METAL CHURCH - THIS PRESENT WASTELAND

SPV RECORDS

 

   Metal To Infnity

Metal Church is a band that always lived under the surface of the mainstream Metal movement; too little to become a ruling band, too big for the underground. Nevertheless they proved their importance to the Metal community by releasing ''Metal Church'' and ''The Dark'', two gems and milestones in the history of Heavy Metal in general. Especially in the eighties Metal Church was only a short distance of eternal celebrity.  

The loss of David Wayne (RIP) was during several years a dark cloud above this band but we also have to admit David Wayne wasn't a full member anymore since 1989. During all those years Metal Church kept on releasing albums but the big success of the eighties never came back. We can't say all of their albums were victorious, to be honest the quality of the first three releases was never reached again. That doesn't mean Metal Church delivered bad work but some albums weren't really giving me a kick. The biggest problem is that everybody kept on comparing a new album with those classic ones. During their history Metal Church left the path of mid-tempo Thrash and became a more common, Melodic Traditional Heavy Metal band. ''Blessing In Disguise'' even knew its progressive touches but the brand of Metal Church became the early eighties Heavy Metal sound and more and more it became their ultimate goal sounding that way. The ultimate darkness and power faded away… 

I admit I made the same mistake and that's the major reason I concentrated myself so hard on ''This Present Wasteland''. The fact that Ronnie Munroe (Rottweiler) joined the band a few years ago was marvelous; he's an outstanding singer and also his live performances are magnificent. His warm and strong clean voice gives an extra positive impact to the band; his throat is created for the purest Metal! 

The new album takes off with 'The Company Of Sorrow' which is reminding me to the late eighties period of the band. It is an awesome song to start with! From that point Metal Church delivers one after another great song; melodic, heavy and touching. This is outstanding Heavy Metal with here and there arrangements, like 'Meet Your Maker', that will make you think the oldest Metal Church is back. This song is full of heavy loaded riffs and contains a kind of choruses and solos I have missed so long with Metal Church. Although ''This Present Wasteland'' is full of amazing songs this kind of tracks are rather exceptional. What I hear are once again first class emotional guitar solos. Ronnie Munroe's voice fits perfect and every time he screams high and loud I'm getting cold shivers.  

What is pretty typical for this album is the fact that I have the constant feeling listening to a compilation of songs that are based on elements that became, during the years, so typical for the band. Listening to 'Meet Your Maker', followed by 'Monster', will make you understand what I mean. Another highlight of this album is the 'A War Never One' song; superb! It makes ''This Present Wasteland'' a most cherish album, to me one of the strongest of the band since many years. Metal Church is still ambitious although I don't believe they will conquer the world by this release. The old fans will reach a point of satisfaction, new and young Metal fans can be seduced when they give the album a chance.  

Metal Church doesn't have to prove anything anymore! Their place in history is already reserved and immortality is their fate! To release another gem more is needed, especially more darkness and a definitive return to mid tempo Thrash Metal. Nevertheless ''This Present Wasteland'' is more than worth checking out and makes me look forward to the upcoming tour with Overkill. The front cover is awesome and you'll discover more awesome models for a front cover inside the booklet. My favorite prototype is the one that was created by a man called Mario Lopez. 

My Points: 85/100 (Review by Officer Nice)

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