Metal Church – Live – Review

Metal Church

Live (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff

Ripping open with catchy thrasher “Ton Of Bricks,” the evidently titled Live captured this “almost” band in their pre-implosion prime, that is, criss-crossing the country in ’86, after their hard, clean second album The Dark, before drugs had everybody fighting. It’s the last with David Wayne (until ’99’s reunion), and it is the record that almost broke the Nor’westers big, aided by the band’s legendary tour with Metallica, who were dead-convincingly caving in skulls in support of Master Of Puppets. Most, and possibly all, of this album (little is known about these tapes, except that some of it is from Dallas) hails from that metal heaven jaunt, splitting the set evenly between The Dark and the rattly debut. You can tell metal is king, metal is magic, metal is on the rise, just by the performances, and let’s face it, from the example Metallica was setting in molten concrete every night. Sound quality is acceptable, given the stadium environs, and renditions are fast and thrashy, fronted by a vocalist who proves he’s in possession of one of those throats that hits those high notes effortlessly. Highlights: “The Dark,” “Start The Fire,” and the band’s signature riffster “Metal Church.” Lowlights: The crap cover art, lack of much booklet (not much to say, I guess, although this would’ve been a perfect vehicle for a historical essay), and the band’s badly punked cover of “Highway Star.”
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