Archive for the Metal Church Category

Ronny Munroe “The Fire Within” – Metal Church vocalist roars on solo debut

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic metal, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, dio, essential heavy metal albums, Guitar, guitar solos, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Metal Church, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rainbow heavy metal band, ronnie james dio, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

30649First of all, I am a fan of Ronny Munroe, the current lead vocalist for Metal Church. I just happen to gravitate towards the Old School Metal sound, both vocally and musically. Ronny Munroe in my Metal opinion, has the unmistakable Old School Heavy Metal vocals… and in no way do I subscribe to the opinion that this sound is dated. This brand of Old School Heavy Metal has been proven successful for decades now. For me, it is another Metal genre that lives on. With that said, I have obtained a copy of the new Ronny Munroe debut CD… The Fire Within, (released 2009), I am impressed by the total package of music here. This is Heavy Metal made the old school way, no frills, bells or whistles get in the way of the straight ahead approach that Ronny Munroe has taken on with “The Fire Within”. Honestly, Ronny Munroe comes with his Metal Church – front man credentials… he delivers a mightily solid twelve tunes alongside some talented friends. Rick Van Zandt of Metal Church, plays lead and rhythm guitars superbly throughout, with Michael Wilton of Queensryche delivering a solo on two tracks I will mention.

“Across The Sea Of Souls” is the song I feel Ronny Munroe is at his finest, his vocals sound sharp, as if he has been singing this song his entire life. The Michael Wilton solo on this song is cool, I cannot ignore or resist his guitar talent. “Ivory Towers” and “Evil Genius” are tracks that showcase moments of the higher extreme of Ronny’s vocal range, (yes, think of Rob Halford), these songs are groove laden with images of 1980’s Arena Metal concerts in my mind! “Ride Me” is a Metal-macho tune that rocks heavy, the lyrics are tailor made for a Hair Metal band… Ronny makes this song work, Randy Cooper kicks in with a lean & mean solo, a Heavy Metal tune with plenty of swagger. “What You Choose To Call Hell (I Call Home)” comes across to me, as the signature track for Ronny on this album. It is dark, heavy, moody and effectively bridges the gap between Metal Church and Ronny Munroe’s solo career. Michael Wilton appears again here, providing another memorable solo.

After listening to “The Fire Within”, it is my Metal opinion, that Ronny Munroe places Old School Heavy Metal high on a pedestal. I hear while listening to this album, the influences of Judas Priest, Dio and Dio era Rainbow. My opinion could not be better solidified, after listening to “Man On The Silver Mountain” (a vintage Rainbow song), covered by Ronny Munroe. This being the last track, it fittingly closes out a fine Heavy Metal album of creative tunes. Ronny does a terrific cover of this song, I really enjoy this version a whole bunch. This cover version found here, is a fine tribute to an everlasting, Heavy Metal classic of a song. Ronny’s vocals at times, do have comparisons to the legendary Ronnie James Dio, especially on this classic Rainbow cover. I will say, my favorite will always be the original “Man On The Silver Mountain” as sung by Dio himself. In summary, “The Fire Within” will be an album that I will tune in to on a regular basis, it is what I like. I was looking forward to this solo album from Ronny, I have not been disappointed. I recommend Ronny Munroe’s debut solo effort to any fan of Old School Heavy Metal, 1980’s Heavy Metal, Rainbow and of course, Metal Church. New fans should just dive in… this brand of Metal needs to be passed on!

Upon searching for “The Fire Within”, I did locate this CD on the worlds greatest online record store… Century Media Records… aka… CM Distro.com. (I highly recommend CM Distro.com). “The Fire Within” is on an independent record label called Ratpak Records. *Not to leave out the cool musicianship of the following on this album: Izzy Rehaume on bass guitar, Rick Pierce on rhythm guitar, Johnny Ringo and David Van Zandt on drums.

