Sin City Presents Magazine August 2016 Volume 3 Issue 8 - Page 83

They reached some success with the release of their biggest album “The Dark” in 1986 and brought vocalist David Wayne to the forefront with one of the greatest metal songs of the 80’s “Watch the Children Pray”, which was a huge MTV hit. Some line-up changes after that and Kurdt left and so did David Wayne. In 1989 Heretic vocalist Mike Howe joined the band for their third album, “Blessing in Disguise.” Band break ups and new singers came and went and then David Wayne passed away from a car accident in 2005. At that time Ronnie Munroe was the singer and sang up until 2014, when they recruited Mike Howe back into the band. The line-up today is Mike Howe (Vocals), Kurdt Vanderhoof (Guitars), Steve Unger (Bass), Jeff Plate (Drums), and Rick Van Zandt (Guitars). They just released their new album IX, which is their eleventh, and it’s solid and heavy, touted as the best album since “The Dark.” Rejuvenated, Metal Church is back.

As this is a co-headlining tour, tonight was the night for Metal Church to head-line the show. After Armored Saint, it was a tough act to follow, but these guys did a great job of doing just that. They followed with a hard and heavy set with Mike Howe on vocals for the first time in many years and the fans were going nuts!. He had a big hand in writing this new album, and they played a lot of it in this set along with lots of oldies. Mike commanded the stage with confidence and stage antics, being a complete wild front man. Howe has the perfect voice for this kind of old school metal and I think he brings out the best in this band which will do them very well in the future. Vanderhoof was fantastic on guitar, as usual and made it look easy smiling all the while. I really dug Rick Van Vandt’s guitar solo, as they lit him up and made him stand out while shredding his ass off, that long mane flowing out behind him. The rhythm section of Steve Unger and Jeff Plate was undeniable, the two melded with perfection. Metal Church sounded better then they had in many years. The song I wanted to hear the most was “Watch the Children Pray” and mike Howe did it justice. It was very emotional. It was great to hear all these new songs off IX. It’s truly the best album they have done in years. The Church kicked my ass!! Both bands did. That was a killer night of old school metal!!!

Set-List

“Fake Healer” “In Mourning” “Start the Fire” “Reset” “Gods of Second Chance” “Date with Poverty” “No Tomorrow” “Watch the Children Pray” “No Friend of Mine” “Killing Your Time” “Beyond the Black” “Badlands” ”The Human Factor.”