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Metal Church at The Underworld, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd Shot

There are a couple of people who constantly shout “Get on with it!” and “Play some songs” throughout this gig. It’s odd, because US classic metallers Metal Church do precisely this, and the vast majority here are totally immersed in the experience. Opening with the combustible Fake Healer, the band inevitably build the set around the two Mike Howe eras, with the vocalist showing his class and depth, emphasising the groove and melody that has always been the Church hallmark. There are four songs from current album XI, with No Tomorrow and Reset a match for established numbers like In Mourning and Date With Poverty. There are nods to the band’s early days through Start The Fire and the yearning Watch The Children Pray, the latter retaining its special allure for the crowd. The main set ends with the riff rage of Beyond The Black, as the band show off an ability to generate pace. Metal Church have never had the success or stature accorded many of their contemporaries, but on this form, few can deny they are among the best metal bands around. A timeless performance.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.