Ronny Munroe "The Fire Within"

Metal Church – Heavy Metal to the core

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Metal Church, metal music, Metal Reviews, rainbow heavy metal band, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I have a long list of Metal bands that I simply cannot get enough of. Metal Church is on this list. Actually, Metal Church is at the very top of this list. The reasons are many: the musicianship (first & foremost), the lead vocalists throughout this bands career  (the late David Wayne), Mike Howe and current lead vocalist Ronny Munroe. The music of Metal Church has always been heavy, they have never tried to sign on to the flavor of the month when it comes to Heavy Metal. Metal Church has always been as great of a representation of Heavy Metal music, as you can possibly get. (In my Metal opinion). I will say this now, Ronny Munroe for me, is what I consider the most underrated lead singer in all of Heavy Metal music today. I definitely feel Ronny is a Heavy Metal flashback, old school if you will. That is a compliment, for Ronny does not over reach vocally nor does he try to. Ronny Munroe is the only lead vocalist today, that reminds me of the legendary Ronnie James Dio. Sometimes comparisons are cool, especially when you get compared to DIO. *Ronny Munroe has his brand new solo album out now titled “The Fire Within”… with Kurdt Vanderhoof and Ronny producing it. Ronny does a cover of the Rainbow – Ronnie James Dio classic – “Man On The Silver Mountain” – I ordered my copy today, man, I cannot wait to get it. Michael Wilton from Queensryche and Rick Van Zandt from Metal Church both play guitar on Ronny’s solo album too. 

Kurdt Vanderhoof, the founder, guitarist and leader of Metal Church, along with all the musicians that have been part of Metal Church, both past and present, have proven to me that perseverance with musical integrity can bring about incredible Metal music. The proof of this belief are the catalog of albums from Metal Church. Plus, Kurdt Vanderhoof has a pretty darn good side project of a band called Presto Ballet as well. (I will save Presto Ballet for another future post). Going back to October 27th of 2008, a statement on the Metal Church website informed fans that Kurdt Vanderhoof was going to correct/rehabilitate bulging discs in his lower back. The statement went on to say this situation could take up to 6 months for Kurdt Vanderhoof. Man, I truly hope and pray that Kurdt Vanderhoof does rid his body of all the pain these bulging discs have caused. I am hopeful that everything goes well for Kurdt. 

During this past year, (September 23, 2008), Metal Church released their new album “This Present Wasteland” – one rock solid chunk of Heavy Metal that every fan of quality Metal music should own. It is an album that I consider to be one of the very best in Heavy Metal releases from 2008. I personally feel every tune on this album is heavy and of equal worthiness. “Monster” is a great track, lyrically taking on the dark side of cyberspace addiction. My favorite tune on this album is without a doubt, “Crawling To Extinction”, this song has all the old school, Heavy Metal flare, musically happening. If you are even remotely interested in checking out what Metal Church is all about, buy any album/CD of theirs and become an instant fan. The debut album of Metal Church is heavier, faster, more of a Thrash Metal work, in my Metal opinion. Comparing one Metal Church album to another is ridiculous, based on there being 3 different lead vocalists over the years. Besides, my being a gigantic advocate for Metal Church will not allow me to nit pick any of their music they have ever created. Check out Metal Church at http://www.metalchurchmusic.com

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Cliff Burton will always be remembered by this Metallica fan.

Posted in concerts, Guitar, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, james hetfield, Metal, Metal Church, metal concerts, Metallica, Music, Rock, Thrash Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

3791052I was extremely lucky enough to see Cliff Burton, the late bass playing legend for Metallica, at two live gigs in 1986. The first live experience I had seeing Metallica with Cliff Burton was in a large club setting, (The West Hartford Ballroom, West Hartford, Connecticut). Metal Church opened for Metallica, what a night. The second live gig I experienced seeing Cliff Burton was a rather very large gig. Metallica opened for none other than – Ozzy Osbourne! This exciting concert took place at the New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut). (During 1986, Metallica was touring in support of their album “Master of Puppets” and Ozzy Osbourne was touring in support of his album “The Ultimate Sin”) My Metal memory cannot recall the exact dates of these shows, yet they both occurred in the brutally cold Winter months of 1986!

