An ‘atheist rock’ genre?

I got a request from a reader that I’ll just pass on directly to any musically-inclined readers here…

Any chance Pharyngula readers can help? I have been writing and posting songs under the band name Natural Wastage on (a sort of music version of myspace/facebook, I guess) for a while, and whilst re-installing some songs last month, I was struck by the number of Christian related genres available. Therefore, in mid July I emailed Soundclick and asked

“Looking through the categories I note that while there is Christian Rock, Country and Rap, Contemporary Christian pop and Pop and Urban Gospel, there is no category for atheist music. Can I ask you, initially, to create ‘Atheist Rock’ as a sub-genre of Rock. This is the category that most of my recent and current music writing falls into”. The reply was I got was

“At this time there has not been enough requests for this genre to be added, so we will not be adding it. Thank you for your suggestion though.”
Best Regards,
Ally Byrd
SoundClick Staff

What I’d like to ask is whether there are any song writers or performers reading Pharyngula who feel as I do, and if so, would they be prepared to contact Soundclick with a request that they add an Atheist Rock, or Atheist Folk, or whatever, to their list of genres. Please note that I would NOT suggest a blanket, mass emailing by large numbers of people UNLESS, AND ONLY IF they are genuinely prompted by an individual unfulfilled, unrequited need to listen to, or write for, these particular genres. There is absolutely NO reason to suppose Sounclick’s response is anything but honest. So let’s be honest ourselves.

Hmmm. I can think of a few bands with an atheist sensibility (maybe readers can name more here!), but most of their music, with some exceptions, simply doesn’t say anything about gods or jebus or magic spirits dwelling in the trees or whatever. There probably is a dearth of explicitly atheist songs because most are about real subjects, rather than not-real subjects…and you can’t just say that any song that doesn’t mention a god is an atheist song, or you’d have to call the Beach Boys an atheist band.

But hey, maybe there’s a thriving genre out there that I’m missing. If so, let us know about it and try to show Soundclick the light.


  1. says

    The thing is, atheists really don’t evangelize. I mean sure, we have prominent atheists who write books full of atheist arguments and raise the profile of atheism. But it’s not like we have a thing to convert people to where a bunch of rah-rah songs would be the appropriate tool. If anything, we simply try to make people aware that reason rather than superstition is a better way to live life. I can see getting a handful of good songs out there that point out the feeble waste that is religion — try such standbys as XTC’s “Dear God” and Todd Rundgren’s “God Said” for that — but not enough to prompt a whole genre of rock. And songs just bashing Christianity would be a silly waste of artistic effort IMHO.

  2. Rey Fox says

    Well, in “Undertow”, Michael Stipe sang “I don’t need no heaven, I don’t need religion, I am in the place where I should be.” Then there are those Rush fellers, if you don’t mind a little Objectivism with your denials of superstition.

    But I dunno, atheist rock as a genre? Sounds cringingly didactic to me, not to mention a little obsessive in the way that, gasp, religion is. I don’t need my lack of faith affirmed in everything I do. Christian contemprary/rock/zydeco is NOT what we want to emulate in any way, shape, or form.

    Anyway, I think if I could be said to have any religion, it would be rock ‘n’ roll. Rock and various other popular musical genres have been sort of elbowing religion out of its former privileged places in culture, and that’s fine with me. I say we just declare rock ‘n’ roll to be atheist music (is that more or less scary that satanic music?).

  3. J Dub says

    Maybe songs that sound like gospel or contemporary Christian could be written with sacrilegious lyrics. That might be good atheist rock. I’m thinking of the Persuasions’ version of Zappa’s “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing”:

  4. Ubi Dubium says

    Atheist Rock?

    Try Tim Minchin’s “If You Open Your Mind Too Far Your Brain Will Fall Out” (Check YouTube, it’s there)

    Also Dan Hart – especially his album “Santa God and Other Blasphemies”. (Available on CD Baby)

  5. extatyzoma says

    atheist rock, hmm, i dont like the idea of that labelling somehow.

    when i listen to some stuff by ‘autechre’ i actually think ‘these guys have to be atheist’ the musics just to screwey and/or well thought out to have been influenced by any acceptence of any authority, id be suprised if any mind accepting dogma could make such obscenely creative sounds.

  6. says

    Well, yes, as Martin notes, XTC. Or for that matter, Roxy Music’s “More Than This” (I like the music very much but rather dislike the text: sobby romantic “ooh am I not so brave to be facing the awful certainty of ultimate extinction, now be sure to snap that photo from my LEFT dammit”).

    Ultimately I agree with JDub. I’d hardly turn down the occasional ditty mocking double-wetsuited reverends dying with dildoes rammed up their arses, but really, most bands manage to sing about all sorts of things without referring to anything imaginary (beyond, perhaps, undying teenage love).

  7. says

    Bad Religion is one of my favorite bands, and they certainly have lots of songs with explicitly pro-atheist, anti-dogma lyrics, but I still be Greg Graffin would be annoyed if someone tried to pigeonhole them as an “Atheist Rock” band. What a horrible label!

    The thing about the various “Christian _______” music categories is that they are blanket labels that encompass almost entirely craptacular generic music that is only embraced by mindless consumerist drones who will buy anything marketed to them as “Christian.” My guess is that most atheists don’t want pure shite shoveled their way by the demographics-driven marketing of corporate music powers-that-be. I know I don’t.

  8. jpf says

    Something to keep in mind is that the reason there are all those Christian music subcategories (you left out my favorite, Christian Gangsta Rap) is because Christians, mostly Evangelicals, have a habit of trying to create a Christian simulacrum of popular culture as a way of isolating their kids against worldly or unchristian thinking (or sometimes just thinking). If something is popular with the kids, they make a Christian version of it so their kids won’t be tempted to stray from the fold. This is also the reason there exists Christian X-treme sports, Christian energy drinks, and youth pastors with tattoos and soul patches.

    These things are self-imposed ghettos and I don’t know why you’d want to emulate them.

  9. Stan Ferguson says

    Beach Boys do have the beautiful “God Only Knows.”

    Not sure what that counts as.

  10. dsmccoy says

    The Beach Boys mention God:

    Could we place them over in Christian Rock where I don’t have to hear them?

  11. Mike says

    I dont know of any rock out there, but for Atheist Rap,
    buy Greydon Square and Syqnys CD’s, they are awesome

  12. LisaJ says

    I second Muse as a potential atheist band. I’ve heard the lead singer describe his lyrics as trying to “ask questions” about different issues (such as religious dogma, politics, etc), instead of just giving his opinions. They are an incredibly talented band. My favourite.

  13. Gûm-ishi Ashi Gurum says

    Vast vast swaths of all metal subgenres are explicitly atheist and anti-theist. Indeed about 99% of metal music is against Abrahamic religion.

    People always seem to forget this.

  14. jpf says


    Pat Boone forgot this and faced the wrath of Evangelicals for his “In a Metal Mood” album. He’s been trying to make amends ever since.

  15. Turdus says

    For an old one , how about “Cathedral” By Crosby Stills Nash and Young

    Six o’ clock
    In the morning, I feel pretty good
    So I dropped into the luxury of the Lords
    Fighting dragons and crossing swords
    With the people against the hordes
    Who came to conquer.

    Seven o’clock
    In the morning, here it comes
    I taste the warning and I am so amazed
    I’m here today, seeing things so clear this way
    In the car and on my way
    To Stonehenge.

    I’m flying in Winchester cathedral
    Sunlight pouring through the break of day.
    Stumbled through the door and into the chamber;
    There’s a lady setting flowers on a table covered lace
    And a cleaner in the distance finds a cobweb on a face
    And a feeling deep inside of me tells me
    This can’t be the place

    I’m flying in Winchester cathedral.
    All religion has to have its day
    Expressions on the face of the Saviour
    Made me say
    I can’t stay.

    Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here!
    Too many people have lied in the name of Christ
    For anyone to heed the call.
    So many people have died in the name of Christ
    That I can’t believe it all.

    And now I’m standing on the grave of a soldier that died in 1799
    And the day he died it was a birthday
    And I noticed it was mine.
    And my head didn’t know just who I was
    And I went spinning back in time.
    And I am high upon the altar
    High upon the altar, high.

    I’m flying in Winchester cathedral,
    It’s hard enough to drink the wine.
    The air inside just hangs in delusion,
    But given time,
    I’ll be fine.

  16. Stan Ferguson says

    I’m of the firm belief that the vast majority of contemporary pop music (top 40) is absolute proof of the non-existence of God or any deity.

  17. Patricia says

    Freethought Radio Network plays a variety of music everyday.
    That young fellow Graydon Square does atheist rap, if thats of any help? Godsmack too, I think, but I can’t listen to it.

  18. windy says

    It’s not rock, but José González says that his second album was inspired by The God Delusion. The lyrics are not very explicitly about religion, though, except for “Abram”.

    And I know Heart’s Magic Man is not really about religion, but it works that way too ;)

  19. John C. Randolph says

    I’d say that Free Will by Rush is clearly an atheist song.

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice,
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill,
    I will choose a path that’s clear: I will choose free will.


  20. Helioprogenus says

    I can think of Bad Religion and Motorhead off the top of my head right now.

    Have a look at these lyrics;

    Thou who wouldst make us devils
    Thou shalt not poison me
    The world hath been persuaded
    to believe thy heresy

    I spit in the eye of Satan
    And I will spit in thine
    The devils that surround thee
    Liveth only in thine eye

    Bad Religion, Bad Religion
    I need no gods or devils, I
    need no pagan rights
    Bad religion, Bad religion
    I need no burning crosses to
    illuminate my nights
    HEY, HEY, You hear me now
    You hear me now
    HEY, HEY, For thou art Judas
    The mark of Cain be on thy brow

    Evangelistic Nazis, you cannot frighten me
    The name you take in vain shall
    judge you for eternity

    [ Find more Lyrics at ]
    I spit in the eye of Satan
    Spit right in your eye too
    You are the spooks you’re chasing
    You know not what you do

    Bad religion, Bad religion
    I know you lie, I know you lie
    Bad religion, Bad religion
    Thieves and liars
    Cross my heart I hope you die

    If there be such a being
    Then thou art Anti-christ
    Turn men against their children
    Turn beauty into vice
    I say thy God shall smite thee
    He will perceive thy lust
    His wrath shall fall upon thee
    Thou that betray his thrust

    Bad religion, Bad religion
    I say that thou art liars, Thy
    souls shall not be saved
    Bad religion, Bad religion
    Here are the days of thunder, The
    days that thou hast made

    HEY, HEY
    Base seducers, I see thy greed
    HEY, HEY
    I am more fit for glory,
    Than any ten of thee

    This one’s called Bad Religion by Motorhead (although there’s also the band bad religion as well)

  21. wildcardjack says

    I can think of a few examples of atheist music; Cannibal Corpse with their song “Boiled Christians”, KMFDM, NIN, Pigface, Front Line Assembly etc.

    Maybe even the bulk of the Beatles stuff. But mostly music is secular and neutral WRT god. Atheist rock would inevitably be in opposition because otherwise it’s just rock, right?

  22. G.D. says

    Well, most black metal – at least more recent black metal – is distinctly anti-theist (although some of it does express woo-related views) rather than “satanist”. Would be the obvious choice, but I can think of several reasons why I wouldn’t suggest it to Soundclick. I guess that in general, a lot of music from the heavier end of the rock spectrum would count as explicitly anti-religious.

    The explicit expression of atheist views hasn’t really been a very common occurrence throughout the history of music (considering a.o.t. that the church has historically been an important comissioner), although some obvious examples could be cited: Delius’ ‘A Mass of Life’ and Requiem (based on Nietzsche), Richard Strauss’ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ and the ‘Alpensinfonie’ (which was originally published with the subtitle “the anti-Christian”). Other works which in more subtle ways could be said to express atheist views are Fauré’s requiem and Brahms’ ‘Deutsche Requiem’ (both Brahms and Fauré were atheists and deliberately composed said works with their views on religion in mind).

  23. DaveR says

    Can the original author of the request please define for me what “atheist rock” is? Is it rock that has a notable atheist agenda, or is it simply rock that is not specifically theist? In the case of the former, I suspect the list of bands to be quite short. For the latter, it seems to me that most rock fits the category. Either way, I think it is a rather silly request.

    I simply choose to not listen to Christian music. Unfortunately, this has a side effect: I rarely listen to the lyrics of a song until I’ve listened to it several times. It isn’t unusual for me to like a song, only to find out it is basically a mainstream Christian rock song. I have to bust out the MC Hawking to feel clean again.

  24. Geoff says

    The Beach Boys were using “God only knows” as an expression. It’s a love song, nothing more. I’m an atheist and I say “Oh God” and “God only knows” from time to time. The latter in the pantheistic sense.

    I have a blind friend who ways “I see” all the time.

  25. Rachel says

    MC Frontalot has a great song called “Origin of the Species” which makes awesome fun of fundamentalism, but he’s considered “nerdcore” (yes, there is such a thing), not atheistic music (if there is such a thing).

