METAL CHURCH
Traditional heavy metal • United States

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Metal Church was an American heavy metal band from Aberdeen, Washington, USA. They were formed as Shrapnel in 1980 at the San Fransisco Bay Area by band leader guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof. Initially playing an abrasive and fast rendition of the NWOBHM sound, they released a few demos which sounded not too dissimilar to what Metallica will later popularize as thrash metal (Lars Ulrich even played several rehearsals with Metal Church before he formed Metallica, but was never a real member of the band). However, nothing came out except for a few demos (which in hindsight were groundbreaking material at the time).

Kurdt dissolved the band and moved to Washington, where he found a lineup that would record the first few Metal Church albums. Along with the move from the Bay Area, the band's sound also changed to a more melodic, power metal sound, although retaining many thrash elements. Their
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Metal ChurchMetal Church
Elektra / Wea 1990
Audio CD$5.76
$4.50 (used)
The DarkThe Dark
Elektra / Wea / Asylum 1990
Audio CD$5.03
$4.49 (used)
Blessing in DisguiseBlessing in Disguise
Elektra / Wea 1990
Audio CD$7.33
$3.93 (used)
Generation NothingGeneration Nothing
Rat Pak Records 2013
Audio CD$5.41
$5.00 (used)
Human FactorHuman Factor
Import
Ais 2012
Audio CD$7.80
$9.05 (used)
Light in the DarkLight in the Dark
Steamhammer / SPV 2006
Audio CD$4.87
$4.56 (used)
Weight of the WorldWeight of the World
Steamhammer / SPV 2004
Audio CD$5.00
$4.76 (used)
This Present WastelandThis Present Wasteland
Steamhammer / SPV 2008
Audio CD$2.59
$2.57 (used)
Hanging in the BalanceHanging in the Balance
Blackheart/Ils 1998
Audio CD$59.39
$18.20 (used)
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METAL CHURCH Discography

METAL CHURCH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.02 | 16 ratings
Metal Church
Traditional heavy metal 1984
.. Album Cover 4.73 | 24 ratings
The Dark
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.56 | 13 ratings
Blessing in Disguise
Traditional heavy metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.78 | 8 ratings
The Human Factor
Traditional heavy metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.17 | 8 ratings
Hanging in the Balance
Traditional heavy metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.41 | 4 ratings
Masterpeace
Traditional heavy metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.95 | 3 ratings
The Weight of the World
Traditional heavy metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.94 | 5 ratings
A Light in the Dark
Traditional heavy metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.73 | 4 ratings
This Present Wasteland
Traditional heavy metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Generation Nothing
Traditional heavy metal 2013

METAL CHURCH EPs & splits

METAL CHURCH live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live
Traditional heavy metal 1998

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METAL CHURCH Reviews

METAL CHURCH The Human Factor

Album · 1991 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Metal Church's The Human Factor is, by no means, a bad album - it's just an uninspiring one. For the first time in their career, Metal Church seemed to lose the initiative here, releasing an album which goes through the motions without evolving or advancing their sound interestingly and without producing any really standout tracks. Mike Howe's vocal performance, with its occasional slide towards Alice Cooper territory, is interesting enough, but everyone else seems to be snoozing. It's also the first Metal Church album which has lacked a really strong opener - stand the title track up against Fake Healer from the preceding album and the deficiency of this crop of material becomes all too clear.

METAL CHURCH Blessing in Disguise

Album · 1989 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Although to my ears he doesn't quite have quite a far-reaching vocal talent as David Wayne, Mike Howe does a very credible (if somewhat Bruce Dickinson-inspired) job on lead vocals on Metal Church's Blessing In Disguise. Of course, he has the benefit of Metal Church's high-quality thrash-traditional metal mashup. Opening number Fake Healers gets things going with Metal Church's contribution to the subgenre of "80s metal songs taking the piss out of faith healers in revenge for televangelists saying mean things about metal", and it's an excellent example of that genre, whilst other highlights include The Spell Can't Be Broken, which reminds me a little of early Megadeth.

METAL CHURCH This Present Wasteland

Album · 2008 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Metal Church's latest album is a competent effort which is broadly entertaining when it's on form but doesn't quite catch fire in the same way the band's classic albums do. At points here and there the production seems to be a little off - Jeff Plate's drums, for instance, often sound kind of lifeless - and there's points where Ronny Munroe's generic Bruce Dickinson vocals seem a little hoarse and tired. Despite these flaws, traditional heavy metal fans who are particularly keen on Metal Church won't be entirely disappointed with the material on offer, though I don't think it's going to displace the debut or The Dark in anyone's affections any time soon.

METAL CHURCH The Dark

Album · 1986 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
I kind of think of Metal Church's debut album as being traditional heavy metal with a thrash influence, whereas this tiptoes over the line to become thrash with a traditional heavy metal influence - not too dissimilar in that respect to Anthrax, if Anthrax thrashed a little harder and had Rob Halford on vocals. Of course, it's not Rob Halford this time but David Wayne, who gives the performance of a career this time around, and the rest of the band provide a performance to match. Along with the debut, it's a truly eye-opening 80s metal release and one which has shot to a five-star spot in my eyes on first hearing and hasn't faded from there with repeated listens.

METAL CHURCH Metal Church

Album · 1984 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
A blistering onslaught of thrash-leaning traditional heavy metal, Metal Church's debut album particularly benefits from David Wayne's vocal abilities, which show a versatility comparable to the likes of Rob Halford or King Diamond. With a sound reminiscent at points of a substantially less theatrical and more down-to-earth Mercyful Fate, the band offers up a brace of great original tracks and an incredible high-energy cover version of Deep Purple's Highway Star in a set which doesn't have a single dull track. The compositions might bleed together a little, but they certainly don't outstay their welcome or fail to live up to their potential.

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