metal church, heavy, power, u.s.a., 2016, metal blade

Genre: Heavy / Power
Country: United States
Label: Rat Pak Records / Nuclear Blast Records
Year: 2016

“XI” is obviously the 11th album of Metal Church. It’s also a checkpoint in the bands long career since Mike Howe is behind the mic after 20 plus years. And their new album should had been released after “Hanging In The Balance”, not only because of Howe’s return but because it’s far more better than anything they released in the last 20 years.

Many up tempo tracks, great riff barrage from Vanderhoof, power and passion. In their sound there are these melodic parts of their first album, the rawness of “The Dark” and the atmosphere of “Hanging in the Balance” but with a more 2016 sound. The band’s style is defined by these three releases with melodic-more classic rock licks giving their place to sharp U.S metal riffs-that’s the Metal Church we all loved. Songs like “Signal Path”, “No Tomorrow” (their new video), “Suffer Fools” and “Reset” are high standards tracks that Metal Church hadn’t reached for years. On the other hand when you have a release with one hour full of new music you know it’s hard to keep the high standards high. So after a while the songs “hang” and they leave you with the a taste of “they put to much music in the cd”. What’s certain is that “IX” is their best release for many years now and a good sample of US metal today.

Metal Church fans will get it, as for the rest – this album is a good opportunity to learn one of the best bands of classic American heavy.