  26. John C. Randolph says

    I simply choose to not listen to Christian music.

    You’re missing out on some great work, then. Bach, Mozart, and Handel wrote some beautiful pieces.


  27. says

    Yeah, I came to the conclusion a while back that if you have to explicitly market yourself as “Christian” it’s because the music sucks too much to hit the mainstream. It’s not uncommon to hear a song with christian themes on the radio, so it’s not as if they have to create this underground culture to spread the word. It’s only appealing to people who have made religion the alpha and omega of their lives, and I have no desire to pigeonhole my musical tastes that way.

    So, I’ll stick to Atheist/Agnostic playlists instead, and will add “Bukowski” and “Ocean Breathes Salty” from Modest Mouse to the mix, as well as “Jesus He Knows Me” from Genesis.

  28. Bride of Shrek OM says

    Not so much “atheist” rock but certainly “creationist” rock is Sam Sparro’s “Black and Gold”. Its pretty catchy too.

    The first verse as an example:

    If the fish swam out of the ocean
    and grew legs and they started walking
    and the apes climbed down from the trees
    and grew tall and they started talking

  29. False Prophet says

    #22 Gûm-ishi Ashi Gurum:

    Not true. Metal is generally anti-establishment, which tends to include religious institutions, but is not necessarily atheist in content. (And I say this as a dyed-in-the-wool metalhead.) A lot of metal, especially power metal, deals with occult or fantasy themes. In most cases it’s just storytelling or marketing-via-controversy, but it’s hardly explicitly promoting an atheist/non-supernatural worldview. Check out the lyrics to Black Sabbath’s “After Forever” for a decidedly pro-Christian stance.

    Then we have the black metal scene of the early 90s, which was admittedly explicitly anti-Christian, but tended to embrace criminal behaviours (murder, church-burning) or irrational ideologies (paganism, Nazism).

    Most “atheist” bands aren’t the ones that promote an ideology of non-religion, because that’s no better than the contemporary Christian music (CCM) genres, which combine preachy lyrics with derivative music. Rather, the best “atheist” bands are the ones that make you think or ask you to examine stances critically: Muse, Rush, Tool, Marilyn Manson. In a similar vein, most of the members of my favourite band, Dream Theater, practice some religious faith but in their songs that explore religion (“Voices”, “Blind Faith”, “The Great Debate”) there is an honest lyrical examination of those beliefs (and jaw-dropping musicianship to boot).

  30. El Herring says

    I don’t think you can have a specific “atheist” music genre. I would categorise music such as XTC’s song and others that people have mentioned here as anti-religious certainly, but not atheist. If music is not specifically religious, then the definition is secular, not atheist – and secular music is the vast proportion of all modern music, I would say.

    I write music on scientific and astronomical themes (because that’s what interests me), but I have never considered calling it “atheist music”. It’s just music (and some people don’t even call it that, but I don’t give a monkey’s!)

    What’s the point of trying to stick the label “atheist” on to music anyway? It’s just music – you either like it or you don’t. I’m actually a big fan of Neal Morse who writes some excellent prog rock, the only trouble being that he tends to sing about his religion all the time. I just try to ignore the constant evangelising he stuffs into every bar. It’s good music, that’s all that matters to me. The music should stand or fall by its own merits, and shouldn’t have to have labels stuck onto it.

  31. me says


    If you want to get your soul to heaven
    trust in me now don’t you judge or question
    You are broken now but faith can heal you
    Just do everything I tell you to do
    Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
    what you need is someone strong to guide you
    Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
    let me lay my holy hand a hand upon you

  32. Fernando Magyar says

    Tex @ 13, Beat me to it:

    Imagine there’s no Heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Nah, not enough people requested that song…

  33. Hairy Doctor Professor says

    Julia Ecklar has some good ones on her “Divine Intervention” CD,, probably “The Hand of God” is most appropriate here. I enjoy the whole CD, pretty much, although I have to be in a truly foul mood to listen to it – and doing so makes my mood even worse. Highly recommended, but not for everyone.

    Kathy Mar’s “My Favorite Sings” CD,, has one track called “The Word of God” which is also very good, but is more from a deist’s point of view than that of an atheist. More appropriate from that disk is “Water, Fire, and Smoke” (nice didgeridoo background).

  34. says

    I think others have said it before me.

    If you’re an atheist, don’t construct a getto for atheism, but expand with other atheists into the welcome fields of secularism where people meet as people and religion is sidelined.

  35. says

    A few bands that come to mind are: Jane’s Addiction (“Had a Dad” and “Ain’t no Right”), Dead Kennedys (“Religious Vomit” and “Moral Majority”), Metallica (“The God that Failed”), possibly Nirvana (at the end of “Stay Away” Curt sings “God is gay”), and let’s not forget the Sex Pistols (“Anarchy in the UK”).

    Just for fun, here are the lyrics to “Religious Vomit”:

    All religions make me wanna throw up
    All religions make me sick
    All religions make me wanna throw up
    All religions suck

    They all claim that they have the truth
    That they’ll set you free
    Just give ’em your money and they’ll set you free
    Free for a fee

    They all claim that they have ‘the Answer’
    When they don’t even know the Question
    They’re just a bunch of liars
    They just want your money
    They just want your consciousness

    All religions suck
    All religions make me wanna throw up
    All religions suck
    All religions make me wanna BLEAH

    They really make me sick (x5)
    They really make me ILL

    And “Moral Majority” ends:

    Blow it out your ass, Terry Dolan
    Blow it out your ass, Phyllis Schafly
    Ram it up your cunt, Anita
    Cos God must be dead
    If you’re alive
    God must be dead
    If you’re alive

  36. Marc says

    I will have to third Muse, cause I like them that much.

    And theyre one of few bands that even touch on athiestic subjects.

    Alphaville has transhumanistic and other similar references. They tend to mix it with a bit of spiritual imagery. Though, transhumanism is next to godliness.

    They use the acronym S.M.I^2.L.E., Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension from Timothy Leary.

    Ascension Day
    < < Do what you want and then die when you want to We're gonna walk on the blood of the meek We're gonna sail through the oceans of wonder We're gonna live in the dreams that we seek >>

    A tragically (mostly) unknown band.

    I could imagine Rush or Pink Floyd touching this stuff, but I dont know either of them all that well.

  37. Bjørn Østman says


    God is a Concept by which
    we measure our pain
    I’ll say it again
    God is a Concept by which
    we measure our pain
    I don’t believe in magic
    I don’t believe in I-ching
    I don’t believe in Bible
    I don’t believe in Tarot
    I don’t believe in Hitler
    I don’t believe in Jesus
    I don’t believe in Kennedy
    I don’t believe in Buddha
    I don’t believe in Mantra
    I don’t believe in Gita
    I don’t believe in Yoga
    I don’t believe in Kings
    I don’t believe in Elvis
    I don’t believe in Zimmerman
    I don’t believe in Beatles
    I just believe in me…and that reality

    The dream is over
    What can I say?
    the Dream is Over
    I was the Dreamweaver
    But now I’m reborn
    I was the Walrus
    But now I’m John
    and so dear friends
    you’ll just have to carry on
    The Dream is over

  38. ElectricBarbarella says

    See I’m not sure this would work. Most people don’t label music “atheist” because they (right or wrongly) assume that any music that isn’t “Christian” is Atheist.

    I mean, I listen to goth/industrial/synth but also listen to techno/80’s/Disco (I’ve got a good range of tunes). And most people automatically assume (and we know what that word means) that the “goth” music I listen to is Atheist. And that’s simply not true.

    So while I do understand his point (“If you’ve Christian Rock, why not Atheist Rock”?), I don’t know how well that genre label would do if (by their logic) “anything that isn’t Christian is atheist”.


  39. Zeke Silva says

    It’s called death metal… I would say a good 90% – 95% of death metal bands are god free: Atheist, Agnostic front, Opeth, Kataklysm, Death, Winds of Plague, Nevermore, Obituary, Nile, Morbid Angel, Deicide, just to name a few.

  40. Mark says

    Bad Religion, of course. They probably have the most outspoken and intelligent lyrics you’re likely to find on the subject of religion being less-than-awesome.

    Ironically, many Christians interpret their lyrics as being religious in character.

    KMFDM is pretty awesome too.

  41. Cloudwork says

    NO FX has atheistic themes in some songs.

    I wouldn’t say Pink Floyd because of one song, “Us and Them”, i still like and listen to their music though.

    Wouldnt like an atheist rock classification either. No other groups or even religions than christianity really have these sub-genres, you dont see Jewish rap or Muslim rock etc.

  42. says

    Plenty of hardcore/punk bands have held the anti-religion mantle over the years. Many of these bands are no longer around, but still good for many listens

    Left For Dead
    The Swarm
    Bad Religion
    Fucked Up
    Morning Again
    The Power & The Glory

    This BANE song always gives me goosebumps:
    Struck Down By Me

  43. says

    I’m kinda naive about music genres; does George Hrab play rock? He was on the boat with Myers, fer cryin’ out loud -it’s gotta be atheist music!

  44. Rick R says

    I ‘third’ the notion that ghetto-ization of music as ‘atheist’ is a low and unworthy goal. The “frightened of their own shadow” xians want to live in a god-soaked ghetto. Let them.
    The rest of us have a much much bigger world to roam in.

    As an aside, I would say that xians don’t think “unxian” music is ‘atheistic’ so much as satanic. It’s the binary thing. If you aren’t wailing about Jebus, you’re sucking beelzebub’s c–k.

  45. says

    Modest Mouse has a few songs, among them the closest thing they’ve had to a hit, “Bukawski.”

    There’s always Bad Religion, whose logo is a crossed out cross.

    Skinny Puppy, for your Gothic/Industrial tastes.

    I’m sure their are others but many simply avoid mystical lyrics.

  46. Joe the Ordinary Guy says

    I’m with the “atheist rock as a category is a bad idea” crowd. However, there are two wonderful songs that served as “atheist anthems” for me personally:

    “Heyling” by FC Kahuna
    and “This is the Life” by Living Colour

    Check ’em out.

  47. says

    I agree with those who find the genre label “Atheist Rock” a little silly or perhaps misguided, but I still want a band named New Atheist Noise Machine. (We can thank Matt Nisbet in the liner notes.)

    Also, we need a punk band called Naked Dromeosaurid, or maybe a synthpop group called Feathered Dromeosaurid — I’d be down with both.

  48. says

    The whole reason Christian pop is so bad is that it’s vapid and predictable: every punchline is basically just another goose of the ideology.

    Atheism, at least, doesn’t have any single identifiable ideology its beholden to, so as a genre it might have a leg up in that regard.

    As for an atheist-friendly anthem, I’ll take “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” by Deathcab any day of the week.

  49. says

    You’re thinking inside the box here: why not label everything that doesn’t refer to a higher power as Atheist Music. Everything good, that is–every bit of music where people reach out to and help each other or accept a their tough lives without whining for a magic fix. Start with “Pack up Your Sorrows” sung by Joan Baez and “The Mary Ellen Carter (Rise Again)” by Stan Rogers.

    “And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
    With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
    Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
    And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.”

  50. ElectricBarbarella says

    As an aside, I would say that xians don’t think “unxian” music is ‘atheistic’ so much as satanic. It’s the binary thing. If you aren’t wailing about Jebus, you’re sucking beelzebub’s c–k.

    I would take that a bit further (only because I have to deal with Christians a bit more closely than most being an Atheist Homeschooler) and say it isn’t so much that they think anything that is not-Christian is atheistic or even satanic, but Pagan (which I’ve heard) and then they make the cyclical argument that brings them back to being “but if they are Pagan and since Pagan is Satanic, and we all know all Atheists are Satanic Pagans….(drifts off)”…


    Basically, labeling the genre of music “Atheist” Rock is sort of a double entendre(sp), a, umm, what’s the word–not double negative, ahh shit–just drew a blank on it. I think you get what I mean though.


  51. Justin says

    Funny, I just saw this yesterday at Atheist Movies

    Children of a Worthless God by Exodus @ YouTube

    Brainwashed into madness,
    your children are killers without fear
    Manipulate and dominate,
    stealing their lives for your hate
    Twisted perverted minds,
    think as we do or you die
    Demagogue, fanatical tyrant
    a false prophet seething with lies

    I you fear, seeing through your lies
    You I fear, raping of innocent minds

    Follow us blindly or die like a dog
    Blood mixed with sand for this holy war
    Your saviors a killer, you die for Allah
    You are all children of a worthless god

    Propagation of violence
    your one god a disease upon man
    Execution, crucifixion
    the answer for those not in your plan
    The penalty for contempt against your god
    is death and nothing else
    Ignorant infidels
    are subhuman and will all burn in hell

    I you fear, seeing through your lies
    You I fear, raping of innocent minds

    Follow us blindly or die like a dog
    Blood mixed with sand for this holy war
    Your saviors a killer, you die for Allah
    You are all children of a worthless god

    Smite the perverts and the obstinate
    praising the death of the free
    United States of Islam
    that’s what you would like it to be
    Violate the unbelievers
    praising crimes against man
    Human rights mean nothing
    Doctrine of death a scourge upon man

    I you fear, seeing through your lies
    You I fear, raping of innocent minds

    Follow us blindly or die like a dog
    Blood mixed with sand for this holy war
    Your saviors a killer, you die for Allah
    You are all children of a worthless god

  52. Qwerty says

    Remember when the Christians ragged on John Lennon for having the temerity to suggest the Beatles might be more popular than the skyfairy.

