Several of my friends and I went to the Emergenza Battle of the Bands semi-finals in Nashville last Thursday. Our main goal was to support Air 5—who took home first place, yet again—but it’s always cool to hear some other local bands in the process. The three bands that followed Air 5 (before we decided to leave) were metal bands—crappy metal bands.

I don’t claim to be an expert on metal music. There are tons of metal bands out there that I have never been exposed to, but I know what I like when I hear it. In my opinion, these bands sucked. As far as my expectations go, a metal band must have exceptional guitar work to compensate for the lack of melody—both interesting and creative. These guys were neither of those. It was just the same slow, grinding guitar riff repeated again and again. Little lead. No solos. Just plain boring.

As I said before, I’m no metal expert, but I know what I like. Zao is one of my favorite metal bands, and I find them amazing. In fact, they are one of the most well-respected bands in modern metal. And the fact that they are an openly-Christian band makes that all the more impressive. The guitar work is consistently phenominal and is rarely boring. Lyrically, Zao is dark and deep, but they never deviate from their Christian convictions. I know some of you will never enjoy this kind of music, but for those of you that may be interested, here is a list of my top 10 favorite Zao songs:

  1. Killing Cupid
  2. Angel Without Wings
  3. Truly, Truly, This is the End
  4. Fifteen Rhema
  5. Praise the War Machine
  6. Psalm of the City of the Dead
  7. Free the Three
  8. The Rising End (The First Prophecy)
  9. Ravage Ritual
  10. A Fall Farewell