Metal Church: XI

The best Church service in some 25 years.

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Mike Howe is back on vocals, and it’s no coincidence that his return after over 20 years has inspired the veteran metallers to record their finest album since 1991’s The Human Factor, which of course featured Howe.

The balance between melody, riffage and rage harks back to the band’s early days, when the band transcended the thrash genre in which they were unfairly lumped. The songs are tight and feisty, with guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof and Rick Van Zandt trading off each other with flexibility and style, Howe giving full vent to his range and depth.

You know this is gonna be a power feast as soon as Reset crashes over the horizon, and Killing Your Time is a devastating anthem. Sky Falls In offers a slightly more laid-back affectation, but for the most part, this is Metal Church up and at ’em – just the way we like our metal.

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. 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 died in 2021