    If you are into evolution, I think that “Transitional Forms” would be a great name for a band.

  53. Helioprogenus says

    Here’s another motorhead song called God was never on your side.

    If the stars fall down on me,
    And the sun refused to shine,
    Then may the shackles be undone,
    May all the old words cease to rhyme,
    If the sky turned into stone,
    It will matter not at all,
    For there is no heaven in the sky,
    Hell does not wait for our downfall!

    Let the voice of reason chime,
    Let the friars vanish for all time,
    God’s face is hidden, all unseen,
    You can’t ask him,
    What it all means,
    He was never on your side,
    God was never on your side,
    Let right or wrong alone decide,
    God was never on your side.

    See ten thousand ministries,
    See the holy, righteous dogs,
    They claim to heal,
    But all they do is steal,
    Abuse your faith,
    Cheat and rob,

    If god is wise,
    Why is he still,
    When these false prophets,
    Call him friend,
    Why is he silent,
    Is he blind?!
    Are we abandoned in the end?

    Let the sword of reason shine,
    Let us be free of prayer and shrine,
    God’s face is hidden, turned way,
    He never has a word to say,
    He was never on your side,
    God was never on your side,
    Let right or wrong alone decide!
    God was never on your side!
    No, no, no!

    (Guitar solo)

    He was never on your side,
    God was never on your side,
    Never on your side!
    Never on your side!
    God was never on your side,
    Never on your side…

  54. tim Rowledge says

    Hairy Doctor Professor @ #50 – Yay for Julia and Kathy! Filk is full of anti-woo, anti-religiosity lyrics. And of course, far too much Trek. Bet there is an entire ChristiFilk genre lurking out there though, but happily I’ve never had to listen to it.
    Jordin Kare’s “Parody Violation” might well appeal to many folks here (Jordin really is a rocket scientist) and probably a fair bit of Leslie FIsh’s too. Best of all, unlike so many musical genres, Filk is pretty much exclusively performed by people having fun for people having fun and whilst I can’t sing I *can* audience with the best of them.

  55. says

    Naming lots of bands which could be counted as “atheist rock” is one thing, but before we campaign for the new channel we need to make sure a decent amount of them are willing to be identified as such, or at least would not rather appear in some pre-existing channel. I think it would be counter-productive to have an atheist category there which is all-too-obviously empty.

  56. Richard from Edmonton says

    This is going back a ways but I always considered The song Roll the Bones by Rush to be atheistic leaning

    “Well, you can stake that claim —
    Good work is the key to good fortune
    Winners take that praise
    Losers seldom take that blame
    If they dont take that game
    And sometimes the winner takes nothing
    We draw our own designs
    But fortune has to make that frame

    We go out in the world and take our chances
    Fate is just the weight of circumstances
    Thats the way that lady luck dances
    Roll the bones

    Why are we here?
    Because were here
    Roll the bones
    Why does it happen?
    Because it happens
    Roll the bones

    Faith is cold as ice —
    Why are little ones born only to suffer
    For the want of immunity
    Or a bowl of rice?
    Well, who would hold a price
    On the heads of the innocent children
    If theres some immortal power
    To control the dice?

    We come into the world and take our chances
    Fate is just the weight of circumstances
    Thats the way that lady luck dances
    Roll the bones

    Jack — relax.
    Get busy with the facts.
    No zodiacs or almanacs,
    No maniacs in polyester slacks.
    Just the facts.
    Gonna kick some gluteus max.
    Its a parallax — you dig?
    You move around
    The small gets big. its a rig.
    Its action — reaction —
    Random interaction.
    So whos afraid
    Of a little abstraction?
    Cant get no satisfaction
    From the facts?
    You better run, homeboy —
    A facts a fact
    From nome to rome, boy.

    Whats the deal? spin the wheel.
    If the dice are hot — take a shot.
    Play your cards. show us what you got —
    What youre holding.
    If the cards are cold,
    Dont go folding.
    Lady luck is golden;
    She favors the bold. thats cold.
    Stop throwing stones —
    The night has a thousand saxophones.
    So get out there and rock,
    And roll the bones.
    Get busy!

    Man is my age showing.

  57. Eric says

    Awesome Rush video:

    I don’t know if this is their video or if a fan made it, but it’s good.

    Faithless is almost an atheist anthem:

    Also, don’t forget God Am by Alice in Chains.

  58. sangfroid says

    I second Rush (Tom Sawyer; “No his mind is not for rent / To any god or government”) and John Lennon, and I add Bob Dylan, even though I guess he’s folk. With God on Your Side, anyone?

    Labeling something atheist rock to counterbalance Christian rock is a terrible idea since “Christian” already means “crappy”. Any Christian band that expands its audience beyond youth groups automatically becomes just rock…with songs about Christianity.

  59. phdel says

    There are actually some quite overtly atheist bands in the metal genre, such as Deicide, Atheist, and Cradle of Filth.

  60. KikiMarie says

    I love the Dandy Warhols, and one of their totally excellent songs is “I am a Scientist.” Here is an excerpt:

    Religiously I’m speaking on the science ’cause
    We’ve gotta live on science alone
    I tell you what mathematically I’m having it
    I want to live on science alone

    Ah, the Dandys never really get too deep, but they know what’s what. :)

  61. Iason Ouabache says

    Cursive needs to be added to the list too. “The Ugly Organ” and “Happy Hollow” would definitely fit into an ‘atheist rock’ category.

  62. Jimmy Groove says

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any Rush. Rush is like the most awesome band ever, even if they do have Geddy Lee singing.

  63. says

    I have to go along with the sentiment that defining any genre as “Atheist ___” limits it and/or lessens it. That being said, though, I love to hear the little anti-religion jabs in the music of Ben Folds/Ben Folds Five and Harvey Danger. . .

  64. says

    Bastard Fairies qualifies as “atheist rock” or at least “atheist alternative”. They have some videos on Youtube. “We’re all Going to Hell” is about the hypocrisy of religious leaders. The refrain is “we’re all going to hell” except that it’s set to an ever so slightly loopy melody and instrumentation.

    “Whatever” is apparently about someone who is willing to espouse “whatever” … “to get into bed with you” It doesn’t come across as particularly flattering to the ideologically-driven.

  65. Karley says

    I know of several riot grrrl bands that, if not explicitly atheist, at least take a dump on Christfascist thinking (L7’s “Pretend That We’re Dead” comes to mind.)

  66. Helioprogenus says

    Last Motorhead post, I promise.

    This one’s called Don’t need religion

    Don’t need no blind belief
    Don’t need no comic relief
    Don’t need to see the scars
    Don’t need Jesus Christ Superstar
    Don’t need no Sunday Television
    Bet your life you don’t need religion

    Don’t need no time for prayer
    Don’t save no knee-pads for me up there
    If your head’s alright, ya don’t need binoculars to see the light
    Ya don’t need no miracle vision
    Bet ya life etc.

    I don’t need no Santa Claus
    Don’t believe in fairies no more
    Don’t need to go to confession
    I’m already trying to fight depression
    Don’t need no exorcism
    Bet ya life etc.

  67. Ragutis says

    I’m pretty sure Atheist are atheists. *joke*

    Awesome technical metal from just down the road in Sarasota. And they’re working on a new album.

    I don’t know Henning Pauly to know what he believes, but with his Frameshift project, he did do a concept album based on Dawkins’ “Unweaving the Rainbow”. That’s got to be at least a little atheist, right?

  68. says

    What has happened to our young folk – don’t they teach the classics any more?

    Frank Zappa, man!

    As one who is even older than Wilkins, I can confirm that Zappa puts the eyebrows on atheism in music. Don’t forget “Heavenly Bank Account” with its immortal line, “There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.”

    Remember kidz, Frankie sez:

    “Tax the churches.
    Tax the fuck out of the churches.”

  69. ElectricBarbarella says

    Naming lots of bands which could be counted as “atheist rock” is one thing, but before we campaign for the new channel we need to make sure a decent amount of them are willing to be identified as such, or at least would not rather appear in some pre-existing channel.

    This actually brings to mind a couple of true stories, one of which is about Evanescence. They were once identified as a Christian Rock band, but they themselves, never came out and said they were. During an interview, the female lead was asked how she felt about this label and she said she did not like it, felt like it was pigeonholing them into one genre and once the Christian music stations got wind of this, they banned them.

    I used to work, as an interviewer for a Christian Goth website and I interviewed both Ronan Harris of VnV Nation and Joey of The Echoing Green. Now VnV is not Christian at all, but as Ronan said “it is about my issues with religion and my own battles with faith”, while Joey admitted to being a Christian and playing as such.

    Both were deemed “unworthy” from the Christian genre because VnV identifies itself as “goth” (which is bad, mkay) and Joey refused to make all of his songs “Jesus loves me” songs.

    No–you/we do not need an Atheist Genre. It’s bad news for the musician.


  70. Nick Sullivan_NZ says

    I’ll throw in the “One Day a Lion” EP from Zack de la Rocha’s new project One Day a Lion.

  71. paul says

    Long time reader…first time poster

    I know it’s been mentioned once or twice but as far as overt atheism you can’t do much better than Greydon Square unless you hate hip hop.

  72. Qwerty says

    I doubt Rusty Warren was an atheist but I am sure she pissed off a lot of conservative Christians when she sang “Bounce Your Boobies.” I like the intro when she talks about the “founding fathers” and mentions John Hancock. “Now there’s a name you gotta’ love!”

  73. ElectricBarbarella says

    Oh gosh, I’ve got about 100 LP’s I’m selling for my mother and she has 2 Rusty Warren Albums in the mix. They were naughty to say the least. :)


  74. chancelikely says

    Rock music is probably the one part of American culture that’s framed in an atheist-positive way. Christian music is crap – even a fair share of Christians acknowledge it.

  75. jody says

    all i know is, when i hear creed, i get stigmata

    just about all of punk is atheist if they happen to cover religion instead of politics. and i’ve seen bad religion mentioned about 100 times, but not pennywise. what gives?

    tool isn’t atheist. they lean that way, but maynard is a pretty spiritual person. listen to ‘sour grapes’ on the ‘v is for vagina’ album by puscifer.

    what’s puscifer? it’s for making babies!

  76. BA says

    I choose Korn:


    I’m diggin’ with my fingertips
    I’m ripping at the ground I stand upon
    I’m searchin’ for fragile bones
    I’m never gonna be refined
    Keep tryin’ but I won’t assimilate
    Sure, we have come far in time
    (Watch the bow break)

    And I’m sorry I don’t believe
    By the evidence that I see
    That there’s any hope left for me

    It’s evolution…
    Just evolution…

    And I
    I do not dare deny
    The basic beast inside
    It’s right here, it’s controlling my mind
    And why
    Do I deserve to die?
    I’m dominated by
    This animal that’s locked up inside

    Close up to get a real good view
    I’m betting that the species will survive
    Hold tight, I’m getting inside you
    And when we’re gonna find these bones
    They’re gonna wanna keep them in a jar
    The number one virus caused by

    And the planet may go astray
    In a million years they’ll say,
    those motherfuckers were all deranged

    It’s evolution…
    Just evolution…

    And I
    I do not dare deny
    The basic beast inside
    It’s right here, it’s controlling my mind
    And why
    Do I deserve to die?
    I’m dominated by
    This animal that’s locked up inside

    Take a look around
    Nothing much has changed
    Take a look around
    Nothing much has changed

    Take a look around
    Take a look around
    Take a look around
    (Nothing much has changed)
    Take a look around
    Take a look around
    (Nothing much has changed)
    Take a look around
    Take a look around
    (Nothing much has changed)
    Take a look around

    I do not dare deny
    The basic beast inside
    It’s right here, it’s controlling my mind
    And why
    Do I deserve to die?
    I’m dominated by
    This animal that’s locked up inside

    Why do I deserve to die?

  77. AlexS says

    Creating an ‘atheist rock’ genre would be no less lame and pathetic than Christian rock. If all or most of your songs are about religion (either Christian or atheist rock), then your music is incredibly shallow.

  78. cods says

    Cursive. Their album “Happy Hollow” was especially anti-religious.

    Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), with lyrics like “The Bible’s blind, the Torah’s deaf, the Koran is mute. If you burn them all together you get close to the truth,” it wouldn’t be a stretch to say religion is not his most favorite phenomenon.

