Dawnbreaker is a new death metal unit, the brainchild and artist name of musician Cullen Toner. A one-man band, Toner started Dawnbreaker this year after previously performing in occult black metal bands for over a decade. What changed? Toner “answered a call to the light and surrendered to Christ, creating Dawnbreaker to praise the Lord that saved me,” he said.

Since then, Dawnbreaker spent August 2017 through April 2018 writing and recording the music that would become the band’s debut album, Deus Vult (translated: ‘God wills it’ in vulgar Latin). Today, HM is proud to premiere the album’s opening track, “Vileness Exalted,” described by Toner as a “heavy take on Psalm 12 with the lyrics taken from the NASB translation.”

Toner also talked with HM about the album:

Deus Vult is the testimony of my path from persecutor to missionary of Christ. Wielding light into the darkest depths of death and black metal music, the album reveals the hope that is offered to even those farthest from God. Reflecting both the loyalty and brutality of the Templar warriors, the music of Deus Vult is a testament to the limitless reach of God’s grace and glory.”

You can follow the band and purchase the album through their Bandcamp.



Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.


Photo by Ashley Osborn

Full Feature
Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.


Full Feature
Imperial Triumphant - 2021

Alphaville’s Metal Renaissance

With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.


Photo by Alex Krauss

Full Feature
All Features