Metal Church entertain well

It would be tempting for a band that have been established for over 20 years to play it safe, relax a little, just go through the motions. Luckily for the punters at Bloodstock 2006 this is not the Metal Church philosophy and the band have managed to put in a set which is top-notch entertainment.

The band cover songs both old and new, showing the entire range of their career from their self-titled debut right up to this year's 'A Light In The Dark'. I cannot claim to be intimately familiar with the band, having only heard them for the first time a matter of days before the festival, but that doesn't matter once the band start playing. Their songs display an intriguing mix of heavy, thrash and death stylings which keeps the entertainment varied at all times; as the audience tires of fast speed-metal style guitar riffs the band switch back into a chunkier middle-paced riff, and it is this variety and changing dynamic which allows Metal Church to entertain fans both old and new watching their set. This is reflected in the size and vigour of the crowd response; they clap along when the band want them to, a throwing of the horns is never out of site and although they are undoubtedly annoying, the constantly-erupting mosh pit which greets many of the band's faster tracks is indicative of how the fans are enjoying Metal Church's set.

The sound problems which earlier bugged Atheist are no longer present and the guitars have a chunky and crisp sound to them which suits their styling perfectly, no element of the mix is entirely forgotten and no instrument overpowers any other. This good sound, the glorious summer afternoon on show and the crowd response creates an equally powerful response in the band themselves who can be seen to be grinning and laughing throughout their hour long set.

Overall Metal Church put in a damn show; particularly considering normally it is easy to forget bands of their type, when such entertaining headliners as Edguy or Stratovarius could easily overshadow their set. To their credit Metal Church have managed to intrigue a complete newcomer to their sound, and if that doesn't show the quality of their set then god knows what will!