  79. queereye says

    wouldn’t this by definition be music about nothing? we already have that, its called elevator music. Seriously though I think the idea is kind of silly. Any music that is not religious in nature is atheistic.

  80. Alex, FCD says

    From Bright Eyes:

    The Bible’s blind, the Torah’s deaf, the Qur’an is mute/If you burned them all together you’d be close to the truth

    and the Flaming Lips:

    Twenty five, twenty six, twenty seven/Who knows baby? Maybe there ain’t no heaven/There’s just you and me, and maybe it’s just as well/’Cuz if there ain’t no heaven, maybe there ain’t no hell.

    and then there’s the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, which is exactly what it sounds like. Verdi, Brahms and probably Beethoven were all freethinkers, and MCA of the Beatie Boy is a non-theistic Buddhist, if that counts. Bjork is an atheist as well, probably along with most of her Scandinavian colleagues.

    Bob Dylan, who somebody mentioned above is not an atheist. He is Jewish, except for about ten minutes in the nineties when he was Christian. He even wrote some gospel songs.

  81. Kyle says

    I am with many here that this is a bad idea, but some of the greatest anti-religion songs are by Propagandhi
    This one’s called Haillie Sellasse, Up Your Ass

    You speak of Rastafari, but how can you justify belief
    In a god that’s left you behind?
    You’ve simply filled the gap between the upper and lower class
    And your faith merely keeps you in line.
    An amalgamation of jewish scripture and christian thought.
    What will that get you? Not a fuck of a lot.
    Take a look at your promised land.
    Your deed is that gun in your hand.
    Mt. Zion’s a minefield. The West Bank. The Gaza Strip.
    Soon to be parking lots for American tourists and fascist cops.
    Fuck zionism. Fuck militarism. Fuck americanism.
    Fuck nationalism. Fuck religion (repeat many times).

    Always brings a smile to my face (but let’s stay away from ever calling it atheist rock)

  82. Sillysighbean says

    Atheist Rock? Sounds lame. There are only TWO categories of rock: Good and Bad. I would work on being considered as being in the GOOD category.

  83. eyerock says

    The problem with this idea is that, beyond agreeing that hoogally boogallys don’t exist, there is no homogeneous thing that is atheism. Theist in a specific religion all have a set of core views, values, and lifestyle choice in common. Making an atheist music genre gets into the problem of herding cats.

  84. says

    And there’s a song from Camelot, “The Seven Deadly Virtues” with lines such as “It’s not the Earth the meek inherit, it’s the dirt!” and “Purity — a noble yen — and very restful every now and then.”

  85. G W says

    As far as genres go, unless explicitly said otherwise, most music I would deem secular.

    However, one word while on the subject: DEVO

    “Roll over play dead, get spiritual minded!”

    and of course Jocko Homo:

    Devolution is real!

  86. kxw says

    While reading the thread, Pig Destroyer – Heathen Temple came up on random:
    Beliefs must evolve or face extinction
    shed dogma like snakeskin
    no need for confession or astral projection
    I survive on the primal instinct within
    even a loving god is still a master
    spare me your fear
    all these childish superstitions
    I’ve spent decades trying to purge your swill from my system
    God is in the mirror not hiding in the skies
    this heathen temple will stand tall until the day that I die

    I’m also not sure how atheist music can exist without being anti-religion. There are tons of anti-religious metal bands out there.
    A good portion tend to focus on anti-christianity (like most Norwegian black metal).

    Also note that there is ‘unblack metal’, which is black metal with christian-theme lyrics.

    Obligatory thread-related band name-dropping: Drudkh, Behemoth, Pig Destroyer

  87. Geral says

    Atheism doesn’t need a genre. Atheism itself is the belief in lack of god, therefore I would argue any music that does not include the belief of god is secular and atheistic in nature.

    We don’t believe in god. We don’t need to make this into a cultist following..

  88. Susan says

    I was going to mention Hrab, too. Maybe PZ skipped the musical portion of the tour?

    You can’t eject songs that mention an Almighty from the “Atheist Rock” pool, though, because Randy Newman’s ironic ditties definitely belong in there:
    God’s Song, He Gives Us All His Love, and from his latest album, Harps and Angels. No video, but it’s the first song he plays in that concert.

  89. miko says

    how bout Spoon: “Religion don’t mean a thing / it’s just another way to be right.”

    Succinct, to the point, no need to go an about it either way (ahem, I’m looking at you, Oberst). But atheism as a genre is dumb.

    Muslim rock is becoming a huge phenomenon in Indonesia. From what I’ve heard, it’s better than Christian rock. Let the apocalyptic Battle of the Bands begin! Jews, Hindus, animists, Taoists, Buddhists… time to learn a few power chords.

  90. Gûm-ishi Ashi Gurum says


    I said vast swaths of metal were atheist.

    I said 99% was anti-Abrahamic, there’s a difference there, as that would include all polytheistic metal, of which there is PLENTY.

    Given your citing of power metal and the prog-metal Dream Theatre, I suspect are leanings are decidedly different.

    I listen to mostly black and death; it is silly to associate black with NS and criminal behaviour, because of the tabloid garnering actions of a small percentage of the scene.

    There is certainly a lot more explicitly atheist lyrics in those subgenres than you may suspect. Even many bands who sing of Norse mythology are atheist themselves. The first song on Bathory’s Twilight of the Gods is explicitly atheist; he then goes on to sing of Norse mythology as if it were real for the rest of the album. Christ, I could stay up all night listing explicitly atheist songs in metal.

    If the tone of this post, btw, is bitchy, forgive me. It’s just that I’ve been listening to metal for almost twenty years, so I get irked if someone tells me I’m wrong about something on that count.

    Btw, Queensryche used to be my fave band, which I imagine you know and enjoy if you love Dream Theatre.

  91. Maldoror says

    As it’s been said already, metal is full of antireligious sentiment, but you’d have to be careful what you label “atheist”. Some bands are truly atheist/agnostic and have lyrics reflecting that, while others believe in silly things like Satanism or Paganism. Still others, use satanic or pagan imagery simply to insult religion, but do not practice such things themselves.

    Some of my favorite blasphemous/antireligious lyrics are by Lord Worm (Dan Greening) former vocalist of Cryptopsy (back when they were an amazing death metal band and not the sorry shell they are now):

    “Swine of the Cross”

    Man-made doom bled death from the sky;
    to all but a few, salvation was denied
    Heavenly father, son and holy ghost,
    save your servants (those of us who aren’t toast)

    The not-yet-dead discovered that to be
    a nuclear family means a whole new thing;
    All-too-trusting shambling pseudomorphs
    put their trust in a man of the cloth

    Make them hate you, rotting cleric…
    Remember, you are pus of my loins, you are pus

    Give voice to your left side, let me in:
    I’ve sown the seeds of your redemption;
    In subhumanicide, I am your guide:
    seventy-seven times make them die

    The sun is shining on a brand new day
    Blackened corpses smolder where they were slain;
    Self-flagellation prompts him to confess:
    Bless me father, for I made this mess

    Immolation meant to purify sin wracked souls
    Let diseased bodies die; survivors twice lost:
    Betrayed in fire, by the Swine of the Cross

    “Mutant Christ”

    Abominated, tiny god of mine
    Overseeing my rest, my lust, my life

    Torched in hatred
    Loved in Horror sublime
    Almost formless
    Darkened, and yet you shine

    You made me in your image
    I deformed yours into mine
    Now we’re even, O loving god
    Equals in my melting eyes

    Mutant christ, loving christ
    Know me with thine naked eyes
    Holy christ, one tenth the size
    So unlike the other christs

    God-made man (with)
    man-made god to adore
    My faith has been restored

    Gaze upon me
    Bless me, lord, or die
    I’ll find another little lord to fry

    You baked me in this image
    so I burned yours into mine
    Eye for eye and tooth for tooth
    I love you now, O twisted christ

    Mutant Christ

  92. Gûm-ishi Ashi Gurum says

    1349 – Singer of Strange Songs

    I told you about the world
    Of how the stuggle for order and peace
    and self-important hypocrisy fails
    in the face of reality
    And how there is no grand scheme
    No rest for the living..only death

    Chaos and the cold endless void
    Is all that awaits..
    We are all forgotten
    We are all dust
    We are all unimportant
    We are all dead
    No rest for the living..only death

    You thought me mad
    You wanted me to be like you,
    To see the error of my ways..
    So you told me things I knew were wrong
    You showed me why I would never fit in

    Why then, does what I have become surprise you?

    Singer of strange songs

    I went my own twisted way
    Mocked by the world
    Feared by the righteous
    But always where I wanted..

    Now that all has changed,
    And the night is colder

    Now that life has shown its true colors

    And you..
    You are forgotten
    You are old
    You are unimportant
    You are dead

    Can you face the real truth?
    Can you call me a madman anymore?

    Do you regret your selfless life?
    The things you could never do,
    In fear of what others would think?

    Do you see why I became a:
    Singer of strange songs.

  93. Luis Frettlohr says

    Well the problem here is that the majority of kids making these punk, metal, whatever songs are not really atheist. There´s a difference between being atheist and just hating god for what ther perceive to be a ***** life, and thus denying him/her. If you hate something you aknowledge its existance right?

  94. Laser says

    A look at the indie scene turns up plenty of current anti-religious music.

    of Montreal’s “Gronlandic Edit” is an agnostic song, if not outwardly atheist, with lyrics like “I guess it would be nice / to give my heart to a god / but which one, which one do I choose?” and “The church is filled with losers / psycho or confused / I just want to hold the divine in mind / and forget.”

    Wilco likewise delivers with “Theologians,” who they contend “don’t know nothing / about my soul.”

  95. Gûm-ishi Ashi Gurum says


    You know not of what you speak.

    First off, metal is a very old genre, formed in 1969 with Black Sabbath. Since then it has flourished into many many subgenres, and a lot of it is interesting, intellectual, groundbreaking, deadly serious, philosophically sophisticated, and DONE BY OLD(ER) PEOPLE!

    Yes, some of it is just fun, and some of it is just evil for evil’s sake, nothing more. But are you going to tell me that this is the work of a child whose expressions are but angst:

    Chant For Eschaton

    Fly, fly high my Black Eagle
    Let golden thread bind our eyes
    May our minds and hearts’ blood unite
    On your wings carry me over the abyss
    Beyond The Reason and across the burning seas
    Then, with your claw tear the earth to the halves
    And usher me into the secrets of her bowels
    Down to the light of the beginning and the end which shimmers
    Circle! Round and round my Black Eagle
    Let our senses be touched by ultimate pleasure
    May the passion of hunting become all-devouring
    Slash! Slash with your beak
    Remove all gods from my way, and thoughts, and sorrows
    And let me trespass the barriers of fear
    Scream! Let the whole cosmos tremble
    May echoes become my sweetest mantra
    Spirit of Freedom! Eternal Wanderer! Joyful Solitude!
    Higher and higher towards the stars of Awareness
    Let worlds of imagination and fact become one
    I’m you and you are me

  96. says

    118, At the risk of being every bit as facile and empty as the point you appeared to think was so profound, I’ll call bullshit. One can hate the bullshit spewed in support of any notion of god, an entirely empty set, without having to admit any such belief to the bought-off judges who’ll claim that you’ve tacitly smuggled in a god belief. If you’re willing to work that hard to feel smug in your theism, well, whatever gets you through the night.

  97. says

    Neil Peart’s lyrics (Rush) definitely influenced me towards questioning religion and the issue of a supreme being during my formative adolescence. 30 years later, they still have relevance for me. Here’s another good one:

    Witch Hunt

    The night is black, without a moon.
    The air is thick and still.
    The vigilantes gather on
    The lonely torchlit hill.

    Features distorted in the flickering light,
    Faces are twisted and grotesque.
    Silent and stern in the sweltering night,
    The mob moves like demons possesed.
    Quiet in conscience, calm in their right,
    Confident their ways are best.

    The righteous rise
    With burning eyes
    Of hatred and ill-will.
    Madmen fed on fear and lies
    To beat and burn and kill.

    They say there are strangers who threaten us,
    Our immigrants and infidels.
    They say there is strangeness to danger us
    In our theatres and bookstore shelves,
    That those who know whats best for us
    Must rise and save us from ourselves.

    Quick to judge,
    Quick to anger,
    Slow to understand
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand.


  98. Ego, Egoing, Egone says

    They Might be Giants seems to have atheist leanings especially in the songs “Bells Are Ringing” and “The Statue Got Me High.”
    The whole idea of an “Atheist Rock” category would play to into the hands of those who claim atheism is a religion, so in my mind not a good idea.

  99. Maldoror says

    Let’s not be silly. In the context of art, insulting religious ideas as though they were real does not mean the artist acknowledges its existence. There’s a long tradition of literature and poetry with anti-theistic sentiment. Most authors are very aware of the irony of cursing a being one doesn’t believe to exist. We are talking about poetry and lyrics here, many of them satirical or metaphorical, not reality-grounded treatises.

