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.