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Damned If You Do is the twelfth studio album from longstanding American heavy metal band Metal Church.
Damned If You Do lands a stately thirty-four years after Metal Church debuted their self-titled album and two short years since their most recent album. The return of vocalist Mike Howe that began with 2016’s XI has invigorated Metal Church’s inventive approach to classic heavy metal and this has continued with Damned If You Do. This latest offering is a creatively energetic twelfth album without straying from the core of Metal Church’s sound.
From the opening title track, Damned If You Do is addictively vibrant.
From the opening title track, Damned If You Do is addictively vibrant, with a solid groove running into cascading drum rolls. Constantly shaping each track with its own aesthetic is one of Metal Church’s strengths and this indeed shines in tracks such as Out Of Balance, with its easily identifiable melody and solo. Mike Howe’s vocal diversity is evident here too, alongside tracks such as Into The Fold that showcase Howe’s impressive, full-bodied epic vocal sound.
A handful of enticing tracks such as The Black Things and By The Numbers hint at some darker themes, with a slightly more menacing tone to them, which is a reasonably new approach for Metal Church and an interesting development. All talk of innovation aside tracks such as Rot Away are wall-to-wall uncompromising metal, so there is plenty of range for Metal Church fans of all preferences.
Damned If You Do is tangibly inspired, the love of classic metal music felt by Metal Church seeps through to inject this album with passion.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Into The Fold, Out Of Balance, The Black Things
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