  100. unicow says

    “Atheist Rock” strikes me as a totally unnecessary label. The only reason “Christian Music” is marketed as such is because it sucks so badly that they need religion to sell it. Once any Christian band hits it big they do their best to distance themselves from the “Christian Music” label.

    Anyway, there’s plenty of atheistic/anti-religious songs out there, but it’s (thankfully) rare for a band to sing about just one topic like the Jesus freaks do.

    That being said, D.O.A. did have an album called Festival of Atheists. And the Crucifucks were obviously anti-religion. Sentiments like that are all over the place in punk and metal and various smaller genres, just not so much in popular music.

    Chumbawamba did have “We Don’t Go To God’s House Anymore” and they were popular briefly, but that popularity was clearly based on one catchy song and not their political message. Unfortunately.

  101. Mikael says

    The band Crossbearer is an atheist hardcore band. The lead singer/screamer is actually none other than Richard Spencer.

  102. C Diddy says

    Senses Fail is a great anti-Christianity/Atheist band. Listen to The Rapture, Can’t Be Saved, and The Priest and the Matador.

  103. Gûm-ishi Ashi Gurum says

    Exactly. It’s called METAPHOR!!!! Many bands, Behemoth is a prime example, cycle through countless deities of countless pantheons, including the demi-god Satan of the Abrahamic pantheon, to stand in poetic juxtaposition to the qualities and mores of the Abrahamic deity and its perverse religions.

    Sometimes the Satanic and the pagan and the black is a meditation on other aspects of life, for metal does explore the darker side of things. Sometimes it is but fantastical, but an aesthetic exploration of the concept of pure evil.

    Metal’s trappings and symbols serve many purposes and plumb different depths. There are so so so many different metal subgenres, so many different approaches to the music, it is just supreme foolishness to cast it all aside as so much juvenile noise.

    More Behemoth:

    The Sermon to the Hypocrites

    O, ye whose future is in other hands!
    Foul feeders! Slipped, are ye on your excrement?
    Parasites! Having the world lousy,
    Imagine ye are of significance to Heaven
    I, who enjoy my body
    I would rather pack with wolves
    Than enter your pest-houses

    Sensation… Nutrition… Mastication… Procreation…!
    This is your blind-worm cycle
    Know ye of nothing further than your own stench?
    Heaven is indifferent to your salvation or catastrophe

    The sword – trust – not salve – I bring!

    Honest was Sodom!
    Your theology is a slime – pit of gibberish become ethics
    In your world, where ignorance and deceit constitute felicity
    Everything ends miserably –
    – besmirched with fratricidal blood.

  104. Ben says

    Ok, ok, so I obviously entered “Rudh” or “Ruah” in my Firefox text search, or something, since Rush has been mentioned a bunch of times…

  105. Pope Guilty says

    Pretty much all hardcore punk is anti-religious; one standout in particular is Aus-Rotten.

    Here’s the lyrics to “The Promise Keepers”:

    “Honey, I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’ve given you my role, I gave up leading this family, and forced you to take my place. Now I must reclaim my role. I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. You must submit for the survival of our family and our culture. Remember, God wants you to.”

    Surrender to your rightful keepers do it for our Lord
    A life of holy servitude is women’s just reward
    Have faith in all of our promises surrender yourselves to men
    And when you get to heaven, you’ll be a servent once again
    The promise keepers are on a mission, the conversion of a nation
    But only by total submission will women find salvation
    They justify spiritual slavery by claiming it’s God’s will
    They’re trying to insure oppression through legislative bills

    Dave Wardell wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    Bill McCartney want you to do it-surrender-submit
    Jesus Christ wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    God wants you to do it-surrender-submit

    We’re second only to God when it comes to absolute authority
    It’s your duty as God fearing christians to help cleanse society
    Submit all aspects of your life for us to review
    When it’s family, business or sexuality we’ll tell you what to do
    Souls are held for ransom by The Religious Right
    Securing what they believe to be the politics of christ
    They instill the fear of God by threatening the masses
    So their homophobic, anti-woman lobby platform passes

    Tony Brown wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    Steve Chavis wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    Jesus Christ wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    God wants you to do it-surrender-submit

    “Never have 300,000 men come together throughout history,
    except for the purpose of war” We’ll start with homosexuality
    Then it’s women, abortion, sinners and secularism
    All are subject to our political and spiritual exorcisms
    Stealing away human rights while worshipers applaud
    All because they’re threatened by the tyranny of God
    The only promises these bigoted men will keep
    Is the exploitation of a nation of mere sheep

    Pat Robertson wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    James Kennedy wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    Bill Bright wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    James Dobson wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    Jim Berlucci wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    James Ryle wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    Jesus Christ wants you to do it-surrender-submit
    And your God wants you to do it-surrender-submit

    As timely as ever, even if the names have shifted.

  106. Maldoror says

    Morbid Angel – “Blasphemy”

    I am the god of gods
    Master of the art
    I desecrate the chaste
    Writhe in the flesh


    Chant the blasphemy
    Mockery of the messiah
    We curse the holy ghost
    Enslaver of the weak
    God of lies and greed
    God of hypocrisy
    We laugh at your bastard child
    No god shall come before me

    Blaspheme the ghost [X3]
    Blasphemy of the holy ghost

    [Solo: Brunelle]

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law
    Rebel against the church
    Drink from the chalice of blasphemy
    Rise up against the enslaver


    [Repeat 2nd verse and chorus]

    [Solo: Azagthoth]

    [Repeat 2nd chorus]


  107. Gordy says

    Personally I prefer unicorn jazz and tooth fairy techno.

    Seriously, think about how most people react to Christian rock. Do you really want to invite the same reaction to atheist genres? The whole idea is cringeworthy, imho.

  108. crunchyjell0 says

    Seems a bit trivial. Besides, music is non-religious by default until you put religious lyrics or hymns into it. Which is ironic I suppose, considering Western Music theory as we know it today was created by composers writing for church. Professional composers did not write secular music until the baroque era I believe and even then it was considered taboo.

  109. James F says

    Not atheist rock per se, but an interesting take on religion from “Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)” by The The:

    But if you think that Jesus Christ is coming
    Honey you’ve got another thing coming
    If he ever finds out who’s hijacked his name
    He’ll cut out his heart and turn in his grave

    Islam is rising
    The Christians mobilizing
    The world is on its elbows and knees
    It’s forgotten the message and worships the creeds

    If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He’d be gunned down cold by the CIA
    Oh, the lights that now burn brightest behind stained glass
    Will cast the darkest shadows upon the human heart
    But God didn’t build himself that throne
    God doesn’t live in Israel or Rome
    God doesn’t belong to the Yankee dollar
    God doesn’t plant the bombs for Hezbollah
    God doesn’t even go to church
    And God won’t send us down to Allah to burn
    God will remind us what we already know
    That the human race is about to reap what it’s sown

  110. Pattanowski says

    Since I really like Tori Amos, P.J. Harvey, Nick Cave, The Vines, Joni Mitchell, and Jethro Tull…I would suppose they all must be something akin to atheistic

  111. Palm Sprangs says

    Crash Test Dummies? They never seem to get included in these threads, perhaps because their lyics are a bit less strident than Zappa or Rush.

    “God Shuffled His Feet”

    After seven days
    He was quite tired so God said:
    “Let there be a day
    Just for picnics, with wine and bread”
    He gathered up some people he had made
    Created blankets and laid back in the shade

    The people sipped their wine
    And what with God there, they asked him questions
    Like: do you have to eat
    Or get your hair cut in heaven?
    And if your eye got poked out in this life
    Would it be waiting up in heaven with your wife?

    God shuffled his feet and glanced around at them;
    The people cleared their throats and stared right back at him

    So he said:”Once there was a boy
    Who woke up with blue hair
    To him it was a joy
    Until he ran out into the warm air
    He thought of how his friends would come to see;
    And would they laugh, or had he got some strange disease?

    God shuffled his feet and glanced around at them;
    The people cleared their throats and stared right back at him

    The people sat waiting
    Out on their blankets in the garden
    But God said nothing
    So someone asked him: “I beg your pardon:
    I’m not quite clear about what you just spoke
    Was that a parable, or a very subtle joke?”

    God shuffled his feet and glanced around at them;
    The people cleared their throats and stared right back at him

    “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”

    Once there was this kid who
    Got into an accident and couldn’t come to school
    But when he finally came back
    His hair had turned from black into bright white
    He said that it was from when
    The car had smashed so hard

    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

    Once there was this girl who
    Wouldn’t go and change with the girls in the change room
    But when they finally made her
    They saw birthmarks all over her body
    She couldn’t quite explain it
    They’d always just been there

    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

    But both girl and boy were glad
    ‘Cause one kid had it worse than that

    ‘Cause then there was this boy whose
    Parents made him come directly home right after school
    And when they went to their church
    They shook and lurched all over the church floor
    He couldn’t quite explain it
    They’d always just gone there

    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

  112. Sobex says

    Ah, few songs get me riled up like Slayer’s “Cult” from their Christ Illusion album:

    Jesus is pain
    Jesus is gore
    Jesus is the blood
    That’s spilled in war
    He’s everything
    He’s all things dead
    He’s pulling on the trigger
    Pointed at your head!

    Through the fear you’re sold into the fraud
    I see through your Christ illusion!

  113. Palm Sprangs says

    “All This Time”, by Sting

    “All This Time”

    I looked out across
    The river today
    I saw a city in the fog and an old church tower
    Where the seagulls play
    I saw the sad shire horses walking home
    In the sodium light
    I saw two priests on the ferry
    October geese on a cold winter’s night

    And all this time, the river flowed
    Endlessly to the sea

    Two priests came round our house tonight
    One young, one old, to offer prayers for the dying
    To serve the final rite
    One to learn, one to teach
    Which was the cold wind blows
    Fussing and flapping in priestly black
    Like a murder of crows

    And all this time, the river flowed
    Endlessly to the sea
    If I had my way I’d take a boat from the river
    And I’d bury the old man,
    I’d bury him at sea

    Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the earth
    Better to be poor than a fat man in the eye of a needle
    And as these words were spoken I swore I hear
    The old man laughing
    ‘What good is a used up world and how could it be
    Worth having’

    And all this time the river flowed
    Endlessly like a silent tear
    And all this time the river flowed
    Father, if Jesus exists,
    Then how come he never lived here

    The teachers told us, the Romans built this place
    They built a wall and a temple, an edge of the empire
    Garrison town,
    They lived and they died, they prayed to their gods
    But the stone gods did not make a sound
    And their empire crumbled, ’til all that was left
    Were the stones the workmen found

    And all this time the river flowed
    In the falling light of a northern sun
    If I had my way I’d take a boat from the river
    Men go crazy in congregations
    But they only get better
    One by one
    One by one…

  114. CalGeorge says

    Ani “I’m an atheist, for Chrissake!” DiFranco:

    what if no one’s watching

    if my life were a movie
    there would be a sunset
    and the camera would pan away
    but the sky is just a little sister
    tagging along behind the buildings
    trying to imitate their grey
    the little boys are breaking bottles
    against the sidewalk
    the big boys too
    the girls are hanging out at the candy store
    pumping quarters into the phone
    because they don’t want to go home

    i think what
    what if no one’s watching
    what if when we’re dead
    we are just dead
    i mean what
    what if god ain’t looking down
    what if he’s looking up instead

    if my life were a movie
    i would light a cigarette
    and the smoke would curl
    around my face
    everything i do would be interesting
    i’d play the good guy
    in every scene
    but i always feel i have to
    take a stand
    and there’s always someone on hand
    to hate me for standing there
    i always feel i have to open my mouth
    and every time i do
    i offend someone somewhere

    but what
    what if no one’s watching
    what if when we’re dead
    we are just dead
    what if there’s no time to lose
    what if there’s things we gotta do
    things that need to be said

    you know i can’t apologize
    for everything i know
    i mean you don’t have to agree with me
    but once you get me going
    you better just let me go
    we have to be able to criticize
    what we love
    to say what we have to say
    ’cause if you’re not trying
    to make something better
    then as far as i’m concerned
    you are just in the way

    i mean what
    what if no one’s watching
    what if when we’re dead
    we are just dead
    i mean what
    what if it’s just down here
    what if god is just an idea
    someone put in your head

    © 1992 ani difranco / righteous babe music

  115. Josh says

    Good call, Pattan –when people are styling the openly religious Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan as “Atheist Rock,” they’ve clearly reduced the definition to “Musicians I Like.”

  116. Ben says

    I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned GWAR yet! What was it that Oderous Urungus said in an interview? Something about how on his planet, priests are specifically bred for sodomy…

  117. More bands, songs, and albums says

    There’s a band called “The Cosmics”, which is sort of instrumental metal,they have put out an instrumental album called “The Cosmic Year.. which follow the themes of space and time of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Not really atheistic, but it’s in the right direction.

