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The Weight of the World

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Album Review

Ah, Metal Church. Once one of America's most promising heavy metal bands, originally colleagues (rivals, even) of the mighty Metallica — has any other band's career been as marked by internal chaos, confusion, and, let's face it, commercial indifference, as that of these Seattle natives? The odds are slim, and yet, conversely, has any metal outfit proved as doggone persistent at the same time? Surely that must count for something, and with the realization that 2004's The Weight of the World amazingly celebrates the group's 20th anniversary (even though it's only their seventh studio album in all that time), there's at least some cause for celebration — right? Well, if truth be told, that'll depend on the listener. Most of the expected Metal Church trademarks (pure American metal charged with occasional thrashing nuances) are readily available here — as are the band's maddening tendencies for songwriting inconsistency, matching every memorable turn like "Hero's Soul" or "Sunless Sky" with an equally forgettable outing like "Wings of Tomorrow" or "Bomb to Drop." Never mind that original vocalist David Wayne has once again departed from the fold (after taking part in the nearly-complete classic lineup reunion seen on 1999's Masterpeace) and left lone remaining founders, guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof and drummer Kirk Arrington, to pick up the pieces; new recruits Ronny Munroe (vocals), Jay Reynolds (guitar) and Steve Unger (bass) acquit themselves ably enough, for the most part. If anything, the only weak link is Munroe, whose echo-enhanced presence is curiously reminiscent of Saxon's Biff Byford, but doesn't always have the power or presence to match the surrounding onslaught. And still, longtime supporters will most likely enjoy almost all of the songs they hear here as prototypical Metal Church — which leaves less enthusiastic old-timers and new arrivals alike left to ponder what all the fuss was about.

Biography

Formed: 1984 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Seattle in 1982, Metal Church consisted of vocalist David Wayne, guitarists Kurdt Vanderhoof and Craig Wells, bassist Duke Erickson, and drummer Kirk Arrington. Their 1985 self-titled debut album, recorded when the thrash/speed metal genre was still evolving, made a huge splash on the scene, as did its similar follow-up, The Dark. However, the band really hit its stride when Wayne left and was replaced by Mike Howe on 1989's Blessing In Disguise; Vanderhoof left after the album due to his...
Full bio
The Weight of the World, Metal Church
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  • 9,90 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 26 July 2004

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