Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Metal Church-s/t 1985

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This Seattle based band actually released their debut themselves in 1984. However major labels got wind of what they doing and Elektra signed them, made some small changes to the album and put it out again on their label in 1985. These guys are often thought of as a second tier band along with bands like Exodus, Testament, Nuclear Assault, Kreator and Overkill. The bands that almost made it to the level of Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth, but not quite. Yet Metal Church were on a major before most of those bands and many people rate their debut as their best work. Although I think they were fairly solid through their first five releases despite the fact that they changed vocalists and a guitarist after the second album. One of the biggest problems I find with a number of metal bands I liked back in the 1980's is that while they may still sound fast, they just don't sound that heavy to my ears anymore. However Metal church are certainly an exception as they actually sound heavier to me now then they did twenty some years ago. In 1985 bands like Megadeth and Kreator put out debuts that saw them showing potential, but still sounding like they were searching for their sound. Yet the same year Metal Church sound like they are giving out lessons on how to blend speed with heaviness. Tracks like "Hitman", "Battalions" and spectacular instrumental "Merciless Onslaught" have the band just tearing it up. Then tracks like "Beyond The Black", "Metal Church" and "In the blood" show a more classic metal approach yet the heaviness is still there. The late David Wayne had those trademark cutting vocals that worked to grab your attention. I think all of the players were very solid as well as there were no slackers here for sure. I think maybe these guys didn't get their due because they kind of stayed between classic metal and speed metal and never went fully to one camp. I don't mind the approach at all, but that may be what kept them from being a top tier band. Still this album rips it up even today and I do believe that these guys are one of the most underrated metal bands of their day. This is a must hear album for sure.


Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

This was a fantastic album. I really liked it except the only thing that bothered me a bit was the vocals of their previous vocalist.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Pete said...

I've been meaning to check out more Metal Church. I really like "Watch The Children Pray", "Method to Your Madness" and "Start The Fire" from The Dark album. I see iTunes has a bunch of their stuff, so I'll be checking more out soon!

6:22 AM  
Blogger The Mule said...

This album is THE SH*T! No other album captures and sweat & violence of heavy metal quite like this one. Must mention the production, by Terry Date, with its awesomely crisp, natural drum sound.

7:29 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Great review for a great album. I missed this when it first came out and only later got into it ... and I'm glad I did. It's great classic metal with an edge, as you say, and is clearly one of the most underrated classic metal albums out there.

-- david

12:36 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

andre-The vocals are different, but I like them.

Pete-The Dark is good, but the debut is even better.

the Mule-It's a killer for sure. Even though they didn't get all the respect they deserved back then, I think this album is looked upon fairly highly now.

David-I heard the Dark first in 1986 and then heard this one a few months later.

7:27 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I listened to this fairly recently and I was surprised at how well it held up. It might even be better than I remember.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I absolutely agree and it's definitely their best album.

2:42 PM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

This album surprised me a lot. I'd heard some of the later material before this and was quite taken aback. Good review!

10:32 AM  

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