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Christian punk seems like the ultimate oxymoron; after all, how could a musical genre with its roots in anti-authority and the counterculture align itself with the rigidity of religion? But the modern wave of punk and emo actually features a large number of bands with spiritual ties -- though there's really no current equivalent of Stryper damning the devil to hell or Creed waving arms wide open. Instead, a good deal of these acts operate the same way bands like U2 have, using spirituality and religion as a lens rather than transforming their music into a worship tool. Sure, you'll still find bands like Relient K, Owl City and The Almost (featuring former Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie, who himself released a straight-up worship album) that openly praise, but the acts that are far more interesting (see: mewithoutYou, Manchester Orchestra, Thrice) use their faith as a way to navigate the very constructs of life, morality and even skepticism and doubt. Even more fun are the heavy bands like Norma Jean and The Devil Wears Prada; we're not entirely sure what these guys are even saying half the time, but you just have to assume some of it is pointed skyward.

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