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Overkill/ MetalChurch/ Joey Belladonna/ Meliah Rage

Date: 01/29/07
Venue: BB King Blues Club, New York
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Overkill setlist:

Rotten to the Core
Fuck You
Hello from the Gutter
Wrecking Crew
Thanx for Nuthin
Blood Money
Nice Day for a Funeral
Old School
Deny the Cross
Under One
Long Time Dyin

Metal Church setlist:

Beyond the Black
Metal Church
Start the Fire
Ton of Bricks
Gods of Wrath
Fake Healer
A Light in the Dark
Mirror of Lies

Meliah Rage are currently reactive again out supporting their latest album “The Deep and Dreamless Sleep”. The band name is most notably recognized now a days since Godsmack frontman Sully had a very brief stint in the band as their drummer in the early 90’s but the recording was not released until 2002 titled “Unfinished Business”. The band’s current lineup consists of Anthony Nichols and Jim Koury on guitar, Paul Souza on vocals, drummer Stuart Dowie, and bassist Darren Lourie carry out Meliah Rages traditional ways with old school arrangements mixing elements of traditional and speeds metal with doses of influence from old Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest.

Joey Belladonna apparently according to the Anthrax camp, has once again dropped the ball and by the time this show is happening he is out of the band and the reunion experiment is over. Man what a big mistake there because he surely needs them more than they need him to be successful based on tonight’s three song (one Anthrax “Indians” which sounded terrible) solo performance. His voice and energy is just fine but his backing band is average and just the songs themselves are not catchy or memorable. If I was him, and Anthrax too, I would have done my best to be adults and make Anthrax work with the classic lineup because that’s where the magic is.

Metal Church in 07 with this new lineup is a monster, period. The band is lead by original guitarist Kurt Vanderhoof and joined by Malice guitarist Jay Reynolds, bassist Steve Unger, Savatage drummer Jeff Plate and vocalist Ronnie Munroe who has recorded two albums at this point with the band.

Out supporting their excellent return to form release “A Light in the Dark”, with songs off that album like show opener title track and “Mirror of Lies”, let everyone know that the Church has a new lease on life. Ronnie really is inspirited with the talents of the late David Wayne and at times he contains a similar tone to the original Metal Church singer while having his own voice. Ronnie also embraces tones heard from replacement screamer Mike Howe heard on the track “Fake Healer” off “Blessing in Disguise” from 1989 (“Badlands” was also on the setlist but had to unfortunately be cut due to time constraints). Classics in their set like “Ton of Bricks” and personal fav crusher “Start the Fire” were just outstanding. The sound mix worked so well for those songs with the guitar riffs filling the venue with headbanging crunchiness and Jeff behind the kit laying down strong fist pounding beats.

Not that he really has to because his skills are there, but Ronnie got to really showcase his range on “Gods of Wrath”, “Beyond the Black” and the title track off the debut “Metal Church” and as I stood next to ex Hades current Seven Witches singer Alan Tecchio he said to me “Are you kidding me this guy singing is amazing”.

So there you go Metal Church are back and their latest release I highly recommend checking out. Apparently they are taping shows for a DVD release and I am very much looking forward to that.

Overkill are out doing a string of dates prior to the release of their latest untitled album and hot off their successful jaunt with Megadeth in the early fall for the Gigantour festival run. The lineup remains in tact with Bobby Blitz on vocals and DD Verni on bass, Derek Tailer and Dave Linsk on guitars, and recent addition on drums Ron Lipnicki.

No new material was in the set so they ran through classics like “Hello from the Gutter”, “Powersurge” (one of my favorites that they haven’t had in the set for a little while), “Rotten”, “E….limination”, and the crushing “Nice Day for a Funeral” from “Horrorscope”. At this point I have seen them so many times I wish they would switch the set to make it more interesting and add different obscure songs like “Funeral”. “Electro Violence” would be killer, “Hammerhead” and “Shred” sometimes make an appearance, and a few different ones off later albums like “From the Underground” and “Necroshine”. The fans after so many years are obviously not changing so I think some different choices would be welcomed amongst a few hits.

I have heard that the new album will be very thrashy so be on the lookout for that sometime this year.


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