The Fire WithinMetal Heaven 2009
Ronny Munroe was the man who took on the difficult job of stepping up to the microphone stand as singer for Metal Church, after the death of David Wayne. Not an easy thing to do, but he did a bang up job across three albums, with "A Light In The Dark" probably the pick of the bunch.
With Metal Church no more, he's broken out on his own, teaming up with old friend Rick Van Zant on guitar, and getting Metal Church mainman Kurdt Vanderhoof to sit in the producers chair. And, blimey! It's good.
In fact, it sounds remarkably like a latter day Metal Church album, but with an even more aggressive stance. The opening track, 'Far', is proof of that, as it rips straight out of the speakers, bruising and brawling. Then you're hit with a beautifully melodic solo straight out of the seventies. S'wonderful!
Not everything is quite that impressive, but there are stunning riffs all over the place, the rhythm section pummels and pounds through tunes like 'Deafening Hypocrisy', and when things get a bit mellower, then it's more Dio era Black Sabbath than wimphem. Check out 'Across The Sea Of Souls' for proof.
Chuck in a guest appearance from Queensryches Michael Wilton on 'What You Choose To Call Hell (I Cal lHome)', and a closing, pulverising cover of 'Man On The Silver Mountain', and you've ended up with what may be my favourite meal album of the year.
© Stuart A Hamilton
Rating ****1/2 (4.5/5.0) Buy at Amazon