There are a number of amazing Christian rock bands out there to choose from, and the mind-blowing part is that they will change your view on what a Christian rock band should look like. Honestly, there are several bands out there where you need to listen to their lyrics to see where they come from, as it’s not all about looks in music, but rather what the lyrics say.
So, let’s take you through this list of the 23 Best Christian Rock Bands of All Time.
I think it’s fair to say that Crowder is one of the most popular Christian rock bands around right now. This is more of a soft rock, almost like Nickelback in tempo and style, but with strong Christian lyrics throughout. If you want to experience some easy-listening Christian rock, then this is the band to check out.
2. Casting Crowns
Formed in 1999, they are led by a youth pastor, and while they are certainly a Christian rock band, I’d put them in the category of soft rock. Once again, their lyrics are strong in the message they put across, and the depth of meaning in their lyrics is why I’ve added them to this list.
Formed in Memphis, the thing about Skillet is that they are certainly more of a hard rock band than you would perhaps expect from the Christian rock scene. But then, what I love about them is the way they can seriously rock out only to then switch it down a number of levels to something that won’t blow out your speakers. It shows real versatility in their music.
4. Thousand Foot Krutch (TFK)
Formed in 1997, this Canadian rock band may shout out a Christian message in their music, but it hasn’t stopped their albums from getting to the number one slot on the hard rock charts. Actually, that’s something they have managed to do twice, so it’s clear they know how to put some fantastic music together for all rock lovers.
5. P.O.D (Payable On Death)
Now, I know the name sounds scary, but this group of Christian rockers were actually active in the 90s. Hailing from Southern California, the crazy thing about their music is the fact it still sounds fresh and relevant today even some 20 years after recording. P.O.D has had a message for every generation of Christians thanks to their song Youth of the Nation which is one I would strongly suggest you listen to.
6. Reliant K
This Ohio-based rock band has been around for over 25 years, and they certainly know how to put on a fantastic show. Their career has been out of this world with a nomination for a Grammy and other key awards even up against more mainstream rock bands. Again, that shows the power of their music, and they are fantastic at getting their desired message across loud and clear.
What I love about this band is the way they have been a real slow-burner when it comes to their growth and development. They have consistently worked away on their music since the early 2000s even though it took them a decade to get anywhere. That desire and consistency also comes across in their rock music, so you know exactly what to expect when you check them out.
8. Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay has been rocking audiences since the 2000s, and this is just classic Christian rock and roll that can be listened to by pretty much everyone. It’s your absolute easy-listening rock music that is a whole lot fun to listen to, and it gives off a pretty cool vibe that will stay with you. In my opinion, these guys should be bigger than they are in the world of music.
Flyleaf are a bit different as a Christian rock band as they are more aligned to emo rock rather than anything else. However, they are indeed still a Christian rock band. This band tends to invoke quite a lot of emotion in their songs, and they do deal with some hectic subjects, but do so with grace and without making everything seem depressing. Actually, their music can be quite uplifting at times instead.
Formed in 1999, Kutless had this ability to get in touch with the anger and angst that was sitting there in Christian teens. As a result, those teens felt the music really resonated with them, but still with a strong Christian message in it. Once again, this is a band that plays with real power and emotion with a message that is designed to stick with you. It’s the type of band where they force you into really thinking about the message they are putting across, and that’s one thing they really do excel at.
11. Third Day
What I love about Third Day is the consistency of their message. Their primary focus is on producing music for troubled Christians and to make feel heard and seen. Fronted by Mac Powell, he has since gone on to have a successful solo career. However, if you ever feel lost and are searching for music that effectively touches your soul, then this band is one you should really listen to. It’s deep and meaningful, so don’t anticipate this to be full on hard rock by any means.
Formed back in 1992, Disciple is often viewed as one of the best Christian rock bands of all time, and for good reason. This band really does know how to thrash out songs and to fill you with so much energy that you cannot help yourself but to be carried along with them. Turn it up loud, and prepare to rock along to their strong commitment to Christian lyrics. These guys only believe in going at this full blast, and that’s exactly the way you need to listen to them as well.
What I enjoy about Switchfoot is their clear ability to bring the crowd into their songs. It feels as if they can only do anthems that encourage everybody around them to get involved, and that’s a magical thing. Lyrically, they are outstanding, and I don’t think it will be too long before you find yourself singing along just like everyone else manages to do. It’s just their ability to make everything so catchy that it helps them stand out from the crowd.
