Monday, April 30, 2012

Metal Church - Metal Church [1984]

How fucking sweet is that album cover? It's almost as epic and amazing as the music on the record, which should alone tell you how brilliant "Metal Church" is. In 1984, there was a trifecta of power metal albums, with the two others being Omen's "Battle Cry" and Jag Panzer's "Ample Destruction" (Though, there were several other fantastic records of the US power metal genre), but Metal Church's debut record makes those two legendary records seem nearly obsolete. This album is that damn great. Every single aspect of what makes an album awesome is present here, from the vocals, the riffs, drumming, aura, and everything in between, there isn't a single complaint that could be made about these power metallers (They weren't a thrash band, despite the popular belief, which dictates that they are) and the flawless record that they created. 

The riffs are insane, whether they're the thrashing ones on "Battalions" and the greatest instrumental ever composed, "Merciless Onslaught," or the simple midpaced ones that are prominent on the title track. There's simply no way to deny the catchiness of each riff, but you've got to give credit Kirk Arrington on drums, because his drumming is equally terrific. The fills that can be found on the intro to "Hitman," as well as the intense and thunderous rhythms on "Merciless Onslaught" make all of the riffs that much better. David Wayne's vocals are another fantastic compliment to the music as they bring a different feeling on just about every track. His clean singing on "Gods of Wrath" is top-notch and can be compared to some of the genre's best pure singers, while his fast-paced vocals on "Hitman" and "(My Favorite) Nightmare" are more like those of an early thrash band. 

In addition to the thrashier songs and catchy, simple power metal tunes, there are some much more epic tracks that blow away songs by the much more epic-styled European power metal bands. The album opener "Beyond the Black" begins with a stellar clean guitar introduction that serves as the backdrop to the sample vocals, before turning into a midpaced riff that is guaranteed to get your headbanging, as well as some incredible solos (Which is a common theme on this album, as every song has awesome solos). "Gods of Wrath" also switches effortlessly between clean passages and beautiful vocals, and heavy riffage that balances out perfectly. The description of Metal Church's debut album is nearly pointless, because the only thing that really needs to be said is that it is perfect and if you don't realize this, then you need to be burned and died immediately. 

The whole fucking album, but if I could only recommend three...
"Beyond the Black"
"Merciless Onslaught"

Final Rating
A Merciless Onslaught [10/10]