Back in 2009, there were a lot of us that were less than thrilled with Metal Church announced they were disbanding. While not for all fans, there's a lot of people out there that considered their LIGHT IN THE DARK release to be one of the best in the history of the band. And while other releases in the Ronny Munroe era of the band have been hit or miss, they brought it strong in the live environment. Further, releases like WEIGHT OF THE WORLD and THIS PRESENT DARKNESS were not bad efforts per se. They just weren't as good as LIGHT IN THE DARK or the classic era material. Having seen the Munroe led version of Metal Church a few times, it was really disheartening to hear they had broken up. Thankfully though, they have brought the band back together after a few years away to regroup, adapt to the business model of modern recording, and just recharge the batteries. The resulting GENERATION NOTHING is a very, very strong effort from the mighty Metal Church.
The thing about GENERATION NOTHING that separates it from all three previous Munroe-led releases is that they have truly taken the sound back to the classic era of the band. Songs like "Dead City" and "Bulletproof" would have played just as well on albums like BLESSING IN DISGUISE and THE HUMAN FACTOR. This is in large part because of the always recognizable guitar tone captured from the hands of Kurdt Vanderhoof. While not a major soloist, his driving riffs have long been the signature of the band's sound. Hearing his crunch on songs like "Noises In The Wall", you just feel the evil metal tones coming out of his six strings. He's the perfect compliment on this song (and ultimately the entire disc) to Rick Van Zandt, who adds a ton of flavor from the lead position in the band.
For his part, Munroe sounds fantastic. While he always seems to get slagged at every turn by the internet trolls out there, there's no denying that he intertwines the spirit of both David Wayne and more noticeably Mike Howe with a sound and attitude that's all his own. You get a real sense of how comfortable he is within Metal Church now on songs like "Scream" or the title track, wherein there's tons of his own flavor on display without making it sound like something different from anything in the back catalog.
PITRIFF RATING - 89/100 - This is a truly great release, with only minor issues to speak of (like, the horrible disc cover). That said though, if you are a fan of any era of Metal Church, you should enjoy GENERATION NOTHING. If you aren't a fan of Metal Church, you probably should try Bieber or Katy Perry, as that's probably more your speed. GENERATION NOTHING brings it strong as almost every release under the "Metal Church" moniker has previously.