CD Review: Metal Church’s Generation Nothing


In late 1984, I purchased the newly re-released (on a major label) Ride the Lightning by a band I had never heard of called Metallica from the now defunct Budget Tapes and Records on Rainer Ave in downtown Renton. Thus began my love affair with the uprising thrash metal movement that would not truly catch fire around the nation for another two years. During this time, I buried myself in listening to just about every band that had been signed to Metal Blade, Megaforce, Combat and Shrapnel Records. But one of the very first bands on that list, would be a local band turned on to me by my good friend, and longtime music guru Lance Goodwin from Bubble Records in Kent (RIP….to Bubble, not Lance).

I purchased Metal Church’s self-titled debut on Ground Zero Records…complete with an order form where you could even order a METAL CHURCH NECK BRACE! (to this day, not ordering that neck brace is one of my all-time biggest music related regrets…and if you own one, I will buy you a beer if you just let me look at it!) Decades later, that album remains a classic of the genre, and one of the greatest albums ever released from the Seattle area.

I remained a fan all the way up through (and including) 1991’s The Human Factor. (a criminally under-rated record…find it!) But after that, I just began to pursue other musical interests, and my love affair with all things thrash…and subsequently Metal Church…was put on the backburner.

But after a time, all things old become new again, and when I heard Metal Church had reunited with a revamped lineup with guitarist/founding member Kurdt Vanderhoof still leading the charge, I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to offer. The new album Generation Nothing delivers on a stunning level.  It’s actually a very fine line between “retro” and “retread”, but Metal Church has managed to capture the spirit of the first four classic albums without sounding like they are simply re-hashing old unused ideas or going thru the motions of trying to re-record  yesterday’s glory. Metal Church sounds brilliantly reborn with a new found aggression on Generation Nothing that is sadly lost on their former label-mates Metallica. (see their newly dropped retread of old lost riffs online now), and new lead singer Ronny Munroe manages to sing with a gravel that is reminiscent of the late David Wayne, but with an amazing professional technique, power and pitch that brings the newer, tighter Metal Church to soaring new heights. I’ve missed out on some of Metal Church’s more recent material, but of the albums I have heard, this is EASILY their best album since The Dark, and I am happy to see them back, with better writing, better production, and better performances than many of their “Big 4” counterparts.

The Dude Abides

Generation Nothing released Oct 22, 2013 on Rat Pak Records in conjunction with Kurdt’s Body of Work Recordings.

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Metal Church is:

Ronnie Munroe – Lead Vocals
Kurdt Vanderhoof – Guitars
Rick Van Zandt – Guitars
Steve Unger – Bass
Jeff Plate – Drums


Metal Church (1984)
The Dark (1986)
Blessing in Disguise (1989)
The Human Factor (1991)
Hanging in the Balance (1993)
Masterpeace (1999)
The Weight of the World (2004)
A Light in the Dark (2006)
This Present Wasteland (2008)
Generation Nothing (2013)

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The Jammin Dude

Ben “Jammin” Straley – aka The Jammin Dude…or the J-Dude (or El Jay Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) is an old school thrash metal and progressive rock geek who has been writing about music since he was in grade school. (which consisted of graphing out his top 10 songs of the week and passing them out to all his classmates) His 30 year love affair with progressive rock began when he first heard Rush’s Tom Sawyer at his 6th Grade grade graduation party. From there he started listening to music almost 12 hours a day through his teenage years listening to Rush, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and eventually discovering the burgeoning thrash metal movement in 1984 when he purchased Ride the Lightning from the original Budget Tapes & Records on Rainer Ave in his hometown of Renton, WA. Today, he mostly sticks to his first love (progressive rock) and is a huge fan of bands like Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Pain of Salvation, Fates Warning, Haken, Riverside, local favorite Odd Logic…and of course…RUSH. You Tube Twitter grade graduation party. From there he started listening to music

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