Controversial Christian metal band to play Visalia church

Bloodgood took its unique blend of music and message to the masses despite death threats from religious extremists and protests from the music industry


VISALIA – It’s hard to be controversial in the world of heavy metal music. Suicide, war, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and self-mutilation have long been a part of the lyrical outline of the genre. And if you want to get between rock and a hard place, try being a Christian metal band. 

When Bloodgood released their debut album in 1986 it was as part of an evangelical movement to bring Christian music to new audiences. Led by frontman Les Carlson and namesake bassist Michael Bloodgood, the band’s albums reached millions of fans in part from the notoriety of being hated by both the mainstream music industry and the evangelical extremists. The music industry found their blatant use of faith-based lyrics unfitting with heavy metal. Religious extremists believed their music was the work of the devil. The band—which also includes guitarists Paul Jackson and Oz Fox as well as drummer Kevin Whisler—was confronted by death threats, picketers and protests throughout their career.

It was a great way to bring music and message together, indirectly.

Bloodgood has been a vital stepping stone and driving force in the maturing process of Christian Metal since their 1986 debut release. Platinum-selling sophomore record “Detonation” strengthened the band’s signature style of theatrics, power & emotion—staples that would solidify their place in Christian rock music history. Bloodgood’s music has been released all over the world, spanning six studio albums and seven official live releases in their discography. In 2010, Bloodgood was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame for their influential contributions to the music industry thus far. Their most recent studio record, “Dangerously Close,” was released in 2013 and was their first in 22 years. 

The 30-year saga of Bloodgood was captured in the 2017 critically acclaimed documentary “Trenches of Rock.” Produced by Bloodygood Pictures, the film features exclusive interviews, music and photos, and all of the controversy surrounding the band. The film marks the directorial debut of filmmaker Paul Michael Bloodgood. It was executive produced by Oscar and Grammy winner James Moll (Foo Fighters: Back and Forth). It won Best Picture at the Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Awards and Festival.

The documentary and its subject will be on display during a showing and concert at Radiant Church in Visalia on Saturday, March 30. The 80-minute documentary will begin at 5 p.m. followed by a concert by Bloodgood beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $7 to $30 and can be purchased at or at the church, located at 515 E. Center Ave. in Visalia. For more information on the band visit 

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