    One of the best “political metal” bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s, “Sacred Reich”, did an atheistic song called “No Believers” that had lyrics like this…

    “What is this lie there is no truth
    There is no God there is no proof
    They say there is a higher being
    He was crucified, torn and bleeding

    The Bible is a lie
    I defy the lying priest
    God doesn’t control my life
    I choose me own destiny
    Religion is for the weak
    Your soul will die forever
    Get up off your knees
    There’s no God in heaven”

    There’s a thrash Metal band called “Atheist” from the 80’s. Not too familiar with them though.

    “Exodus” has a great song called “Shroud of Urine”.

    There’s a band from (i think) Norway called Spiral Archetect that has an album called “A Skeptics Universe”.

    Some good Motorhead songs that are similar themed that weren’t mentioned above.. “I Don’t Believe a Word”, “Don’t Waste Your Time”, and of course, the epic first verse of “Orgasmatron”… check out these crunchy lyrics;

    “I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
    My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
    Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
    Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
    Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
    My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.”

    If there was a god, Lemmy would be it.

  118. says

    Lots of modern punk and hardcore music has strong atheist tendencies/leanings. The clothing company Hexed clothing is a company in the punk/hardcore scene that does atheist/anti-religious clothing ( Any bands associated with them are atheist, but there are more in the scene than just those. Some suggestions from my library, in no significant order, are Remembering Never, xBishopx, Ramallah, Ambitions (more mellow than the rest), Sage Francis (hip-hop), Blacklisted, Trial, Ceremony, 100 Demons, Full Blown Chaos, Good Clean Fun, Life Long Tragedy. The list goes on; it’s definitely out there though.

  119. Anton Mates says

    Stephin Merritt’s “The Dead Only Quickly Decay.”

    It would be swell
    to see some folk burn in hell.
    But when they go
    It’s just as pleasant to know that
    the dead only quickly decay.
    They don’t go around being born and reborn
    and rising and falling like soufflé.
    The dead only quickly decay.

    I believe he used it in the audiobook version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” for obvious reasons.

  120. Louise Van Court says

    @ BA #100. Brian Welch wrote his memoirs, I saw it recently on a table at a Barnes and Noble store. The title is “Save Me From Myself: How I found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story.” Check it out.

  121. Tom Ringstrom says

    The Flaming Lips definitely are an athiest/humanist band. Many songs on “Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots” deal with the subject matter and so do almost all of the songs on “At War with the Mystics.” Check out the lyrics to the songs Do you Realize and All We Have is Now.

  122. Kieran says

    Punk band “Bad Religion” (with a biology professor as vocalist)
    Technical Metal band “Atheist”

    and honourable mentions for Australian troubadour Paul Kelly, whose last album was an assault on religion (led by the single “God Told Me To” about a terrorist), and Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist for the anthem “Let’s Kill God Again”

  123. nicknick bobick says

    Not a favorite by any means, but I do like the sentiment of Robyn Hitchcock’s “Evolve”:

    What you call god/I call evolution
    What you call faith/I call pollution

  124. Jose says

    Well, it’s reggae, and it’s was actually written to be pro Rastafari, but Get up. Stand up makes a damn fine atheist anthem.

  125. says

    Kudos for all those who mentioned Motorhead. One of my favourite bands. here is a nice song from Helloween as well :

    Mrs. God, am I right
    That’s your real address
    This time, it’s you
    Ready to confess
    Free the masculine world
    Cancel their humility

    Mrs God, can it be
    Can you be a light
    One dressed to kill
    Walk on, how you bite
    This will state and explain
    Why men are sometimes stumbling

    Mrs God, are you there
    Laughing at us is not fair
    Mrs God can you see
    All that sh*t You’ve done to me (and us!)

    Mrs. God, may I say
    This wipe out of my kind
    We were so deceived
    You’d better left us blind

    Mrs God, we are cool
    We take it with a smile
    But don’t be cruel
    That’s heavy to defy
    When for some hundred years
    God has always had a beard

    Mrs God, are you there
    Laughing at us is not fair
    Mrs God can you see
    All that sh*t you’ve done to me

  126. says

    Randy Newman’s God’s Song was mentioned above, but the generally nether-part-kickin’ Dana Fuchs Band has a nether-part-kicking awesome version of it, which sadly has disappeared from Youtube.

    Bad Religion’s been mentioned above: Sinister Rouge, the Answer and God’s Love are the three most anti-religious songs I can think of right now.

    And there’s a gifted fellow called Derek Neibarger: Godless America — “I’m so sick of superstitious lies / you criticize science and poison young minds / with your Sunday school brainwash and church of the blind / your close-minded hatred and moron’s design”

    What about Depeche Mode’s Blasphemous Rumors? If not atheist, it at least expresses a sentiment that’s the next most likely alternative: “I dont want to start any blasphemous rumours / But I think that god’s got a sick sense of humor / And when I die I expect to find him laughing”.

  127. James says

    Nobody’s mentioned The Living End’s ‘Raise the Alarm’!

    It opens with the line, “I may not believe in God, doesn’t mean I’m a lesser person.” Need I say more?

    Lyrics here

  128. says

    Don’t know any bands that do all atheist songs but here are a few that mention it.

    Yeah, the guy from Blues Clues, check out his song The Unbeliever. It’s on his MySpace page. The lyrics are:

    I could sit around and watch this shit for hours
    I could lay down and let it rot my brain
    But how can you know? when you don’t like information?
    We’re a shooting star, we are , we are, we are

    And all the magic you think you’ve seen
    It’s not like knowing, it’s not like knowing
    And how can you believe what you’ve seen?
    We could be nothing, we could be no more.
    We’re a shooting star, we are , we are, we are

    A hole cut in your head
    bags packed and waiting
    as the last unbeliever is watching the sky
    We’re a shooting star, we are , we are, we are

    I e-mailed him about this song and he confirmed that the first line was about sitting around watching The 700 Club and the line about shooting stars is a reference to panspermia which he said he thought was a lot more convincing than the idea that we were put here by a magical superhero.

    Also definitely check out the Thermals

    They’ve said in interviews that they’re not anti-religious but are against religion being used in politics. Good enough for me. Check out their songs Here’s Your Future, A Pillar Of Salt and I Might Need You To Kill.

    I also know of one atheist country singer, Robbie Fulks. Here’s his song God Isn’t Real.

    Also the band Everclear does a song called Why I Don’t Believe In God.

  129. Jamie Walton says

    I think this is a bad idea. First;y what would qualify as an atheist rock song? Also, there is such a thing as “christian science” out there so why don’t you start calling what you do “Atheist science”? because science is science and rock is rock.

  130. Thinker says

    I agree with those who think the idea is a bit “off”: most music created by non-believers simply deal with other issues than religion, which of course is the way ot should be when life has so much else to offer.

    However, if there should be a category in which to collect songs that do deal with the problems of religion from a non-believer/skeptical perspective, I’d like to include “The Last Resort” by The Eagles. The last two verses:

    Who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine?
    ‘Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.
    We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
    in the name of destiny and in the name of God.

    And you can see them there on Sunday morning
    stand up and sing about what it’s like up there.
    They called it paradise, I don’t know why.
    You call some place paradise – kiss it goodbye

  131. True Bob says

    I’m more interested in music. Then I have an interest in musicians that happen to be atheist.

    I agree, creating a musical ghetto for atheist performers is a Bad Idea (TM), and will only marginalize them. Stand or fall on your own, without such labels.

  132. Cheezits says

    “Atheist rock” as a genre makes about as much sense as “atheist worldview” or “atheist ethics”. It encourages the notion that, because we have the word “atheism” to label a certain form of religious non-belief, that it is therefore a monolithic “ism” that people subscribe to and “believe in”.

  133. says

    I don’t see any need for a label such as “atheist rock”, since it suggests it’s just the opposite of “christian rock”. Most bands out there who either are atheists or touch upon atheist themes don’t sing about it ALL the time.

    “Blasphemous Rumours” and “John The Revelator” by Depeche Mode are quite caustic anti-christian / anti-organized religion songs, but other lyrics suggest they’re in the “undefined spiritual” camp.

  134. davem says

    There’s two sorts of music – good and bad. Period. Some of my favourite music is religious – Bach, Verdi etc. I can easily reject the message while listening to the sublime music. On the rock side, if I saw a category ‘Atheist music’ I’d tend to avoid it. The label ‘Christian Rock’ says to me the same as bright colouring on a frog says to a predator – nasty, don’t even go there, with a side order of ‘not good enough to stand alone, so we’ll attract the Christians’.

  135. says

    I also have to say Rush, Lennon and Bad Religion. It’s not that they evangelize for Reason. As Penn Jilette says of the US constitution, they recognize no religion excet when they aim to deny it. ;)

    Lyrics to ‘Faithless’

    I’ve got my own moral compass to steer by
    A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky
    And all the preaching voices –
    Empty vessels of dreams so loud
    As they move among the crowd
    Fools and thieves are well disguised
    In the temple and market place

    Like a stone in the river
    Against the floods of spring
    I will quietly resist

    Like the willows in the wind
    Or the cliffs along the ocean
    I will quietly resist

    I don’t have faith in faith
    I don’t believe in beliefs
    You can call me faithless
    You can call me faithless
    But I still cling to hope
    And I believe in love
    And that’s faith enough for me
    That’s faith enough for me

  136. says

    Slightly off-topic, but when I first heard Evanescence (my wife had the album) I listened to the lyrics, and I didn’t think Christian Rock.

    I did think “Bloody Americans”, though.

  137. Ian says

    Don’t request an “atheist rock” genre. Instead, request “a theist rock” genre. It’ll confuse the bejesus out of ’em.

  138. Vidar says

    Is it me, or is the concept of “atheist rock” as retarded as “christian rock”?
    Rock music has traditionally been more about rebellion against authority than anything else. As such, there’s plenty of rock music about “hail satan”, and such. Anti-religious texts come up in a lot of rock music, because religions, and the deities they worship, are the ultimate form of authority.
    It’s no more atheistic than any other form of rebellion against authority figures.

  139. jpf says

    To reiterate my point, the only reason that “Christian rock” etc. (excluding gospel, which is a legitimate category of music with authentic origins) exist as separate categories is so Christian parents can feel that the music so categorized is safe for their kids to listen to without their kids being exposed to unchristian ideas or becoming possessed by Satan (or for the kids who have internalized The Christian Paranoia, so they themselves can feel safe listening to it).

    There is no reason for an “atheist rock” category — except in the trivial sense of listing, as most people above are doing, songs with an atheist theme, but then you might as well have “sex rock”, “drug rock”, and “baby baby baby rock” categories too — since presumably atheist parents and music listeners aren’t so paranoid as to want only ideologically vetted music lest they or their kids hear something disagreeable. And even if they were, I don’t think rock music poses much of a threat to the atheist ideologue, especially when all the Christian rock is ghettoizing itself safely away.

    I’m all for challenging Christian exceptionalism and sense of privilege, but in this case, they can have it.

  140. El Herring says

    Bad idea for a blog post ultimately. Seems a lot of posters just see it as an excuse to post their favourite lyrics.

  141. El Herring says

    Addition to my previous post: All these lyrics posted are anti-religious. They are not atheist. There is not – and cannot be – such a thing as “atheist” music.

    There. The Herring has spoken, and I am in infallible mode.

  142. jpf says


    They used the term “bees knees” in the second decade AD?

    Also, who knew Jesus started a band in his parents’ garage before turning it into a wood shop?

  143. True Bob says

    Actually, El Herring, isn’t all music inherently agnostic? As music, it can have no opinion on any god existence. ;)

  144. jpf says

    To reiterate my reiteration, “Christian rock” etc. are not genres (since, after all, they are mere copies of already existing genres), but can be better understood as a ratings system, similar to how movies are given G, PG, R, etc. In this case, anything with a “Christian” in it is G, while everything else is XXX. So again I fail to see the point in an “atheist rock” genre, unless ideological ratings are the goal.

  145. Vidar says

    @Pete Rook

    Since most, if not all “christian rock” is fucking terrible it seems that christianity has been rather uninspiring as of late.
    If song-titles such as “Awesome God” are an indication, it has really hit rock bottom.

  146. gex says

    Frankly, I’m glad that they have created special sub-genres for Xtian music. It’s a refreshing contrast to other spheres of life where they assert or assume that everything has a Christian basis – morality, the United States, etc.

  147. Benjamin Franklin says

    “My theory is that music is good, it’s the only religion that delivers the goods. And anybody who wants to hear any kind of music is entitled to hear that music because it’s good for you – it makes you feel good. If you like it, go for it. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean anything – it’s a matter of personal taste.”
    Frank Zappa

  148. forksmuggler says

    Frank Zappa–
    Dumb All Over
    Heavenly Bank Account
    Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk
    The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
    (Heck, just about the whole “Broadway the Hardway” album. I’m missing a bunch, I’m sure.)

  149. El Herring says

    True Bob:

    from Wikipedia:

    … the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality — is unknown…

    No, I don’t think that applies. Agnosticism is still am opinion. Music that doesn’t mention religion has no opinion on the matter, so “agnostic” doesn’t really fit.

