for album which will hit the racks before the end of the year.

"The situation will not deter us one iota," he said. "We are bringing a beast of an album which will silence our critics!"

Be that as it may, whether it is the beast that For Christ's Sake promise - and on previous evidence it should be - there is no doubt that all acts, no matter the belief system they carve to, or lack of belief, should be given a chance to prove themselves.

Given the theme of the forthcoming album is loosely based upon the Book of Revelations we thought we'd end on this quotation from that self same book: chapter 14, verse three:

"And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No-one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth."

Who among us will learn the 'songs' that For Christ's Sake bring on their Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror? Or will there be those that show their prejudice?

For Christ's Sake play at Hellowe'en Havoc at Belfast's Voodoo on November 1st.


Mary said...

Blown out of proportion Jonathan???? I think so. But hey you gotta get people reading your stuff. I ve been at gigs where ForChristSake have played and witnessed the sound guy mucking about with the desk throughout their set. Other bands on didn t have the same treatment. There s no surprise with this. ForChristSake are hard working. They write excellent songs and give NT bands a run for their money. They are self promotional and their signing to Roxx was entirely their sweat and blood. No one can take that away. They ve played many a gig and give their all. I m just discouraged to hear this tbh.

Jonny said...

Not sure about being blown out of proportion Mary: I just reported what Mark said to me (in writing - no journalistic licence involved). As I say above I note how they feel, my own opinions are pretty straightforward on the music (I like it) but Facebook went mental for a while over this...

Mary said...

Well I would like to know what you meant by putting a revelationary scripture just before you asking whether people would sing 'songs' by ForChristSake? For me you were looking to get the hype you're talking about on Facebake!!! Truly media minded.. well done!

Jonny said...

Hi Mary - I used the piece of scripture as a way of challenging people to listen to For Christ's Sake - and with that is the message they are delivering. I may not agree with that message but I give fair shot to any band and this is the third article I have given For Christ's Sake. As to hype - well as well as music journalism I work in corporate communications and if I'd wanted to hype it, there would have been a lot more inflammatory language. Also I was open about my own views and my anti-theism, which some people have chosen to ignore. And, it has started up a debate about taboo metal genres that is long overdue. My most popular posts (which also appear on rockradioni) recently have been about the bonding within metal versus scenesters and Onslaught's new album 'VI' which includes a song 66f***i'6. No closed doors on the site to anyone...well not so far!

Mary said...

You did hype it though...or you wouldn't have said "more inflammatory language". Anyway....you've said what you've said. There was an album to promote. .."Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror" and that should have been the focus! And they have some good news about gigs in Norway. Onwards and upwards!!! Also could you try and get their name right? It's ForChristSake. All is one. Sorry to be a diva or bitch but I really don't care.

Mary said...

Galations 1:10 .ForChristSake aren't here to please man. They re here to play extreme metal!

Anonymous said...

Gigs in Norway? Could be a resurgence in church burning and murder!?

Sleeve said...

Eh they don't get much attention because they are terrible. Their backwards draconian beliefs are besides the point.

Jack Package said...

They're discriminated against for being shite.

Also their bassist looks like Tommy Dreamer, fuck Tommy Dreamer.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, shite band. Great entertainment.

Joseph said...

This band has elevated to a level above music. They have set themselves upon a path most glorious and it is a shame others cannot see this.

Let us remember Romans 15:7

'Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.'

They will be accepted for their brutality soon enough. I have broke bread with the family while listening to FCS and I must say, their presence was felt.

Onwards and upwards my dear friends. No clique will stop you, you will branch out beyond this.

Mary said...

Lovely words Joseph.

Anonymous said...

These guys are a very solid band they have done a lot more musically than some of the people in this tiny country and traveled to Europe and played a large christian festival and are now signed to a label with international distribution, who can boast of that here on this blog. Not to many, they aren't boastful about there achievements but just love to play music, the message is positive not negative I have seen other bands at gigs make fun of them sad reflection of how people are so narrow minded, one day they will realize how wrong they were.

Sleeve said...

Hey that's great what about
Isaiah 45:7 or 1 Corinthians 14:34?

Or even

Timothy 2:12 and Ezekial 23:19-20?

Or better yet

Judges 19-21

I could do this all night. Simply put your religion is a plague that has far outlived it's place within society. It is a culture for the weak minded, created to control and herd those with so little sense of self worth that they wish to prostrate themselves before an imaginary being who seemingly has no other purpose than to judge?

But i digress,the fact of the matter is before we even get to the bands beliefs, the music is boring, middle of the road stuff. There are other bands we would rather listen to. The fact that they have gone and played afar means little. Justin Bieber has toured all over the place and his 'music' is still atrocious.. Not to mention this obvious sense of self importance that radiates from them. It sickens us.

Rant over.

Mary said...

Who is this "us and we"? Do you speak for all Sleeve? I suppose so, as everyone else is anonymous!! Who are the followers now? We Christians dare to stand from the crowd. If only you knew my story.... I could tell you why I wouldn t be a Christian....people.....but I do know that there is God.

fockboy said...

Nope... Not discrimination they're actually just shite... pure shite....why keep pushing that they are Xtian? are they not just metal like the rest or do they need to push their individuality so much....??

Head to 'Murica they'd probably do really well... Yawn....

