Genre: Heavy/Power/Thrash Metal
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year: 2018

When you are challenged to write your thoughts on a new album from a band such as Metal Church, you always have to consider your point of view carefully. You could either be strict or judge taking in mind their whole back catalogue, or you could be realistic and not too demanding towards the people who have given you everything in the past. To be honest, I didn’t like their statements before the album came out claiming that it would include all of their great elements in vast amounts. It’s nice to trust your art, yet you shouldn’t raise the bar that much with such statements that can be risky in the end. To get to the point, Metal Church’s new album indeed has all the ingredients that made us love them and the US heavy/power genre in general. Stiff rhythm section, melodic, yet sharp guitars with great solos and Mike Howe’s blurry vocals are reminiscent of his glorious past performances with the band. The production is more modern, yet somehow retaining the old school vibe. Also, the ease with which the band writes songs that are easy to remember and great to play live is clearly visible. The album pays a tribute to their glorious past, but for sure it won’t make a big impact in their discography, or to make it more clear, it will satisfy old fans but won’t bring any new to them. The truth is that this band should have been bigger after so many amazing records in a row, since the very beginning – they are truly underrated. Now they have Nuclear Blast’s support, while still being great on stage and pulling out decent records. This might be a second chance for them, or maybe not. In any case, ‘Damned If You Do’ is a result of hard work and deserves our attention, even though it is highly doubted that it will be considered a top classic in the near future.