Metal Church

Whisky a Go Go – Hollywood, CA

Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Review/Pics: Will

Sunday night in Hollywood and it was time to worship at the Church…of METAL!

Metal Church are a band that have certainly gone through some trials and tribulations. Since their inception in the early 80’s they’ve had to replace two very popular singers in David Wayne and more recently due to the tragic suicide of Mike Howe. Undaunted, the band have marched on. Enter newest addition to the fold, former Ross The Boss and Let Us Prey vocalist, Marc “Not LopEZ” Lopes.  

Metal Church are: 

Kurdt Vanderhoof – Rhythm guitar

Rick Van Zandt – Lead guitar

Steve Unger – Bass

Stet Howland – Drums

Marc Lopes – Vocals

Not long after Marc was announced the band released their 13th studio album, “Congregation of Annihilation“. The album harkens back to the bone crunching heaviness of their early offerings and Marc certainly puts his stamp on how the band will sound moving forward. The “thrashiness” is certainly back with a vengeance.  What I was interested in hearing was how Marc would handle the older parts of the Metal Church catalog.  The answer I found was, with ease.

Now saying that, the setlist was comprised mainly of the David Wayne days. We only got two new songs from “Congregation of Annihilation“, those being first single “Pick a God and Prey” and “Me The Nothing“. (I was disappointed that they didn’t play the title track, which I was really looking forward to hearing, Oh well…). From the Mike Howe era they only played “Fake Healer” and of course “Badlands“.

The rest of the band did what they do. They made thrashing through an hour and a half set look easy. The band are relatively static on stage which may have more to do with the confines of the small Whisky stage. But Kurdt and Rick chugged out all those killer Metal Church riffs; Steve on bass made nice with crowd and kicked in some great backing vocals as did Stet on drums, who always seems to be having WAY too much fun behind the kit. 

Kurdt took time to mention not just the passing of Mike Howe, but also former drummer, Kirk Arrington who passed away earlier this year. The crowd threw up their horns to honor the fallen members.  And speaking of the crowd, I was amazed at the turnout on a Sunday night in Hollywood.  The Whisky was packed with like-minded metalheads who were curious and excited about the return of the band.  There were even a few small pits that formed during the set.

The good news is the band are cranking out some stellar thrash music…the great news is, they’ve found the new voice to help propel their legacy into the future.

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Metal Church