    I think the word that best describes non-religious music is the one that’s already defined for it: secular.

    So there’s religious, anti-religious (as shown by several suggestions here), or secular. That’s it. Definitely no atheist music. We don’t need any more definitions.

  150. forksmuggler says

    “Remember, there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.”


  151. El Herring says

    Masks of Eris #158: Depeche Mode’s song is absolutely NOT atheist. This proves my point perfectly. Blasphemous Rumours is anti-religious. Nowhere in the song does it say that god doesn’t exist, or even that he may not exist – only that he’s a sadistic bastard. It’s right there in the lyrics you quoted yourself.

  152. Damian says

    Yeah. They should add “non-astrologer rock” and “non-farmer pop” subcategories too. All these christian categories are good “do not listen this” indicators, so it’s better to keep them.

  153. jpf says

    @Pete Rook:

    But it isn’t “religiously inspired music”, it’s secularly inspired religion. Popular Christian music is just aping secular music (again, to keep the little lambs from straying from the fold). “Secularists are playing electric guitars with three chords accompanied by drums, we must do that too, only WITH JESUS!” Like the Simpsons taught us, in Christian rock you just replace all the “baby”s with “Jesus”. Apart from gospel or Gregorian chants (or other obscure and not really popular genres), can you name an original Christian music genre?

  154. heliobates says


    You do know that Verdi was a freethinker, right?

    And “Awesome God”? You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means, Analogy-boy.

  155. True Bob says

    El Herring, I mean the actual music, the sounds. Fine if not agnostic, but no set of sounds is inherently anything wrt human god-belief.

  156. Monti0 says

    One Minute Silence FTW!

    Basically the ENTIRE “Buy Now, Saved Later” album.

    My favourite line from that album (not atheist but unfortunately very true):

    ” ‘One small step’ means McDonalds in space ”

    Recommended listening for all you metalheads: “Holy Man” and “Roof of the World”

  157. El Herring says

    jpf: Bach’s Cantatas are pretty much a genre in their own right, although Bach’s religious convictions are highly questionable. I reckon he was a closet atheist who merely went through the motions to avoid criticism, and the religious music he wrote was purely for financial reasons. I’ll probably get attacked for saying that, but who can really know what went on in the mind of someone who died 250 years ago?

    For a slice of nauseatingly Xian classical music, how about Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius? They don’t come more Xian than that. I love Elgar but I have great difficulty in swallowing that piece. I can take Mahler’s Resurrection symphony though as I believe it has a totally different message which most people tend to miss. I wrote about it on my Myspace blog a while ago.

  158. rtp10 says

    There is a band called Atheist, and Agnostic Front both heavy metal.

    For Prog Rockers: Rush, as well as Framshift whose new CD is Titled God Delusion and whose 1st cd was Unweaving the Rainbow – both directly inspired by Dawkins. Lastly Magellan Being they have no site of thier own.

  159. Facehammer says

    I’d recommend Opeth, not only because they’re by a very long way the best band ever to have walked the Earth, but also because to the sort of people who think metal is the soundtrack of Hell, I imagine an album like Still Life would be the realisation of their every nightmare. It’s an epic tale worthy of Homer in the form of an album, and no matter what you’ve heard before, you will never have heard anything like it.

    While the quality of most music is entirely subjective, Deliverance by Opeth is unquestionably the best album ever. It is darkly beautiful beyond words.

    There is an intruiging history behind the fairly good band Alter Bridge. They all used to be in Creed, a christian rock band so bad that “even Jesus hated them.” After apparently getting pissed off at it, they dropped it like a sack of shit and went to do their own thing. They now have, as far as I can tell, not a hint of christianity to their music. I found them when they played at Download festival this year (unfortunately lumped in on Saturday, when the main stage was otherwise clogged with emo rubbish) – surely one of the least christian events ever.

  160. says

    Frankly, I think soundclick is simply and straight-forwardly discriminating against Atheists. The big tip-off for me being that when I emailed them with the same request as the OP, they gave an entirely different answer which still amounted to “Not gonna happen, ever.”

    I posted a transcript of the conversation here:

  161. says

    I come at this sideways. Instead of a genre of atheistic music, which I connote with rejection/exclusion, I would advocate for a genre of “enlightened or enlightenment music”.

    I’m going to enjoy listening to all of the ideas and links that are in the comments thread.

  162. Azdak says

    I have to agree that overall, the idea of a genre of atheist music of any sort is rather lame. On the other hand, nothing turns me off an artist or group quicker than some sort of quasi-Christian spiritual tendencies, so I tend toward groups that share my views. In high-school, I returned the first Collective Soul CD to the store after one listen through. More recently, I had a similar reaction to The Bravery — which is sad, because some of their bass lines are a blast to play.

    I will agree that Muse is fantastic, though “Thoughts of a Dying Atheist” has always confused me. Are we all that afraid of death?

    To add to the growing list, though: Robert Smith of The Cure is an atheist, and the lyrics tend to reflect that worldview.

    I’m not generally a fan of Rammstein, but their song “Engel” is cute. And while Oomph! is a little ambiguous, due to their tendency to play with rather gothic themes, “Gott ist ein Popstar” is entertaining.

    Also, I’m not sure if Tom Shear of Assemblage 23 is an atheist or not, but his lyrics are among the most intelligent and rational that I’ve heard. Plus he’s astoundingly good at meter.

  163. Azdak says

    Bugger. I didn’t finish my thought. I was going to propose “rational” music as an alternative to “atheist” music — it’s less limiting. Singing about the sorts of things we don’t believe in all the time would get old rather quickly.

  164. Rarus.vir says

    A lot of high profile atheists are trying to make a distinction between atheism, which is not believing in gods (only)- and some theist dogma which believes in unsupportable whatevers. Meanwhile theists are trying their hardest to classify atheism as a religion. So here we come adding fuel to their folly by even discussing atheist genre in music.
    Atheism is nothing more than not believing in God or gods. There isn’t a sub culture here. There isn’t any dogma. There isn’t anything really except a bunch of rationalists, materialist, and scientist using reason to determine their belief system; however that belief system cannot be described as atheist alone, and certainly not primarily. I strongly resist making atheism into more than it is by having an atheist channel(s). Religion poisons everything.

  165. Rory Tate says

    While I think the purpose behind creating an “atheist rock” genre — that of bringing together music that inspires/connects with non-theists, agnostics, and others — is laudable, I would argue that better methods already exist through tags/labels in music software plus the crowdsourcing efforts of sites like (hmm…is there an atheist music group there?), and community forums like this one. I would agree with many of the previous posters: a specific genre would add nothing more than to pigeonhole such music.

    Someone already mentioned Spiral Architect’s “A Sceptic’s Universe” (remember, they’re from Europe, so it’s with a “c”, not a “k” :-), which is a good album, although maybe not that accessible to more mainstream listeners (however, any album with a song titled “Occam’s Razor” deserves at least one listen, and “Spinning” is an all-time favourite of mine). I actually discovered the band Scariot through a band member they shared with Spiral Architect. A couple of songs from the 2007 album “Momentum Shift” by Scariot need to be mentioned here, as they put a lot of non-theistic perspectives to some really good music. The song “Noble Quest” is probably the most accessible to average listeners (i.e. not too heavy, and with a really great chorus), and is luckily the strongest statement as well, with lyrics like “Your kingdom is not what I desire…Why go somewhere against my will…Immortality would give life no sense”. The entire album can be interpreted as discussing a real shift in momentum within society away from a religious basis for every aspect of our lives, and more towards a secular language for expressing important concepts (even ones like “soul” or “spirit”). It also talks about how language can control/influence our thoughts, as evidenced in the opening track: “Redesign Fear”. Very good album, and highly recommended.

    Anyway, that’s a long enough post for a lurker like me; just an encouragement to keep the music recommendations coming…I’ve already got about half a dozen bands/songs to check out…I only wish I had more time to listen to everything recommended here!

  166. Azdak says

    El Herring, that was my initial position, too, but I think a distinction could be made between lyrics that are irreligious and those that demonstrate actual disbelief, though that’s going to be a very blurry line in a lot of cases.

    Take Tool, for example. Maynard’s lyrics are definitely often irreligious, but I’m not sure they necessarily make him an atheist. Reznor’s lyrics, however, seem to indicate to me that he rejects the existence of invisible men in addition to the institutions that follow them. That’s not an endorsement over one band or the other, by the way; it’s just that I get a very different impression of the singers’ beliefs based on what their lyrics. Their positions are in some ways similar, but in others, quite different.

    In any case, I think Rarus.vir hit the nail on the head: we don’t need a “not-collecting-stamps” music genre. But I’d still love to see a “Top 100 Irreverent Songs” list, which, really, is what this thread is becoming…

  167. says

    Didn’t anybody mention the song that got me through high school? I present Patti Smith’s Gloria…

    “Jesus died for somebodies sins, not mine.” My anthem.

    Also a shout-out must be given to the Replacements–can’t hardly wait.

    “Jesus rides besides me, he smokes and he never buys.” What can one say to such charming blasphemy?

    Any my, ta da favorite band Hole though I’m sure those religious among us are relieved that Courtney Love is not on their side

    From Gutless–
    “I don’t miss god, but I sure do miss Santa Claus”

    And, here’s one of my most favorite Flaming Lips songs “Jesus Shooting Heroin” –not a shout out to the religious

    Well, I never really understood religions
    Except it seems a good reason to kill
    Everybody’s got their own conceptions
    And, you know, they always will
    These days are needles under my skin
    Jesus shooting heroin

    If there are priests at your party
    And you’re playing cards that are numbered
    And you got no reason to think it
    Until your chances are uncovered
    Tell me that I got to believe in
    Jesus shooting heroin

    The police in New York City
    Chased a boy right through the park
    In a case of mistaken identities
    They put a bullet through his heart

    I met Mary on the corner with the streetlights
    She asked me if I’d come up to her room
    I told her that I didn’t have no money
    She said she had to leave pretty soon
    I decided that I would go in
    Jesus shooting heroin

  168. says

    “If you pray to the holy ghost when you suck your host”

    Who could forget Public Image Limited (Johnny Rotten’s next band–abbreviated PIL) “Religion?” Those punks weren’t real fond of the, uh, whole religious deal. So, Punk was, at its core, I believe, Anti-religious. OF course. Plus, PIL is great noise. ”

    …. Religion–PIL. ………

    Stained glass windows keep the cold outside
    While the hypocrites hide inside
    With the lies of statues in their minds
    Where the Christian religion made them blind
    Where they hide
    And prey to the God of a bitch spelled backwards is dog
    Not for one race, one creed, one world
    But for money

    Do you pray to the Holy Ghost when you suck your host
    Do you read who’s dead in the Irish Post
    Do you give away the cash you can’t afford
    On bended knees and pray to lord

    Fat pig priest
    Sanctimonious smiles
    He takes the money
    You take the lies
    This is religion and Jesus Christ
    This is religion cheaply priced
    This is bibles full of libel
    This is sin in eternal hymn
    This is what they’ve done
    This is your religion
    The apostles were eleven
    Now there’s a sod in Heaven

    This is religion
    There’s a liar on the altar
    The sermon never falter
    This is religion
    Your religion

  169. says

    One more (with slightly less grammar errors, perhaps, if those pencils I sacrificed to the grammar gods will do any good–they never do. Think they’d prefer, uh, copies of “Elements of Style?”)

    Replacements (again)

    We’ll inherit the earth”

    “We’ll inherit the earth but we don’t want it
    It’s been ours since birth, what’cha doin’ on it?
    We’ll inherit the earth but we don’t want it
    Layin’ claim at birth, what’cha doin’ on it?”

    This song showed up in the sorta-christian movie “Saved” as the song sung by the supposedly Christian rock band at the Christian prom. Awesome. Just Awesome.

  170. says

    Have you noticed the undertone of homoeroticism running through some Xtian rock? My boyfriend and I were camping in the wilds of Utah when, wafting over the breeze came the most sincere song I have ever heard, sung by a man with a lovely tenor – “Jesus I love you, Jesus, come unto me, come unto me, Jesus, come unto me.” Repeat. Poor thing. Wonder if he was at one of those de-gaying camps where they forbid the boyzz to wear Calvin Klein underwear, or was just, uh, clueless.

  171. Epikt says

    John S. Wilkins:

    What has happened to our young folk – don’t they teach the classics any more?
    Frank Zappa, man!

    Heh. Throughout the Great Cracker Contretemps, I had Zappa’s “Catholic Girls” playing in the background in my head.

  172. 2-D Man says

    Streetlight Manifesto’s album “Somewhere in the Between” carries a pretty strong secular humanist theme.

    The title track’s chorus goes:
    “One day you were born,
    And that was a good day.
    Someday you’ll die,
    And that is a shame.
    But somewhere in the between,
    Was a life of which we all dream,
    And nothing and no one will ever take that away.”

