Rushing Wind. (Photo: Contributed)

The influences of secular and sacred music don't necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. They can run parallel to one another, creating a dynamic and churning sea of sound and inspiration that can be traced to both holy creativity and earthly influences. It can be easy to dismiss the validity of Christian (or any faith-based) music by pointing to numerous examples of bland platitudes, but for North Georgia band Rushing Wind, the line between overt proselytizing and reveling in a rock 'n' roll catharsis is an easy one to navigate and explore.

Formed in 1990 in LaFayette—and composed of singer Rich Huff, guitarist Carl McGill, bassist Gina McGill, guitarist Josh Templeton and drummer Robin Chambers—the band quickly established itself as a band familiar with the inner workings of religion but also familiar with the Southern rock and hard rock tendencies of artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC and Deep Purple. It was a church of electric guitars and God, the kind of curious crossover that permeates most mainstream Christian music but usually loses its punch and potency through a gutted rhythmic ideology. However, Rushing Wind is able to keep their rock inclinations intact while also addressing their relationship with the divine.

The band released a self-titled project last year and is looking to head back into the studio in April to focus their attention on new material. After working their way through various clubs and festivals on past tours, they're looking to expand their range and bring their weighty message to all those with an inclination to listen. With guitars that crunch and stomp and drums that rattle and roar, the band proclaims their musical missive with all the veracity that you might expect. And with a lineage that draws back to the classic rock of the '70s, their adrenalized conviction gives them room to explore and share their beliefs in a way that never feels mired in bland sentimentality and isn't afraid to kick up the volume when given the chance.

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.