METAL CHURCH (1981–PRESENT). Mike Murphy (vocals, replaced by David Wayne, Mike Howe), Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar), Craig Wells (guitar, replaced by John Marshall, Rick Van Zandt), Duke Erickson (bass), Kirk Arrington (drums, replaced by Jeff Plate).
Metal Church were a thrash metal band from the early eighties who someho flew below the radar of many in the metal community, despite their classic records such as The Dark, which was a huge-selling thrash metal landmark. The first vocalist, Murphy, was less strident than many thrash singers and more indebted to classic metal than many in the thrash scene at the time. Subsequent vocalists saw the band turn in a harder direction, but just as Metal Church was hitting their stride again, they fell prey to the rise of grunge and the punk revival and were largely inactive from the early nineties till 1999, when they reformed with a new lineup with Wayne singing again, although he soon left the band. Sadly former singer Wayne passed away in 2005, but the band soldiers on to this day, spreading the gospel of Metal Church to true believers far and wide.
Discography: Metal Church (Elektra, 1985); The Dark (Elektra, 1987); Blessing in Disguise (Elektra, 1989); Human Factor (Epic, 1991); Hanging in the Blance (Blackheart, 1993); Masterpeace (Nuclear Blast, 1999); Live (Nuclear Blast, 2000); The Weight of the World (Steamhammer/Spv, 2004); A Light in the Dark (SPV, 2006).