Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Impactful CCM Albums: Various Artists, The Heaven’s Metal Collection (1992)

In the early 1990s, in the days before the internet, the easiest way for me to hear new CCM was either to listen to new albums in my local Christian bookshop, take a risk, or buy compilations. And so in my collection I still have such gems as Ultimate Rock 1 & 2 and Ultimate Metal 1 & 2—and the focus of this post, The Heaven’s Metal Collection.

This two-cassette box set gave me the opportunity to hear bands I’d only ever read about in the Word Record Club magazine. The collection is a chronicle, really, of some of the most significant CCM rock and metal bands to that point. Inevitably, Stryper are included—but the accompanying booklet and tapes remind us that they were not the first and most definitely (in my view) not the best. This is the compilation that introduced me properly to Tourniquet, Bride, The Crucified, and Mortification, among others.

The early 90s was, musically speaking, a time of genuine transition. On the one hand, there was Guns ‘n’ Roses; on the other, Nirvana. And this shift had its parallel in CCM, as the photograph from the accompanying booklet shows: pop/glam metal on the left (Holy Soldier, whose eponymous debut album is worth listening to) and the increasingly popular extreme forms of metal on the right (Tourniquet). Strangely, the different stylings of rock and metal on these two tapes do manage to sit alongside one another without jarring too much. Perhaps this indicated something of how difficult it was to pledge allegiance to a particular music genre to the exclusion of all others.

I’m not going to list the standout track from this compilation as this will likely be the standout track on a future post; I want to avoid unnecessary duplication duplication. But the track I’ve selected is still very good.

Standout track: Trytan, ‘Genesis’


  1. The whole hair metal thing passed me by - other than Spinal Tap of course - but this post made me go and listen to 'Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance' for the umpteenth time.

  2. To be sure, many tracks on this compilation are forgettable. I was never into the cock rock side of things so much as the heavier tracks. What makes the set impactful for me are (a) the chronological aspects and (b) the introduction to bands such as The Crucified.