Metal Church - A Light In The Darkness

Year of Release: 2006
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:56:00

While many bands today raise the bar by going heavier, this band instead takes a tangent and improves upon their eminence. A finicky friend once said that this was his favorite band in the Heavy Metal heyday. He'll be ecstatic when he hears they're back with a vengeance.

The combination of guitars and bass is thoroughly impressive. The lead is provided by Kurdt Vanderhoof, who not only participates on this album, but has a newly-minted Progressive Rock project on-the-side that goes by the name of Presto Ballet. Likewise, he's not alone in the heavy lifting. Jay Reynolds adds the fizz with a second guitar while Steve Unger brings on the bubbles with his bass. On drums, Jeff Plate provides a dish that's so peppery, it's beet red. The chaos isn't found only in their instrumental mayhem. The singer, Ronny Munroe, shoots starbursts from his throaty pipes.

I could not believe how much I liked this album. I tend to prefer rock over metal, but this undoubtedly exceeds the rule. Hear ye, hear ye, on this day, I decree that it is the gold standard of all exceptions. It doesn't just reawaken the age, but instead brings it into the modern era. If anything, it's metal with an ounce of Opeth, a chunk of Iced Earth, and a hint of Van Halen. On more than one occasion, it also brings Judas Priest to mind.

All the songs get the thumbs up, but I'll take at least half for the desert isle. The title track and opener earned my attention immediately while "Disappear" is where it wanders best. Then there is "Temples Of The Sea," which elicits a little Guns 'n' Roses. Not to mention it's twice as extensive as the others (9:48). Not before long "Pill For The Kill" and "Son Of A Son" rumble in an apocalyptic jungle. "Blinded By Life" might be the shortest (3:33), but it's quite possibly my favorite overall. Nevertheless, it's pointless to be petty. As they say, it's all good.

These days, heavy metal bands harbor devil worshipers, hardcore, and hate. It's hard to find a radio station that plays something with an edge without going totally overboard. When the world of music is at its worst, here you'll find safe haven. No need to plead for a resurrection of that classic metal sound. Metal Church is the answer to your prayers.

A Light In The Dark (5:27) / Beyond All Reason (5:40) / Mirror Of Lies (4:16) / Disappear (6:02) / The Believer (5:29) / Temples Of The Sea (9:47) / Pill For The Kill (4:28) / Son Of A SOn (4:44) / More Than Your Master (4:47) / Blinded By Life (3:31) / Bonus Track: Watch The Children Pray (new version) (5:45)

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

Metal Church (1984)
The Dark (1986)
Blessing IN Disquise (1989)
Human Factor (1991)
Hanging In The Balance (1993)
Live Album (1998)
The Weight Of The World (2004)
A Light In The Dark (2006)

Genre: Traditional Metal

Origin US

Added: August 6th 2006
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 863
Language: english


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