With our top ten Metal Church songs list we look at the work of a heavy metal band who are much respected in the metal scene and who has served as a strong influence for many other musical artists exploring the metal genre. The band Metal Church hail from the city of Seattle, Washington and have had some commercial success with several of their albums entering breaking onto the US Billboard charts.
Metal Church has gone through countless line-up changes since their formation in 1980. Guitarist Kurt Vanderhoof is the closest thing to a constant member, having always been involved in composing the band’s music despite leaving the band as an actual member in 1986, before returning in 1998. The most celebrated line-up is the one who performed on the first two records which featured David Wayne on vocals.
They have had three periods of existence. They first split up in 1996 before reforming in 1998. They continued to exist again until 2009 when they disbanded again for the second time. They have continued to exist ever since their second reformation in 2012. Two of their previous vocalists are now dead, including Wayne who died in 2005, and then his replacement Mike Howe who took his own life in 2021. Howe had been playing with the band at the time of his death, having re-joined the band in 2015. His death made the band’s future uncertain for a while. However, they have stated that they are slowly coming together again and are considering continuing. Although they currently still have yet to replace Howe, they have not announced disbandment as of yet. Here is a list of their ten best songs.
# 10 – Generation Nothing
Kicking off our top ten Metal Church songs list is the title of their comeback album released after their second reformation in 2012. The album was released in 2013. It is their last record to feature Ronny Munroe on vocals. The album which is said to be lyrically dealing with the state of modern youth received a mixed reception from critics.
# 9 – The Perfect Crime
This next track is taken from the band’s ninth album released in 2008 which was their last before they broke up for the second time. Despite this, it marked the debut of guitarist Rick Van Zandt who re-joined the band when they got back together and is still with the band now, having played on all three of their most recent records.
# 8 – A Light In The Dark
Next up we have the title and opening track of the group’s eighth album released in 2006. It marked the debut of drummer Jeff Plate who re-joined when they reformed and remained with them until 2017. This song has a very old-school sound to it and some reviews for the record even remarked that it could be a track from an eighties thrash metal record.
# 7 – Weight of the World
The next song on this list is the title track of the band’s seventh album released in 2004. It marked what is considered the band’s third crucial line-up marking the debut of Ronny Munroe as well as guitarist Jay Reynolds and bassist Steve Unger. It was also the last album for drummer Kirk Arrington. The album was seen as a comeback album for Metal Church, being their first record in five years.
# 6 – Into Dust
Ending the first half of this list is a track from 1999’s Masterpiece, their first album after getting back together for the first time. It is the first album to feature David Wayne on vocals since 1986. This album was something of a failed attempt to get the original line-up back together. Original guitarist Craig Wells was not involved and although he is credited, Kirk Arrington, who is the original drummer had very little involvement due to health issues.
# 5 – No Friend Of Mine
Kicking off the second half of this list is a track from 1993’s Hanging in the Balance, the final album of their original time together before they split up in 1996. It was also the last album to feature Mike Howe on vocals before he re-joined the band in 2015 as well as the last ever album with Craig Wells on guitar and Kirk Arrington’s last proper performance (not counting Masterpiece) until 2004.
# 4 – Human Factor
Up next is the title track from the band’s fourth album released in 1991. Being very similar in sound to the band’s contemporaries in Megadeth and Anthrax, the album was well-received at the time of its release and sold well. Despite this, it was their least successful album at that point as it failed to chart anywhere. Prior to this, the group had charted success with their previous three records.
# 3 – Badlands
At number three we have what is one of the band’s best-known songs with this single taken from their third album Blessing In Disguise released in 1989. This was the debut of Mike Howe who had replaced David Wayne and guitarist John Marshall, who had replaced Kurt Vanderhoof, who was now only involved with the band as a composer.
# 2 – The Dark
Just off the top spot is the title track of the band’s second album released in 1986. This is last album of the classic line-up. The album’s lyrics are darker in nature than that of the first album, with this song about a man being trapped in a house with a demon who is trying to drag him to hell. It received a positive critical reception upon its release.
# 1 – Metal Church
At the top of our Metal Church songs list, we have the title track of the band’s self-titled debut released in 1984 which is also the title track of the band itself, a similar thing to what Black Sabbath, Motorhead, and Iron Maiden all did on their debut albums. The song is an eighties metal classic, with David Wayne’s falsetto vocals being very powerful and rivaling that of Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio in terms of range and how they suit the music.
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