Let me say this much, as I witnessed Cliff Burton up close, in the large club setting, I still never have witnessed, to this very day, another Metal bass player that was so electrifying and physically into the music as Cliff was. It was because of Cliff Burton that I emulated his style of headbanging! Cliff Burton, from seeing him so up close that night, made it so vividly clear to me, that he was the master of his bass guitar, he was really enjoying the music he was playing. I could see in his face, the raw and yet enthusiastic emotion of what Thrash Metal really was. I will never forget that night, nor can I forget seeing Cliff Burton truly feel the Thrash music he was playing. Again, this is my own personal, live, first hand account from what I witnessed while watching Cliff Burton play his bass. (I of course remember James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett too from that night!).

The New Haven concert was of course, bigger, therefore my nose bleed seat did not afford me the exclusiveness of being up close to the stage this time around. However, I did witness Metallica with Cliff Burton for a second time, live – they literally blew the roof off the coliseum with their brand of Thrash Metal fury! I remember gazing down on the entire stage, revering Metallica, taking it all in, taking each person on that stage for granted. Now, reflecting back, I grin while thinking of the New Haven concert. On that night, the thrill of seeing Metallica was euphoric to say the least, yet I was also equally thrilled that night to see Ozzy Osbourne on stage too. Just to pause for a moment, I and no one else for that matter on that particular evening, knew, that this very well would be the last time we would see the great Cliff Burton play his bass guitar live. These Metal life lessons have taught me to no longer take any person you enjoy for granted. Reflecting on these terrific Metal moments of my past reminds me, to cherish the moments I have today, to cherish family, friends, Metal music and good times. 

Clifford Lee Burton – February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986

Congratulations, Cliff Burton, on your induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with your band Metallica, on April 4, class of 2009! 

Greatest Metal album of all-time list #5!

Posted in Album Review, Alice cooper, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Metal, Metal Church, Metal Reviews, Music, Over Kill, Power Metal, Rock, Slipknot, Thrash Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

3646022Here it is, list #5 in my soul searching quest to determine the greatest Metal album of all-time! I feel like I am nearing closure, the light is at the end of the Metal tunnel. Please feel free to chime in and throw at me any Metal album you have not seen on any of these lists thus far, that you feel is deemed worthy of nomination for the greatest Metal album ever. Why, for me to actually forget a legendary Metal masterpiece? Of course, I am only (Metalhead) human. Plus, the years of Metal have provided such a vast array of genres, so many cool and brilliant albums are out there. I will consider any Metal album suggestion that may come my way, despite my being a Heavy Metal expert – I am kidding of course, all you need to do is read my article on “experts”! Now without any more Metal delay, here goes another 10 nominations (in no particular order) for the greatest Metal album of all-time:

1.    Dream Theater – “Images and Words”

2.    Mountain – “Climbing”

3.    Van Halen – “Van Halen”

4.    Alice Cooper – “Billion Dollar Babies”

5.    Aerosmith – “Toys In The Attic”

6.    Metal Church – “Metal Church”

7.    Over Kill – “Feel The Fire”

8.    Manowar – “Battle Hymns”

9.    Rainbow – “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll”

10.  Slipknot – “Slipknot”

Stay tuned!


HEAVY METAL – here yesterday, here today, here to stay!

