Metal Church Light in the Dark

It’s sort of cool how all these old timers are putting out really good albums lately. Venom, Celtic Frost, Saxon, and many others continue to show the young pups how it’s done. And classic Washington state thrashers Metal Church are also continuing to crank out solid, sturdy masses of metal. The same problems that apply with a lot of these old dog releases hold here — it’s way too long and there are too many mid-tempo blah rockers. However, about half of the disc kicks ass, with vocalist Ronny Monroe proving on this, his second album with the band, he’s more than capable of wailing out over top the traditional and thrash tunes. Through in some Savatage connections with this latest line-up and Metal Church are proving themselves to be a dependable metal institution. I could do without the sense of melodrama that dogs down a lot of this, and, again, use the edit button, boys. The disc ends off with a re-recording of the band’s most well-known tune, the classic "Watch the Children Pray,” here dedicated to ex-vocalist David Wayne, who passed away last year. (SPV)