On Oct 19, the joy and wonder of the Christmas season will be available in the new “The Essential Christmas Collection,” a vibrant 12-song project featuring many of Christian music’s most admired artists, with holiday songs from Third Day, Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Rebecca St. James, Brandon Heath, Tenth Avenue North, Building 429 and Matt Maher along with newcomers, Revive, Kerrie Roberts andAnthem Lights. The collection includes stunning versions of Christmas classics as well as two original tunes—Heath’s poignant “The Night Before Christmas” and Smith’s original “All is Well.”

The set opens with Third Day’s powerful rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High” as lead vocalist Mac Powell breathes new life into this seasonal classic and its familiar, joyous chorus, putting the Third Day creative stamp on this holiday favorite. The musically influential singer-songwriter/worship leader Matt Maher delivers a warm and prayerful version of “Silent Night,” evoking the tender spirit of the season, and “The First Noel” shines as reinvented by Aussie imports Revive.

Over the years, Jars of Clay has become known for putting its creative spin on Christmas music and they do that again with, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” delivering a gentle, understated version of one of the season’s most beloved classics. Rebecca St. James lends her distinctive voice to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” while Building 429 serves up the timeless “What Child Is This?” and Casting Crowns delivers the buoyant, “Joy to the World.”

Newcomer Kerrie Roberts lends her soulful, soaring vocals to “O’ Holy Night” in one of the most memorable tracks on the album and never has the good news of Jesus’ birth sounded more heartfelt and compelling than on Tenth Avenue North’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Michael W. Smith’s iconic “All is Well,” written for his very first Christmas album and now featured on this collection, is one of his favorite songs ever recorded.  Smith notes, “There was just something special about it. I’ll never forget when I wrote it. It was such an emotional moment. To this day, I still get really moved when I hear it. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve written.”

Features

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.

By

Photo by Ashley Osborn

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.

By

Photo by Alex Krauss

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.

By

Full Feature
All Features