Saturday, 9 November 2013

CD Review: Blessing In Disguise, by Metal Church (1989)

The third album from Metal Church is a sprawling mess. Blessing In Disguise drops into boring, mid-tempo progressive territory, and most of the album is singularly lacking in focus and intensity.

Five of the nine tracks unnecessarily go on for longer than six minutes, extending to a yawn-inducing 9:30 on Anthem To The Estranged, and none of them really have much to say. The record sounds like an uncertain step towards barnacle-filled Rush territory, Mike Howe's vocals often at an unimpressive high range, the rest of the band trying to rock out but usually just getting lost in pursuit of length.

The back half of the album really sinks into the dross, Badlands, Cannot Tell A Lie and The Powers That Be examples of defanged purposeless metal, but The Spell Can't Be Broken takes the prize for being both poor and annoying.

All of which makes the excellent album opener Fake Healer stand out as a lost song on the wrong album. Unlike anything else on Blessing In Disguise, Fake Healer easily finds oodles of power and direction, the drums of Kirk Arrington and the bass of Duke Ellington clearing the impure debris, and Howe pouring his soul into the impassioned vocals. One song does not an album make, and the rest of the CD is a lot more fake than healer.


Craig Wells - Guitar
John Marshall - Guitar
Mike Howe - Vocals
Kirk Arrington - Drums
Duke Erickson - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Fake Healer - 10
2. Rest In Pieces (April 15, 1912) - 7
3. Of Unsound Mind - 7
4. Anthem To The Estranged - 7
5. Badlands - 6
6. The Spell Can't Be Broken - 5
7. It's A Secret - 7
8. Cannot Tell A Lie - 6
9. The Powers That Be - 6

Average: 6.78

Produced by Terry Date.
Mixed and Engineered by Terry Date and Joe Alexander. Mastered by Howie Weinberg.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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