After a tremendous low in form of "Masterpeace" Metal bedrock METAL CHURCH at least partly were back to old form with "Weight Of The World", for the first time with ROTTWEILER singer Ronny Munroe on the mic, but despite the newly found quality, I approached album number 8, "A Light In The Dark", with warily, almost expecting that they could not continue the positive trend, but forget that right away, because here they manage to take up, where the old times had left off many, many moons ago!
Munroe really has found his place in the METAL CHURCH sound, with his powerful, yet melodic voice he continues the legacy of David Wayne and Mike Howe and for the first time we also see a new drummer, former SAVATAGE skinsman Jeff Plate makes sure that Kirk Arrington’s spot is in good hands now. And how about Kurdt Vanderhoof, for 20 years mastermind behind the Americans’ sound? He is shooting out ingenious riffs to the left and right, in best old METAL CHURCH tradition!
The whole album oozes energy and freshness, which is always good to see in old warhorses such as the Americans, impressively showing many of the youngsters how to do it. The opening title track is a driving, powerful song in line with the old METAL CHURCH classics, moving into a crackling stomper in form of “Beyond All Reason”, which sets out with clean guitar and then gets really heavy, I love the triplets in the guitars and bass drums, only the a bit too sticky-sweet sounding chorus does not fit in all that well.
And if your neck has not started cracking yet, then the vertebrae will start to crunch on the next track, because “Mirror Of Lies” is an up-tempo breaker with an absolutely brilliant riff, I can only say “WOW”! The heavy “Disappear” will steamroll over everything in the way, until in the middle they step it up a notch and belt out another great riff, that’s the way it’s supposed to be!
And also after that the songs do not disappoint at all, even though they might not all kill as much, but there are no fillers to be detected either. Oh, and on the end we also get a tribute to David Wayne, with a re-recording of the debut classic "Watch The Children Pray".
Absolutely a return to top form and if they open a church like this around here, I will be there every Sunday, Hallelujah! (Online August 9, 2006)