The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: Metal Church – The Dark
You know I couldn’t stay away from the classics for to long, they have just had so much of an impact on my life. We’re back in the 80’s once again and the year is 1986, and lets just say there was plenty of legendary albums being released that year, most notably; “Master Of Puppets”, “Reign In Blood”, “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?”, “Pleasure To Kill”, “Under The Sign Of The Black Mark”, the list goes on. So it’s safe to assume that other albums might have gotten caught in the wake, and one album in particular, while acknowledged and loved by metal heads, never gained the notability it deserved…
The Dark, the second full-length album from Seattle, Washington’s Metal Church, is a true unsung classic. Right from the opening track, “Ton of Bricks”, with its thrashy riffs to its great, catchy, sing-a-long chorus, this song truley is a thrash metal classic. In fact, the whole album, which combines the elements of traditional metal and thrash, is a collection of some of the best metal songs to ever be recorded. We then come to one of the best songs on this album, “Start The Fire”. Continuing right along with the intensity and menacing nature heard in “Ton of Bricks”, this track offers more of the catchy guitar and vocal work, and features an all around rowdy vibe to it. The chorus alone will have you banging your fist and head in unison. “Start the fire. Bring down the hammer. Start start the fire. Burning on forever.” Classic!
Amongst the speed, Metal Church does slow the pace with “Method To Your Madness” and “Watch The Children Pray”, which are good tracks, especially the latter being the albums ballad and one of Metal Church’s all-time classics. They do feel as if they drag a bit, both could have been trimmed by a minute or so, since it does slow down the speed the album initially began with. But fear not, “Over My Dead Body” reminds you that you’re listening to a thrash metal album. Both this track and “Psycho” bring back the aggressiveness heard in the early half of the album and feature some amazing guitar work from Kurdt Vanderhoof.
But nestled in between those two tracks is the title track, “The Dark”, which in my opinion, is the best damn track on this album. The eerie and menacing feeling it gives off makes it very memorable and a true standout. David Wayne’s screeching howls and his angry snarling just adds another level of awesomeness to this song. I listen to this on repeat more so than the others, it’s just ridiculously catchy and a personal favorite of mine.
The Dark has a strong closing as well, with “Burial at Sea”, being a very epic, Maiden-like track that has a bit of a power metal feel to it and “Western Alliance”, the albums final track, ending things on a thrashy note which bookends the album perfectly when compared to the thrashy opener of “Ton of Bricks”. There is one major flaw of this album though, the production. It’s as if they decided not to bump it up a few more decibels. This album is great and it feels as if the production takes away from the power this album possesses. But nevertheless, The Dark is a true thrash classic and one that deserves more recognition that it gets.
‘Cause I’m shakin’ and I’m thinkin’ Of something evil lurking And waiting for me in the dark!
Metal Church – “The Dark”