I think this is an interesting inclusion because even though the lead singer of Anberlin is a Christian, and their music is not offensive even though it’s hard rock, the band won’t specifically align themselves to Christian rock. However, so many Christians have taken the step of doing that for them, leading to them being classed as a Christian band. Just expect some serious rock to occur when you listen to them, and I promise it won’t be what you had perhaps anticipated.
RED is not only a Christian rock band but also a Christian metal band, which gives an indication of the raw power that exists in their songs. The passion for producing music and what they wish to say in their lyrics come across loud and clear. If you love hard rock, then I strongly suggest you give RED a shot. You may surprise yourself with how much you love them. I know that’s how I felt when I gave them a listen for the first time.
Formed in Texas back in 2004, Leeland is the sort of Christian rock group that you can put on any time and know the songs will pull you in and grasp the message behind them. Known for their soft rock approach, the melodies that Leeland produces are outstanding, while the lyrics speak for themselves. Their albums always come across as quite spiritual making them an absolute joy to listen to. It’s the type of music where you can just put it on, sit back and enjoy the experience.
17. Ashes Remain
The thing that stands out about Ashes Remain is the fact they don’t hold back when it comes to rocking out. There’s almost a gritty feel to their music, and yet they remain steadfast in the message they always want to put across with their songs. Expect a whole lot of passion in every aspect of their music, while their melodies have the ability to change the way you feel about hard rock music. The roughness around their songs appears in direct contrast to the lyrics, which is a cool combination.
Truslow is a fantastic Christian rock band to listen to, especially if you prefer something that’s a bit closer to pop-rock rather than hard rock. Their songs have a catchy feel to them, but they also play with so much energy that you feel it pouring out onto you as you listen. Also, people love to sing along with them, which is always a cool thing for any band.
19. The Letter Black
I love the fact that this band is a husband-and-wife team, but there’s more to them than a family feel. What you have here is a band that offers a whole lot of rock with the ability to incorporate some serious guitar moments but still with a strong Christian message throughout their lyrics. This band is an absolute blast, and they are ready to take you along for a ride with them, but just prepare for a lot of noise.
20. For King & Country
This band always makes everything look easy when it comes to their music. As a band, they have won several Grammy awards for their pop-rock, and their popularity across rock, in general, is impressive. They view music as having the possibility of working on the emotions of people, and that’s why they put so much thought into their lyrics to ensure they can get across their key messages in every song. If you want a bit of laid-back rock music, then this is one band that you may want to add to your playlist.
One thing I love about Pennell is the fact they have somewhat flown under the radar. You see, this band is smaller than most that have appeared on this list, but that doesn’t mean they are inferior in any way. Instead, they certainly deserve their place. Their main focus is on producing songs with godly lyrics, and they are less concerned about making it as big as other bands. For them, it’s all about their rock music touching people, and I have to accept that this is something they do with some style.
This contemporary Christian rock band was formed back in 1994, and their primary focus is on strong Christian lyrics throughout their songs. They also know how to rock out, but don’t expect them to fully blast your speakers. Instead, they ensure you can pay attention to the words and fully understand what they are trying to say to you. One thing you can be sure of is that the energy from their music will become infectious, and you just cannot stop it from impacting you.
23. DC Talk
DC Talk is the shortened name of the band, which actually stands for Decent Christian Talk, and this band is completely different from anything else on this list. They combine Christian rock with hip hop, so you can see how they already combine several different musical genres, even in a single song. I love when a band does this as it helps them stand out from others, but they don’t finish there. Instead, their lyrics also come with that strong Christian theme, but I just appreciate the way they move between those genres and create a strong energy in their music as they do so.
Barry has worked as a freelance writer for over a decade and has developed an eye for detail when it comes to unearthing cool and interesting facts.
His love of music stems from his student days checking out up and coming bands playing in the darkest corners of bars and clubs in Edinburgh.
The love of uncovering something new also remains with him. With an appreciation for music that’s best described as eclectic, his musical tastes range from Eric Clapton to Eminem through to Snow Patrol and Incubus. The memories that music can bring back to the fore is something he tries to portray in his writing.
For him, the voyage of discovery and unearthing something new is what makes this task of writing for MusicGrotto.com so interesting.