Posted in aiden, Album Review, Alice cooper, Amon Amarth, Bad Company, Black Label Society, Black Metal, Bullet For My Valentine, Century Media, concerts, Danzig, Death Metal, Disturbed, Drums, Edguy, Extreme, Extreme Metal, GammaRay, Gene Simmons, Great White, Guitar, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, james hetfield, Kreator, Lamb of God, Led Zeppelin, Metal, metal blade, Metal Church, metal concerts, Metal Edge, Metal Reviews, Metallica, Misfits, Music, Over Kill, ozzy, Paul Stanley, Power Metal, Punk rock, Ramones, revolver magazine, Rock, rockabilia, Scorpions, Skid Row, Slayer, Slipknot, styx, Thrash Metal, Trivium, Vocals, W.A.S.P. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7505434It is so refreshing, extremely comforting, to know that there are factually dozens of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands that MATTER, bashing out their new releases and touring, since the 1970’s and in some instances, the late 1960’s!! So much for critics who cite “shelf life” of Heavy Metal. There are so many legendary Heavy Metal bands out there that are in their 3rd or 4th decade of championing the flag of Metal for all of us Metalheads. I hereby SALUTE the following list of legendary and historical bands that were/still are instrumental in shaping and defining the world of METAL music – as we know it and enjoy it today. I say THANK YOU to these bands! It is my opinion, that these bands are still around today for they are masters of their musical craft. It is my METAL opinion, that each and every one of these bands belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (some bands on this list already are there). I may miss some bands that should be on this list, however feel free to comment on those bands who belong on this HEAVY METAL & HARD ROCK list and they shall be added. The criteria I am using is: The band is Heavy Metal or Hard Rock * The band has been around since the late 1960’s or 1970’s and still are performing as a band or members are doing solo careers and/or recording new material – the band is current. Here is the list (in no particular order), enjoy:

DEEP PURPLE * MOTORHEAD * NAZARETH * BLACK SABBATH(HEAVEN AND HELL) * VAN HALEN * SAXON * AC/DC * TED NUGENT * MISFITS * RUSH * KROKUS * OZZY OSBOURNE * ZZ TOP * QUEEN & PAUL RODGERS * JUDAS PRIEST * CHEAP TRICK * IRON MAIDEN * ROBERT PLANT * GIRLSCHOOL * FOREIGNER * PAUL STANLEY * LITA FORD *  TOMMY SHAW * STYX * DENNIS DEYOUNG * GLENN DANZIG * TWISTED SISTER * WHITESNAKE * HEART * Y&T * SAMMY HAGAR * REO SPEEDWAGON * MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP * UFO * SCORPIONS * UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER * PETER FRAMPTON * JOURNEY * GARY MOORE * ALICE COOPER * MOUNTAIN * KISS * URIAH HEEP *

To compile a complete list on this topic would be rather time consuming and laborious. The point I strive to make here is that as this list proves, quality musicianship coupled with Metal and/or Hard Rock will forever be in demand and last for decades. I have always been a strong believer that the Hard Rock of the late 1960’s and that of the 1970’s helped evolve Heavy Metal into the 1980’s and beyond. I simply cannot help but feel that bands such as Styx, Cheap Trick and Foreigner are relevant to the glorious world of Heavy Metal. I have been won over by these Hard Rock bands that stood the test of time. Listening to Cheap Trick’s “Gonna Raise Hell” from the “Dream Police” album is all the proof I need to hear in regards to any relevance to Heavy Metal. The same holds true for me in regards to “Renegade” by Styx and “Double Vision” by Foreigner. If these same songs were written today, would they have the same historical significance of “shaping Heavy Metal”? I believe the answer is no. These Hard Rock bands and their songs were born in the 1970’s, at a time when there were no multiple genres of Metal.

To make an analogy, in professional sports, athletes and fans are always reminded to be reverent of the past sports teams and athletes who helped shape and change their respective sport for the better. I definitely admire, respect and continue to listen to these bands that helped Metal evolve. By no means do I ignore or disregard the Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands of yesteryear that for one reason or another disbanded and are no longer current. This article is a celebration of quality Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands that have persevered, stood the test of time through the Disco era, the PMRC and their silly “parental advisory stickers”, the changing cultural and economic climates over the decades, with little or no help from the mainstream media and yet these bands still exist in 2009! I praise all of these bands and say to them all – WELL DONE!

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