Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metal Church

Constant vigilance in perusing the heavy metal and imports sections at the local record shops as well as word of mouth from like minded friends played a major role in severing my reliance on commercial radio and MTV for all of my musical needs. Besides, by my calculations, it was in the Autumn of 1984 that both started down that slippery slope into totally sucking. If I had totally relied on that, I might not have ever discovered the debut album from Metal Church. Fortunately, I had a friend, the late ‘Wild Swinging’ Stacy Kroger, (may she rest in peace), who introduced me to the album.

For a young metalhead in the 1980s, Metal Church is a brilliant album to listen to. This is a pure metal album to say the least. In fact, I think there are some features that would influence other metal artists, some of whom would be more successful than Metal Church. King Diamond, you’re one of the ones I’m looking at here. Take the opening track, “Beyond the Black.” It starts with a soft intro where a hoarse whispering introduces things. You know, after all these times, I still can’t fully grasp what the voice is saying. However, you can’t contemplate it more because before you know it, some great guitar work comes in and the song then proceeds to pulverize the crap out of you. Just when you think, you’ve got it under control, there comes a tempo change or two. The fact that the song is over six minutes long has one wondering if it’s the same song, but it is.

Things evolve nicely into the title track which is another metalhead’s dream song. Then comes an instrumental where guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof gets to show off what he can do with a guitar and it’s quite good. However, he’s even more impressive on “Gods of Wrath,” which is in similar style to the opener. A slow start before going into a mad frenzy.  Only this time, he shares the spotlight with the versatile vocals of David Wayne. On this album, Wayne can do it all. Sing almost ballad like and then screams the house down without straining his voice.

The second half of the album carries things over very well while at the same time, surprising you a little. All of the next four songs are why some future fans would call Metal Church thrash or speed metal. They are all very fast songs but the band shows they’re truly up to the task. Then, keeping with unpredictability, the albums ends with a cover of the Deep Purple classic, “Highway Star,” which is done very well at a blistering speed metal pace, or so I thought back in 1984.

Track Listing:

  1. Beyond the Black
  2. Metal Church
  3. Merciless Onslaught
  4. Gods of Wrath
  5. Hitman
  6. In the Blood
  7. (My Favourite) Nightmare
  8. Battalions
  9. Highway Star

Metal Church

David Wayne- vocals

Kurdt Vanderhoof- guitar

Craig Wells- guitar

Duke Erickson- bass

Kirk Arrington- drums

With the success of this debut album from Metal Church, they would be signed by the larger Electra Records and the rest would be history. Still, if you want to hear a band when they were at there lean, mean and hungriest, then I recommend this one.

Next post: Billy Squier- Signs of Life

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

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2 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metal Church”

  1. Enjoyed this review a lot. I think they were such an underrated crew.

    Liked by 1 person

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