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Best Christian Rock of 2023
NRT's Ryan Adams highlights the best in Christian rock and metal of 2023

AN NRT EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE, Best Christian Rock of 2023
Posted: December 06, 2023 | By: RyanAdams_NRT
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Christian rock music continues to evolve, captivating audiences with its powerful blend of faith-filled messages and dynamic soundscapes. As we navigate through the musical landscape of 2023, the genre stands strong, offering an array of compelling songs that resonate with listeners on a profound, spiritual level.

We celebrate the artists and bands who have delivered powerful melodies, thought-provoking lyrics, and a resounding message of hope. From anthemic choruses, energizing guitar solos, and unmistakable musical talent, these songs not only showcase the genre's musical diversity but also serve as a testament to the enduring impact of Christian rock music on hearts and souls. Join us as we explore and celebrate the standout tracks that have left an indelible mark on this year's Christian rock scene.
Lacey Sturm - "Not Your Fight"
As the former (and reasonably current) lead vocalist of the band Flyleaf, Lacey Sturm's solo career has continued to captivate audiences with her poignant and emotive songwriting. Lacey's sophomore record, Kenotic Metanoiais out now, and one of the breakthrough songs is "Not Your Fight." It's a compelling anthem of resilience and empowerment that urges listeners to embrace the comfort of resting in God's defense of our lives. The song reminds me of the truths found in Psalm 89:13-15.

American Arson - "Arrowheads"
American Arson, a compelling rock duo from Detroit, Michigan, brings a fiery intensity and raw authenticity to their music. Comprised of brothers Evan Baker (vocals, guitar) and Jesse Gentry (drums), the band's sonic landscape amalgamates aggressive rock energy, anthemic melodies, and deeply introspective lyricism. The sophomore studio album Sand & Cinder, Tide & Timber has been released, and my favorite song is "Arrowheads." It perfectly captures the heart of the band and the faith-fueled foundation the band is built upon. It displays the musical excellence and insanely catchy choruses they write so well.

Beard The Lion - "I Am The Ransom"
One of my favorite indie bands is Beard The Lion. They are a masterful progressive metalcore who hails from Texas. Very few bands create such intense progressive metalcore with strong influences from their biblically founded faith. From the tapping guitar hooks to the high soaring melodies to the fusion of various musical styles, the band shows exemplary musical excellence in such a short time. The Easter-themed Christological epic, "I Am The Ransom," shows off the band's captivating songwriting and flurry of metal influences they weave together expertly. You can take advantage of this one.

Disciple - "Bow Down"
Disciple, the esteemed Christian rock band renowned for their powerful melodies and spiritually charged lyrics, delivers an impactful anthem with their song "Bow Down" from the newest record, Skeleton Psalms. "Bow Down" is a testament to the band's ability to blend hard-hitting instrumentals with thought-provoking biblical truths. The lyrics convey a powerful message, inviting listeners to reflect on their relationship with God and embrace humility and awe in the presence of something greater. Through its potent combination of musical prowess and spiritual depth, "Bow Down" stands tall as a stirring anthem that inspires introspection and encourages a deeper connection to faith. Skeleton Psalms is one of my top albums from Disciple, thanks to songs like "Bow Down."

Theocracy - "Liar, Fool, or Messiah"
As a progressive power metal band rooted in themes of faith and spirituality, Theocracy continues to reach global audiences with its dynamic sound and spiritual lyricism. Their newest album, Mosaicfeatures "Liar, Fool, or Messiah," a testament to the band's prowess blending intricate musicality with thought-provoking narratives. This track is an intense and introspective journey, exploring the complexities of belief and truth. The song delves into the concept of discerning truth amidst skepticism. Through its powerful composition and lyrical depth, "Liar, Fool, or Messiah" reaffirms Theocracy's position as a band that delivers electrifying music and provokes contemplation and introspection about life's fundamental questions.

Demon Hunter - "Some Of Us"
Veteran hard rockers Demon Hunter is a powerful and influential force in Christian metal music, renowned for their compelling blend of intense metal instrumentation and deep spiritual themes. Since their inception, the band has woven their faith into their music, creating a profound connection between their heavy sound and their beliefs. Their newest single is a testament to their timeless metal prowess. "Some of Us" is an explosive track, void of clean vocals, as it screams a relatable anthem of spiritual isolation among the lost and condemned around us as Christians. A harsh but cold truth is that not everyone will follow faith. Hopefully, you're not one of them, not one who doesn't give the song a listen.

HolyName - "The Sect"
Metalcore band HolyName’s watchword is "preachcore," their self-described sound of “holy drone violent worship” makes a lot of sense when you hear their songs. The new album is essentially a love letter to Christ and a tribute to the history of Eastern Orthodoxy. Their music is far from exclusive to Eastern Orthodoxy, though. The band released their self-titled debut through Facedown Records in January 2023 and has remained constantly playing in my life. This spiritual reawakening and devotion soundtrack has helped my faith and prayer life. Songs like "The Sect" explore death and life's meaning through a profoundly introspective spiritual lens. This record is the most memorable metal for me this year, and this song is my favorite. Take a listen, and you might see why. Thank you.


Ryan Adams lives in Montana with his family, dog, and even works from home.

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