Much like the English punk movement before it, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal invaded hundreds of American garages in the early '80s and launched countless bands across the nation. It is interesting to note, however, that while in major cities with thriving punk rock this phenomenon manifested itself in the form of thrash metal (for example, L.A.'s Metallica, New York's Anthrax), in secondary capitals, up-and-coming bands generally boasted a more mainstream metal approach. Such was the case with Phoenix's Armored Saint, Connecticut's Fates Warning, and Seattle's Queensryche, but Metal Church (also from Seattle) seemed determined to cover both angles on their powerful 1985 debut. But while the complex songwriting and aggressive riffing seen on trad metal epics like "Beyond the Black," "Gods of Wrath," and "Metal Church" are about as good as it gets, thrashier moments like "My Favorite Nightmare," "Battalions," and the appropriately named instrumental "Merciless Onslaught" still needed a little work. In fact, the band's incredibly tight musicianship is a highlight all on its own, and vocalist David Wayne's piercing screech (similar to Accept's Udo Dirkschneider) was considered very hip at the time, believe it or not. Concluding with a full-throttle cover of the Deep Purple standard "Highway Star," this album remains an overlooked classic of straight-ahead American-bred heavy metal.
|Label:||Elektra / Wea|
Performance CreditsMetal Church Primary Artist
David Wayne Vocals
Kirk Arrington Percussion,Drums
Duke Erickson Bass
Kurdt Vanderhoof Guitar
Craig Wells Guitar
Technical CreditsIan Gillan Composer
Metal Church Producer
Ritchie Blackmore Composer
Roger Glover Composer
Jon Lord Composer
Terry Date Producer,Engineer
Ian Paice Composer
Saulius Pempe Back Cover
William Mackay Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The war is over. Death's grip we hath taste. In the late 1900's there is no human race. We split the planet with atomic berth. Man hath died. We seal the earth........ Good God! Those are the words of David Wayne. This album is dope. It contains the next best guitar work outside of Malmsteen and Hank Sherman or Andy Larouque with King Diamond and Mercyful Fate which can also be found on The Dark's Beyond the Line of Death. For it is the Beastlord Slavedragon who first sprung loose from his wicker basket during such days of yore. And it is the very same Dragonlord who challenges anyone at Tournament to best these passages. The Dragonlord means anyone of the lyre and lute be it Satan himself or Ytzak Pearlman who is said to dwell elsewhere than we of Hades. Hail! Lo doth it be the Slavedragon and Beastlord who walketh upright holding his gems.
Metal Church has been overlooked for its unique contribution to the Hard Metal of the mid-80s. Hard metal along the lines of Metallica and Megadeth with the raspy singing style of David Wayne who sounds kind of like AC/DC's Brian Johnson. If you like dynamic drum riffs, Kirk Arrington is up there with Lars Ulrich without a doubt. The guitar work of Craig Wells and Kurdt Vanderhoof is quite unique, crisp, and clear. A very tight band where none of the members get muffled through the songs. Definitely a band to check out if you like Megadeth, Metallica, or Pantera. Along with the latter, this is by far the best band in that style that came out of the 80's. This debut album along with their second one, "The Dark", have to be their best work. The band changed singer and lead guitarist on the third album "Blessing in Disguise" and it's just not as good. Very original and intriquite guitar solo on "Gods of Wrath" and guitar intro on "Beyond the Black." Throughout the album, Kirk Arrington dishes out his drum genius. Definitely a band worth hearing and an album worth owning. I've been listening to this band since 1985 and I've never been sick of them.
I buoght this record in 1986. An explosion of power metal that is never to get old. Final track 'Highway Star' is for the open-minded hard rock fan: it's Deep Purple on steroids!