A Light In The Dark (SPV)
by Martin Popoff
The second Metal Church offering with third frontman Ronny Munroe at the helm finds Kurdt’s band solidifying their stance as classy old school riffsters with just a touch of prog exploration. A bit of the shine is off when you dwell too much on the fact that only Vanderhoof hails from any of the old era of the band (personally, I’m a Mike Howe man), but with Kurdt being the A-style writing personality that he is, this sounds like all of those old albums, same epic riffs, same pounding rhythms, same mix of velocities, and a singer upfront who kills all comers as a front man, and fits nicely between Howe and Wayne as a time-honored Church enunciator. I dunno, I don’t find myself crazy excited about this, and I’m hesitant that modern metal fans will get it, given its drenching in Church/commercial Megadeth/commercial Anthrax tradition. I can see these songs exploding live, though, especially “More Than Your Master,” Ronny bearing down and incinerating the complacency out of the hall, and “Blinded By Life,” which is fueled by one of the coolest riffs I’ve heard in hours (yes, cool riffs are everywhere). The album closes with a new version of “Watch The Children Pray,” dedicated to the deceased David Wayne, and like much of the rest of the album, the song is slow to unfold, too dramatic by half, trying my patience. A solid album through and through, but only for folks with a specific old school bent, and one that you know just won’t cut the mustard with the kids (and you sorta agree with them, feeling old in the presentation of this).