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Classic Review: Metal Church - Blessing in Disguise
Metal Church
Blessing in Disguise

Label: Elektra
Year released: 1989
Duration: 54:34
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 5, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Blessing in Disguise

Rated 4.53/5 (90.57%) (53 Votes)

This was Metal Church's much-anticipated third album. At the time, their sophomore effort "The Dark" was considered weak and over produced (though this is little remembered now) and with the departure of longtime vocalist David Wayne under less than friendly terms, all the fans were wondering if this would be any good at all.

Fortunately, this turned out to be about the best Metal Church album that ever was. These guys were never really a thrash band, though they were often lumped in with the thrashers back when the style was big and everything had to be some kind of thrash for anyone to pay attention to it. The Church were just a great Heavy Metal band, and everything that makes metal great is on this album: pounding riffs, killer leads, memorable songs and great vocals. Voice duties on this album were handled by Mike Howe, a singer recruited from the now-forgotten band Heretic (and reportedly dubbed 'Sir Launch-A-Lot' for his penchant for crowd-surfing.) He doesn't sound like Wayne at all, instead showing off a rough-edged, powerful voice of a decidedly lower register that really fits the music here much better. "Fake Healer" opens up with an epic stomp, and the great songs don't stop coming. "Rest In Pieces" is maybe a tad long, and "Of Unsound Mind" is not the most memorable song ever. But "Anthem To The Estranged" is about as great as a metal power/ballad gets. "Badlands" is just one of my favorite metal tunes ever, just a classic. The last four songs just kill, and somewhere about the middle of the full-speed "Cannot Tell A Lie" your neck will probably give out.

This is just a solid ass-kicker of an album from metal's glory days with no weak songs, and some really, really good ones. For my money this is the best Metal Church album, and a genuine classic of the genre. Not utterly perfect, but when this band was at their best, nobody was better.

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