Wayne – Metal Church (2001)

Wayne_MetalChurch3.5 out of 5 Stars!

When being sluggish in the morning, a non-coffee drinker like myself will occasionally crave a slamming wake-up call, and on those days, this album comes in handy.

Seeing as how the vocalist, David Wayne, was an on-again/off-again singer for the legendary band Metal Church, it’s a no-brainer that this lone release by Wayne (and ironically named Metal Church) is an album that would certainly appeal to the same fan-base. Joining David Wayne on this album, adding a lethal dose of musical caffeine, is the shrieking guitar duo of Craig Wells (Metal Church) and Jimi Bell (House of Lords), and the formidable rhythm section of bassist Mark Franco and drummer B.J. Zampa (House of Lords).

Yes, generally speaking, any of the ten tracks on offer here, from “The Choice,” “Nightmare, Part 2,” and “Soos Creek Cemetery” through to “Burning at the Stake,” “Vlad,” and a blazing cover of Mountain’s legendary “Mississippi Queen” are nothing short of a Heavy Metal Alarm Clock for those sluggish non-coffee drinkers like myself who need that extra mental kick-start.

By the way, the cover art is just too perfect for an album of this nature.

(And RIP David Wayne…you are sorely missed.)

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Metal Church – XI (2016)

MetalChurch_XI4 out of 5 Stars!

Despite the seemingly revolving door of powerful lead singers who disappear unexpectedly only to suddenly reappear years later, Metal Church is probably one of the most consistent Heavy Metal bands of all time, never straying too far from its original thick, dark, and driving sound, and typically delivering the head-banging goods on every single release.

Therefore, regardless of vocalist, this California-based group has remained one of my favorite Heavy Metal powerhouses since its debut album appeared back in 1984, and the band’s eleventh studio release—titled simply XI—is pure thundering and screeching mayhem as I expected, with the band yet again (and no shock) firing on all cylinders.

Incidentally, referring back to that “revolving door” comment I made earlier, it’s vocalist Mike Howe who is once again wielding the microphone. For those unfamiliar with Howe’s work with Metal Church, he’s the band’s second singer, the one who appeared on a trio of albums—1989’s Blessing in Disguise, 1991’s The Human Factor, and 1993’s Hanging in the Balance—before apparently falling off the radar in all these intervening years.

Regardless, he’s now back and fronting one of the finest Heavy Metal acts to have ever existed. May this band continue forever, regardless of whichever singer is in the fold at any given moment in time.

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