Metal Church at The Underworld, London - live review

The Gospel - live

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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.