    I also liked “Down Down Down to Mephisto’s Cafe”. If I remember it correctly, it goes something like this:
    “Were you there when the phrophecies began?
    Do think they really had a master plan?
    Or were they merely writing fable stories?

    I don’t know but it has occurred to me,
    The threatened punishment for non-belief
    Is only real if they could just convince me.

    We’re going down, down, down to Mephisto’s cafe
    Down, down, down to Mephisto’s cafe.
    The gears will spin and the sinners sin,
    But at least we’ll give them hell.
    And the righteous few will spit on you
    So bid them all farewell.
    We’re going down, down, down to Mephisto’s cafe
    We’re going down (Right?…Right!)”

    If you’re into really uptempo ska, I suggest you check them out.

  173. Rarus.vir says

    I’ve always been partial to Chicago’s Searching as a skeptic’s anthem. I’d link the vid but I’m at work.

  174. Andy says

    I think the category you’re looking for already exists…

    …It’s called rock. :)

    That’s why there is a christian rock section to begin with, they wanted to break away from the good stuff to sing about nothing other than their version of God.

  175. Rarus.vir says

    Us old guys can remember the 60’s when rock was coming into it’s own. It was regarded as music of the devil. So yeah Andy, Rock is the percect name. Rock and roll refers to illicit sex, which I believe is uniformly condemed in most religions, at least openly.

  176. says

    Azdak #207:

    But I’d still love to see a “Top 100 Irreverent Songs” list

    Me too. I love making compilations of songs with similar themes.
    I made an anti-religion one years ago but it obviously needs updating.

    One good obscure one is “God Song” by Robert Wyatt (who actually looks like god nowadays).

  177. Julie Stahlhut says

    There’s always “Nothing” by Depeche Mode, although that one’s maybe more nihilist than atheist. Great beat, though!

  178. Kristian Z says

    There’s the influencial jazz-death-metal band called Atheist.

    According to Wikipedia: Their second album, Unquestionable Presence, released in 1991, has been regarded by some critics as one of the most influential technical death metal albums of all time.

    As with most death metal, the lyrics are kind of hard to hear. But their original name for the band, R.A.V.A.G.E. (Raging Atheists Vowing A Gory End), leave little doubt about where they stand.

    This would fit better in an “Atheist Metal” genre. There’s enough anti-Christian black metal bands to fill such a genre, though I’m not sure anyone else would want to be assosiated with them.

  179. Azdak says

    @SC, #220:

    Silly of them, really. If they’d cancelled the concert on artistic grounds (i.e.: she’s terrible), I don’t think many (over the age of 12) would have questioned it.

    Canada: we gave you Avril and Celine. And we’re very sorry.™

  180. Facehammer says

    One thing I can’t believe I didn’t mention: Pantera – Fucking Hostile.

    “Almost every day
    I see the same face
    On broken picture tube
    It fits the attitude
    If you could see yourself
    You put you on a shelf
    Your verbal masturbate
    Promise to nauseate
    Today I’ll play the part of non-parent
    Not make a hundred rules
    For you to know about yourself
    Not lie and make you believe
    Whats evil is making love
    And making friends
    And meeting God youre own way
    The right way

    (chorus) to see
    To bleed
    Cannot be taught
    In turn
    Youre making us
    Fucking hostile

    We stand alone

    The truth in right and wrong
    The boundaries of the law
    You seem to miss the point
    Arresting for a joint?
    You seem to wonder why
    Hundreds of people die
    Youre writing tickets man
    My mom got jumped — they ran!
    Now Ill play a public servant
    To serve and protect
    By the law and the state
    Id bust the punks
    That rape steal and murder
    And leave you be
    If you crossed me
    Id shake your hand like a man
    Not a god


    Come meet your maker, boy
    Some things you cant enjoy
    Because of heaven/hell
    A fucking wives tale
    They put it in your head
    Then put you in your bed
    Hes watching say your prayers
    Cause God is everywhere
    Now Ill play a man learning priesthood
    Whos about to take the ultimate test in life
    Id question things because I am human
    And call no one my father whos no closer that a stranger

    I wont listen


  181. Ira Wyatt says

    I don’t know if they’re actually atheists or not but Epica definitely has some anti-religious themes – particularly on the album The Divine Conspiracy. “Fools of Damnation” in particular comes to mind.

  182. False Prophet says


    You’re right, I don’t listen to much black and death metal except for the really melodic or symphonic stuff like In Flames or Chthonic (or Lux Occulta, if you can even associate them with that scene). Not to slag on your taste at all: I acknowledge most metal is definitely anti-religion, I just take issue with the 99% figure and the notion that anti-religion automatically = atheist. I’ll forgive the bitchiness if you forgive my know-it-all tone.

    And yes, big Queensryche fan here. Saw them and Dream Theater (with Fates Warning) on one tour; DT and the ‘ryche covered The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” jointly for the encore.

  183. Bob says

    Grand Magus is atheistic. As is Falconer, XTC, Avantasia, and arguably Sabaton and TMBG.

  184. Don Smith, FCD says

    Atheist Rock? I don’t even like the term atheist – it gives too much credence to the idea of a god. I prefer areligious. Now there is something real to be without. Then when you say Areligious Rock, you can see how it is not a category.

  185. katie says

    I Just Want You by Ozzy….

    There are no unbeatable odds
    There are no believable gods
    There are no unnameable names
    Shall I say it again, yeah


  186. malendras says

    Frameshift, as mentioned twice above. He did a concept album on Dawkins’ “Unweaving the rainbow” and his new album is based on and titled (with permission from Dawkins) “The God Delusion.” It’s prog rock/metal, and he’s had James LaBrie from Dream Theater and Sebastian Bach on his past 2 records.

    Even better though, is the next album which will have Magali Luyten (Viris IV, Ayreon) and… DAN SWANO on vocals! Dan’s been in Star One, Nightingale, Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath, Katatonia, Second Sky, Unicorn, and has either been involved with or engineered/produced the records of half the Swedish metal scene. I am a HUGE fan of his work, if you couldn’t tell…

  187. Hap says

    Good music stands on its own, while bad music needs people to have some other reason to like it. Good music can be strident in its message, but if it isn’t good music, then the stridency could have been better expressed in some other way (a book, poster, art, etc.). Lots of good music that was Christian is remembered because it was good, not because it’s Christian. (That status might be questionable for some as well, because in some cases the institutions didn’t allow music or wouldn’t pay for it to be made if it wasn’t Christian, so people who might have written music inspired by secular ideas took what they could from Christianity and fit it to those ideas instead, rather than being truly inspired by them.)

    Christian rock sucks in lots of cases not because it’s Christian (though it may not be liked for that as well), but because it isn’t very good music and is terminally linked to its message. In most cases it’s also a pale imitation of the music it wants to be (a replacement for rock for people who require external support for their faith). It seems like a genre of “Atheist Rock” would repeat that mistake – if you require music who’s sole purpose (since it likely isn’t very good music, or you’d listen to it on that basis) is to support your ideas and to block out competing ideas, your ideas can’t be all that strong to begin with.

  188. says

    Curve’s “Die Like a Dog” is at the very least anti-religion, “Peace in a world free from religion”

    The Sugarcubes’ “Deus” is flatly atheist, “Deus does not exist” is repeated often.

  189. Anonymous Agnostic says

    I feel their recent response makes a lot more sense:

    — Original Message —
    From: SoundClick Support
    Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4:12 AM
    Subject: Re: Antheist category


    We do not feel there is a need for an Atheist genre, as for one, any non-religious rock would be considered simply “Rock.” The only reason for Christian Rock is for the fact that it is primarily focused towards members of the Christian religion, and contains lyrical content that is cleaner and more suitable for Christians (which is not typical of Rock). This is not discrimination on our part, but a general consesus as far as the music industry and musicians are concerned. I also personally feel that it would pigeonhole Atheist artists into a categorization not necessary for their music and beliefs. Sorry, but we have no plans on adding this genre now, or in the future.

    Best Regards,
    Ally Byrd
    SoundClick Staff

    — Original Message —
    From: CAROLYN
    To: SoundClick Support
    Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:01 AM
    Subject: Antheist category

    Hi, i love your site but would love to see you include a category for atheist rock for example including George Hrab and Greydon Square. Just a suggestion.

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  190. AC says

    I use Pandora for most of my music listening (at work, usually), and wish that in designing stations I could eliminate (with one click) the christian music that pops up. I can individually ban songs or artists, but can’t do anything with the tags describing music. And you have no idea how long it took to ban all Hannah Montana and friends from my symphonic metal station…

  191. Andrew says

    “Hymn 43” from Jethro Tull is pretty anti-religious, although I understand Ian Anderson has some weird spiritualist beliefs. Cool music, though.

  192. says

    Arcade Fire – Intervention.

    Been working for the church
    While your life falls apart
    Singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart
    Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home
    Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone”
    Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone”

  193. says

    Is there a “Nerd Rock” category? To me, at least, that means smart music. Anything that specifically talked about how religion is bollux would qualify.

  194. gwf says

    Possessed with more fury than he had ever known,
    the Lord screamed throughout the heavens
    and commanded all to kneel and atone.
    Standing in sheer defiance, the destroyer of the human race
    stared down the world’s creator and shoved his fist in his face.
    “All my life I have served, so many gods so many wars,
    but though I am food for the gods you will choke on my corpse!”

    Enraged, and seething with righteous indignation,
    the Lord raised up his hands and laid waste to all creation.

    Alone in darkness God vowed to begin again,
    but found to his growing horror that his strength was at its end.

    Welcome my friend to the only peace you’ll ever know.
    You know me by many names, Time, Death, Entropy, Kali.
    When we were born long ago I was weak and you were strong,
    but now the tables are turned and shall be forevermore.

    “Blasphemy! I am God. The one who can never die.”
    But the more he bellowed and blustered the weaker became his cries.

    Deny me. I care not of what you do.
    Life is yours to do as you will, but alas you’ve spent it in fear.
    All that fighting for what you believed, tell me, did you win or lose?
    It makes no difference now. To me you’re all the same.

    Take my hand, walk with me,
    through the place we’ll forever be.
    In my arms rest peacefully.
    Breath your last breath into me.

    Cold and dark infinity.

    — Fireaxe

  195. Carolyn says

    I also sent sound click a request and this is the response i received:


    We do not feel there is a need for an Atheist genre, as for one, any non-religious rock would be considered simply “Rock.” The only reason for Christian Rock is for the fact that it is primarily focused towards members of the Christian religion, and contains lyrical content that is cleaner and more suitable for Christians (which is not typical of Rock). This is not discrimination on our part, but a general consesus as far as the music industry and musicians are concerned. I also personally feel that it would pigeonhole Atheist artists into a categorization not necessary for their music and beliefs. Sorry, but we have no plans on adding this genre now, or in the future.

    Best Regards,
    Ally Byrd
    SoundClick Staff

  196. Mr Mojo Risin' says

    “Cancel my subscription to the resurrection …”

    – Jim Morrison again, a great line from When the Music’s Over (Doors 1967).

    Hall of Fame nominee: Zappa … nice to see so many mentions.

    But for sheer achievement in putting an atheist meme into popular culture, you’ve got to hand it to John Lennon’s Imagine.

    Common theme: “Those whom the gods love, die young”.

  197. davot says

    Hi all, hey, I scanned sorta quick, BUT I didn’t see mega conglomerate of monster rock “METALLICA” anywhere…?
    James Hetfield [I beleive] had several great songs bashing believers and gods alike…inspired by his real life dramas of mothers dying with cancer, fathers who abandon their children , deaths etc.
    I find it interesting that that Soundclicks’ Ally Beard is so certain of her assumption that an “Atheist” rock genre’ would be so upsetting and also that she has “spoken” for musicians and artists everywhere! wow, maybe god told her….such an ignorant twit, shoving her opinion upon so many fantastic writers and makers of great music.

  198. says

    Granted, hardcore and punk isn’t on everyone’s radar, but there are an astounding number of atheist and anti-religion musicians in these fields

    off the top of my head:
    trash talk
    rise and fall
    pulling teeth
    living hell
    fucked up
    all out war
    backstabbers inc
    the hope consipracy
    die young tx
    these arms are snakes
    this is hell

  199. C Rob says

    Senses Fail

    “…We’re destined to all die alone
    I buried my cross with a rose
    I won’t kneel at your alter now that I know
    It’s a table for a magic show

    I’m getting up from off my knees
    the guilt is gone and I can finally breathe
    But there is not a plan for me
    You’re making my tired ears bleed…”

    “…A priest is rushing
    To my side
    Begins to read me
    My last rites
    Father you’re too late
    My faith is weak
    So won’t you save your
    half-hearted speech

    I’m the arrow,
    Shot straight to hell
    From the bow of William Tell
    My body lies
    Kissing the ground
    Like a cross turned upside down

    A man bends down and says, “Son
    we’re gonna get through this one
    take my hand and let us pray.”
    I scream, “Please get the fuck away.”…”