Metal Church

Damned If You Do

Album Type:
Release Date:
7th December 2018
Record Label:
Nuclear Blast
Total Tracks:

Metal Church carries the same difficult legacy as most of  my favorite bands, the first 3 albums are almost not to match. Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, Exodus, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sepultura, Dream Theater, Helloween, Death, Agent Steel, and so on and so on all have these troubles when writing a new album. Sure there are songs on albums that are of the same level, but never a record long. This I can also conclude about Damned If You Do. The impact the first album made on me was big. The mighty riff of the title song has never been topped and the dark almost spooky atmosphere of the record either.

Back to the now! You can hear that the band did their best to write good songs, real Metal Church songs, with the typical riffs and drum style. The opener is an uptempo one, you surely already have been listening to on the internet. ‘The Black Thing’ starts with cymbals reminding me of their first album, it is a mid tempo track with Mike in perfect shape. ‘By The Numbers’ is also one of the best on this new album.

If the quality of the lot would have been the same level as the first three, my rating would be higher. Unfortunately there are a few average songs with names like ‘Revolution Underway’ and ‘Monkey Finger’. Especially the last one is too weak and should not have been on the album in my opinion. Lucky for us there is also a song like ‘Guillotine’, with jumpy riffs that will make every fan enthusiastic again. This is the only one in my opinion that can compete with tracks of their first records.

After listening to the album over 10 times, I am still not sure what to think about it. I miss a little bit the really heavy songs, there is enough tempo, but with the riffs a bit louder or should I say in front of the mix I would have liked it a bit more.

Now I have to find a rating for the album. Well, I would have given 75 points if possible, but I can’t so I give them 8 devils, just because they are Metal Church.


1. Damned If You Do
2. The Black Things
3. By The Numbers
4. Revolution Underway
5. Guillotine
6. Rot Away
7. Into The Fold
8. Monkey Finger
9. Out Of Balance
10. The War Electric

Playing Time: 45:00

Mike Howe (v)
Kurdt Vanderhoof (g)
Rick Van Zandt (g)
Steve Unger (b)
Stet Howland (d)

Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 383 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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