Friday, May 20, 2011

Come Worship in the Church of Metal (Is it the End of an Era?)

Possibly my biggest metal-related regret was seeing Metal Church break up because I never got to see them live. The news shocked me considering the band had recently released their album This Present Wasteland, and it seemed like they still had years left, with a strong presence and good songwriting Touring proved to be problematic because their record label at the time (SPV) collapsed right out from under them, causing any promotion to fly out the window. This Present Wasteland only sold 900 some copies in its first week making the situation worse (in case you're wondering, I bought one). Yes, that's absolutely abysmal. Further obstacles plagued the band, but they were never clear on what they were. I guess all the bad stuff happens to the good guys.

I always admired the church of metal due to their ability to stay together in the face of various line-up changes and because of their slew of excellent, yet unrecognized, albums only a select few seem to talk about.

As a side note, one will often see Metal Church classified as a thrash metal band. That's only partially correct. Metal Church were a melting pot of styles from heavy to power (think USPM, not the wussy, cheesy variety) to thrash. I find them fairly unique considering the subgenre they were and are always lumped into.

Much like Dio, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest, Metal Church were a band I vividly remember helping me develop my own personal music taste. Now that I think about it, only one of those bands is still truly going strong. Dio and Metal Church will never again release music qualified for "metal god" status. Judas Priest I'm hopeful for, but with the recent departure of K.K. Downing and a complete cut-back on touring, I'm not particularly optimistic. At least we still have Maiden to count on; but despite that, it really is the end of an era. The most influential and experienced bands are starting to call it quits due to age or other problems. Who will fledgling metalheads look up to now? It's time to consider who will take their place. Depressing, isn't it?

I'll leave you with this, a memorial of sorts to Metal Church. Just make sure you go worship in the church of metal while you listen.

-TMA

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