Hard Metal bands with melodies flowing. This album doesn’t start that way. It starts off hard & flowing, but then merges into a more melodic feel towards the middle of the album, then merges the 2 towards the end. What more do you need from a band that calls themselves Metal Church. Originally formed in 1980 in San Francisco, then going to Washington from there under the name “Shrapnel”. Now they’re back calling themselves “Metal Church” with an album titled “Xl”. They consider themselves Thrash Metal, although, I wouldn’t consider it that, at all. I’ll give it a Heavy Metal sound, with maybe a bit of punk, but, very little at that. I like the sound, and I think you will too. Mike Howe, the vocalist of the band has a bit of a gruff sound to him, but, can he really make it count on the slower parts of the songs. Metal Church are Kurdt Vanderhoof on guitars, Mike Howe on vocals, Steve Unger on bass, Jeff Plate on drums & Rick Van Zandt on guitar. This band has been off and on since 1980 with different members flowing in and out. This current line up works really well together & have been since the 90’s under this line up, for some of the members of this band. This album gets a 4 out of 5 Music Guru Stars.