a Metal Monday post
Lately I’ve been discovering new music through Spotify. Every Monday they make a “discover weekly playlist”. I hit shuffle play and am either surprised or disappointed. This past week a song played while I was taking a shower and it caught my attention right away. When my son came running in from three rooms away, with the door closed and water running, yelling ‘it’s too loud! Turn it down!’ I knew I found a winner.
Metal Church was formed in 1980 with this self titled album and song debuting in 1984. The influences are clear. The band brings forth the new thrash sound made popular by the “Big 4” (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer). They are just as aggressive and if the band had become bigger may have made an argument for a Big 5. The lead singer is clearly influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Screeching his notes head and shoulders next to Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Much like the previously mentioned Angel Witch, it’s so good I don’t know how I’m only now becoming aware of them.
Metal Church even made the smart move of performing a cover in their own style. A thrash version of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” is an easy idea but there’s nothing easy about the performance. Their cover takes a rock song perfect for a leisure open road summer ride and turns it into an anthem for setting a speed record on that same road.
The band hit that all too familiar obstacle. Line up changes. Comings and goings also result in too many starts and stops. Once the band gains momentum life hits them off the path of success. Despite still releasing great albums as recently as last year they never reach that next level outside the metal community.
No matter. Here is a situation with more glory in fewer numbers. Among the metal community the band is revered and counted as an all time great. Their 12 studio albums, with plans for another one next year, are constantly discovered and rediscovered. Bringing in all new fans constantly who have found a place to call their own. I hesitate to say cult band for misinterpretation. Much like certain movies receive cult classic status, I think Metal Church has the same for rock. Just under the surface. Little known. Once someone shares an album with you though, you’re converted.