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Metal Church - 2006 A Light In The Dark



ARTIST: Metal Church
ALBUM: A Light In The Dark
LABEL: Steamhammer/SPV
SERIAL: SPV 99872 CD
YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Ronny Munroe - vocals * Kurdt Vanderhoof - guitars * Jay Reynolds - guitars * Steve Unger - bass * Jeff Plate - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Light In The Dark * 02 Beyond All Reason * 03 Mirror Of Lies * 04 Disappear * 05 The Believer * 06 Temple Of The Sea * 07 Pill For The Kill * 08 Son Of The Son * 09 More Than Your Master * 10 Blinded By Life * 11 Watch The Children Pray 2006 (for David Wayne)

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.metalchurchmusic.com


Background
The old adage 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' applies like Bostik glue, when talking about this latest album by Californian old school metallers Metal Church. Caught between the HM strains of Vicious Rumors, Savatage, Armored Saint and purist thrash bands such as Exodus, Metallica and Megadeth, Metal Church have often been caught in no mans land, without actually cementing a place in either camp. Some twenty years later, the band survive, though with a lineup that is different to their glory-days era. Vanderhoof is still the mainstay, though he is now joined by ex Malice axe-slinger Jay Reynolds, ex Rottweiler vocalist Ronny Munroe and now ex Savatage drummer Jeff Plate. Highly credentialled individuals who ensure the MC legacy continues on, particularly after the untimely death of former singer David Wayne. The band have entertained us with many lineup changes and a few albums to boot, and the word has it that 'A Light In The Dark' is a vastly superior effort than their previous efforts, which I haven't heard as yet.


The Songs
The title track leads off - with brash guitars and an attitude from two decades ago. 'Beyond All Reason' is the bands attempt at modern metal, the staggered arrangement and brutal drum work a reminder that this 2006. The fastest track on the album is 'Mirror Of Lies', though not quite getting to thrash speed (sorry Alun!), whereby the riffs flow easily from 'Disappear', reminding you of a cross between early Judas Priest (a la 'Victim Of Changes') and primetime Savatage. 'The Believer' is an album highlight for me, crunching guitars and a mid-tempo Black Sabbath flavoured bridge that reeks of Iommi's time-honored riffing. The acoustic opening belies the 9 minute epic that is 'Temples Of The Sea', which morphs into a towering slab of hard rock. This will get a few mentions in reviews elsewhere I reckon. As per the title, 'Pill For The Kill' is slightly manic sounding - like Vicious Rumors on heat, while 'Son Of The Son' kicks up the tempo somewhat. Acoustic and electric swapovers occur on 'More Than Your Master', the track being more hard rock than metal. 'Blinded By Life' is definite metal, the galloping riffs chugging away in true eighties fashion. The album closes with a tribute to former singer David Wayne, a 2006 remake of one their earlier best known tracks 'Watch The Children Pray'.


In Summary
For me, a totally enjoyable metal excursion, and a great way to spend an hour trying to shine a light in Metal Church's darkened auditorium. This album really is a clock-winding effort back to the great days of 1985 and 1986. Keep it in context, that this album is a great fit for old school metalheads. For those that can reminder back that far, then this will seem like a timewarp - back to the days of black leather jackets, your fave band tee-shirt, and lots of beer. Congratulations to Metal Church for keeping it basic, and true to the ideals of eighties. I'm glad some things haven't changed.


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Metal Church - 2006 A Light In The Dark
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