Dj said...

Aye, I'm with Sleeve on this one. Couldn't give a toss if they believe in faeries or leprechauns as long as they put together a decent song. They don't. Load of shite. Everyone and their mother can get "international distribution deals", hardly something to write home and claim yourself an unheralded success for. It doesn't matter how well your album is distributed if its shite and doesn't sell well.

Mary said...

Dj give us a list of all irish bands who are signed and have a distribution deal??? Thanks coz I d love to know....

Sleeve said...

I won't write anonymously Mary, i'm not afraid to be quite open about what i think of your cult. And no offence but you ALL have a story. I don't know how you, as with many others, were hurt or were suffering when you chose to believe in a 2000 year old fantasy story. The result is the same, nearly every christian i come across sees themselves as being above every person who is not 'saved.' Christianity as with many religions has been responsible for horrendous acts from witch burnings, to forced conversion (which oversaw the destruction of countless lives and cultures). Not to mention vile idea of 'once saved always saved.' But im not going to debate theology anymore here.Your religion is evil, and i honestly feel sorry that it has trapped your ability to think for yourself and i can only hope that one day you will have the strength to be free and happy without it.

Let us be frank though, heavy metal isn't exactly a genre of music brimming with christians, so the message is going to be lost on us 99% of the time. But we don't care, so long as the music is good! And that is the main focus here, simply put ForChristSake, just aren't very good. They aren't the worst, but they aren't good either.

Oh and just to name a few irish bands who have been signed and do very well for themselves include Primordial, Waylander, Darkest Era, Cruachan, Mourning Beloveth, Mael M├│rdha, Stormzone, Thin Lizzy would be a fairly obvious one, Pat McManus has been going for years, The Answer, Altar of Plagues.

All these bands and performers are out there on the world stage. If you had any interest though a cursory glance into the irish/N.I, scene would have told you that. However you probably have as much interest in that as many of us do in christian beliefs and ideals.

Mary said...

As I don't want to waste my time on here any longer I ll say this. I ve been into metal bands since 13 ,I m now 39. You do the math. I ve seen many a great band here play. I ve seen Pantera , sepultura, megadeth, eluveitie, leaves eyes, alestorm, the defiled, firewind and many more. They were brilliant! Love them all. My first bands as a teenager were Deicide and Napalm Death. Which I still think are excellent bands! I ll listen to any music which is good to my ears. So do I qualify now sleeve or is your mindset sure shes a woman, a mother oh and worst of all a Christian! Well nuff said. ... Mark was right! Aufweidersehen, au revoir, ciao byeeeeeeee! All the best x

Sleeve said...

I fail to see what your gender, age or parental status has anything to do with this. I know plenty of hard rocking women of various ages, i've toured with many women in metal too.

I may despise your religion, but that does not make me misogynistic, but a judgemental christian? No surprise.

You're 'worthiness' also means absolutely nothing to me. I don't really care what bands you've seen or what you like, but i'm going to debate with anyone when they defend tripe music just because it's local and they agree with it's message and they don't have the gumption to look further into their own music scene when they ask a half baked question regarding other irish bands.

Anonymous said...


Sleeve I dont think you are best qualified to slag off FCS even Terrorizer recognised their talent when they honoured them as a band of the day.....and remember more important Jesus loves you so think about that

Sleeve said...

My point of view is as valid as anyones. The point of this article was on why FCS aren't being taken seriously here. That has been answered both here and on forums of Metal Ireland, and where did i stoop to the puerile depths of "slagging them off?" I didn't. Saying you don't think a band are great and their are others who do it better is hardly "slagging them off." it's just simple criticism, i'm sure the guys are all big boys who can take it.

Oh and keep your "jesus loves you" crap to yourself, it's irritatingly condescending.

Anyway, enough of this, i'm done, good bye.

John said...

Well. I'm a fan..a big fan.Yes I'm a Christian who happens to be an old school Metalhead of 30 years! I love metal and I love Jesus Christ..I'm neither ashamed or afraid to say who I am or whom and what I believe in ! FCS are a very fresh and welcome band in a ever increasingly scene of copycat bands, same old same old..FCS are unique, they are home grown, they have immense potential to be extremely creative...they have great passion for their faith and their music..they are a young band, lets not forget and are already gaining much respect and interest from the international metal community..they are increasingly becoming more musically proficient and adventurous..Thier new album, from the sample tracks I have had the privilege to hear, promises to be A REVELATION!!! FCS have integrity, they are genuine and they dare to be true to their FAITH and THEMSELVES.. How many extreme metal bands can say that these days ? I challenge people to listen to FCS. And be prepared to be blown away by some awesomely powerful extreme metal..the new album "APOCALYPTIC VISIONS OF DIVINE TERROR" is simply a great extreme metal album..listen and if you are challenged and feel uncomfortable.then that has to be good !! Good metal is good metal, music first but if it edifies a positive and life changing message, then it becomes so much more powerful. There should be no place in metal for juvenile and unnecessary bigotry and prejudice.. It's all metal,good or bad..that is down to individual discernment.i can not support a band such as WATAIN, for example , yet I can and do appreciate their amazing musical creativity and song crafting... Give FCS. A chance, really listen to their music...keep an open mind and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised and challenged...blessings in Christ and Metal ! :-)