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Released: 1998, Great Northern
Well, after many years away from Metal Church, Kurt Vanderhoof graces us with his project "Vanderhoof." Not that the man has been idle, he remained with Metal Church behind the scenes assisting with songwriting, etc. and gave us the only (but excellent) Hal-aflame release "Guaranteed Forever." He has also recently re-formed the mighty Metal Church.
Now that I've brought you up to speed, let me tell you about "Vanderhoof." This is a hard CD to peg at first listen. If you are looking for the "lost" church album it's not here! Tracks such as the opener "Bleed", "Out Alive", "Closer" and "40 Days Down" could fit in with the groove of latter-era Church, but this CD requires a few listens to truly be appreciated.
Vanderhoof is a CD that shows the celebration of a band's influences. This is a good thing. Hammond organ, wah-wah, 70's grooves…it's all here. From the acoustic "50 Cent Symphony" to the Uriah Heep-like "Take To The Sky", this album is more rock at times than metal. "Machine" is a throwback to the 90's with it's vocal style, but its track' like "Beg" and "Falling To Earth" that highlight this band’s versatility.
This album was only available as an import for the longest time, but will finally see this side of the world via Kurt's own label – Great Northern. A great performance turned in by all musicians involved, even though Kurt plays a ton of instruments himself (surprise). Do yourself a favor and pick this one up and enjoy it for what it really is - a great rock-n-roll album. Sure it's not Metal Church, that's 'cause there's only one Metal Church, and only one Vanderhoof!!
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