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Album Review: Metal Church - Congregation of Annihilation
Marc Lopes helps rebuild the metal church with Congregation of Annihilation
Whenever a band loses an important member, there is always uncertainty as to whether their replacement will be able to live up to them, and even more so when it is an established band.
Such is the case of Metal Church that after Mike Howe's death in 2021, fans were in doubt about the future of the band and which vocalist could be up to Mike's standards. However, with Congregation Of Annihilation, those doubts were completely cleared.
Marc Lopes was chosen to fill the vocalist position and boy did he do it in a brutal way. Marc comes from being the voice of Ross The Boss where they were able to stay in the eyes of several festivals around the world, and also recently collaborating with Metal Mike.
But let's get to the core, the new Metal Church album that opens with the track 'Another Judgement Day' whose riff reminds us of those early years of the band and Marc's voice coupling perfectly, as if he was already an old acquaintance of the band. Continuing with the homonymous track that continues with the same line, aggressive riffs, a brutally demonic voice and a sound that still reminds us of the first two Metal Church albums; such a phenomenal start.
'Pick a God and Prey' comes with a certain old-school sound of Accept and a primordial thrash that sounds exquisite that will surely get several mosh pits moving in their live shows. A very interesting change comes with 'Children of the Line' which takes us to the top of the roller coaster and makes us go down in a brutal but very comfortable way. With arpeggios and melodies that blend perfectly to close this theme. 'Me The Nothing' seems to continue with that slow rhythm that left the end of the previous song. Marc's voice fits perfectly when slowing down, with a sunny and warm sound. A song that is perfect to take a breather after the ferocious tracks already heard.
'Making Monsters' repeats the same heavy formula of the first few songs; precise drumming by Stet Howland, and Steve Unger's bass is completely well worked. Here, the influences of U.D.O. are most certainly present.
'Say a Prayer with 7 Bullets' recalls all the old school of heavy metal, with a very marked air of the NWOBHM, the song stands out for an incredible guitar duel. The tracks that follow are 'These Violent Thrills,' 'All That We Destroy,' and the bonus tracks 'My Favorite Sin' and 'Salvation' continue to offer powerful and precise riffs. Marc's voice of war in 'These Violent Thrills' is a particular stand-out moment on the record.
Congregation of Annihilation can mean a renaissance for the Metal Church, as if it were a phoenix. Without a doubt an excellent return that recalls the early years of the band (Metal Church and The Dark) with incredible vitality, the inclusion of Marc Lopes was a great success for the band that will make many heads bang in their live performances.