Defying Death brings positivity and light to the heavy metal genre

In the dregs of quarantine, people faced unprecedented loneliness and dreariness and tried many new activities to keep themselves entertained. 

One group of friends decided to create a musical ministry to battle the boredom. Attending the same church and having the same passion, these four artists brought together their unique talents and founded a heavy metal band: Defying Death.

The band noticed that most music falls into a few categories, many of which focus on drugs, alcohol and other secular ideas. Heavy metal in particular is filled with bashing religion, hateful messages and negativity. 

The artists of Defying Death include Chase Whitehurst (vocals), Daniel Huber (guitarist), Ben Kennedy (bassist) and Benton Maldonado (drummer). One of the members, Ben Kennedy, is a student at Liberty University.

They wanted to do something about the need for positivity they saw instead of just lamenting it. They decided to create their band to be an outlet to the people who liked the heavy metal genre of music but needed a more positive influence in their life.

“We want to be known for spreading positivity and love, but still going harder than anyone else on stage,” Kennedy said.

While these musicians have received some pushback, mostly about being a Christian metal group, they do not make their music to please. They seek to provide a platform to enjoy themselves and grow as brothers in Christ as well as to encourage others and minister to listeners.  

Evangelism is a major part of the Christian walk, and the members of Defying Death are using their passion for music to do just that. Through their music, they seek to evangelize to those that like the heavy metal genre but don’t have the exposure to the gospel otherwise. Kennedy explained how the lyrics and the music evangelized on their own, but they also provided the band members an opportunity to speak to those who attended their concerts.

“We hope they can see our difference,” Kennedy said. “We want to create a place of love and accountability.”

“We use our opportunities to evangelize,” Kennedy said. “To encounter (those) at the shows and spread wisdom and a little bit of love, loving everyone.”

The words of the songs hold great meaning as well. Through this platform, the band has been able to share what God has been speaking to them through their own personal devotions and sermons they have heard. They also touch on topics like mental health and its effects, as well as temptations that are hard to talk about in a worship setting.

Although each of the member of the band has their own unique talent and flair, they work together as a cohesive unit when creating their music. One member may start on a few chords of a song, and the other members help finish it. Each piece of music Defying Death creates is a labor of love for the audience.

The band has many hopes for the future. Primarily, they wish to continue to spread positivity and love while still providing entertaining music for their fans. 

Defying Death can be found on Instagram @defyingdeathva or stream their music on Spotify.

Whatley is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion

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