Wayne
Metal Church

Let’s play ‘What if…’ shall we? What if David Wayne had never left Metal Church in the first place? What if they dropped some of the thrash influence and worked in a more straight-ahead metal approach for the follow up to The Dark? What would it sound like? If you have these questions burning in your heart, then all you simply need do is pick up a copy of Metal Church by Wayne. This album, I believe, is the answer to those “What if…” questions.

After a less than amicable split from his former band, for the second time no less, former Metal Church and Reverend vocalist David Wayne bounces back with a blistering metal retro-fest of tunes. Now, it’s a little more than obvious what he’s trying to do here. The album’s title aside, the “Wayne” logo is suspiciously similar to the Metal Church logo and the cover even has the old moss-covered Gibson Explorer “guitar cross” stuck in the ground. This makes it hard to determine whether this album is a cash-in or a case of “giving the fans what they want.” I’ll refrain from giving my opinion on this because, in either case, the music here is actually quite good. Meaty, solid heavy metal complete with “denim and leather” riffing and Wayne’s eerie, reptilian wailing vocals. With his trademark voice on these tunes, it really does sound like Metal Church with a more straightforward metal feel. Nothing really thrashy, but tons mid-to-up-tempo double kick drums, ripping guitar solos, and driving riffs.

“Nightmare Part II” is a driving tune with a good grinding riff over solid double kick drums and Wayne’s pissed-off vocals. The lead break here is pure heavy metal heaven. “The Hammer Will Fall” is a solid, heavy mid-tempo number reminding one of mid-eighties Judas Priest. Again, the vocals add an air of familiarity and this one should incite some fist pumping and head banging in a live situation. “Burning At The Stake” is another fast heavy metal burner with a good vocal presence and more thick guitars. We get to hear David’s well-known scream do its thing here and the lead break is tight. The cover of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” here seems a little out of place, but the groove is good and heavy and David sounds comfortable.

Overall, whether you view this as a total pillaging of his past or a return to his roots, you can’t deny that David Wayne is in his element here musically. Fans of no-frills heavy metal should have a blast with this one.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
April 6th, 2001

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