Single Slam – By The Numbers by Metal Church (Damned If You Do)

American thrashers, Metal Church, have released a new song, By The Numbers, from their incoming new album, Damned If You Do. Damned If You Do is set for release on the 7th of December via Nuclear Blast.

It will be the veteran metallers 12th full length following on from 2016’s XI. Not so much imagination with their 11th album title. XI was the first modern album from Metal Church to feature the return of vocalist Mike Howe. Howe was originally in the band in the late 80’s to early 90’s before they disbanded. Alongside Mike Howe, on guitars it is Kurdt Vanderhoof and Rick Van Standt. On bass and backing vocals, we have Steve Unger and on drums its Stet Howland. Howland replaced Jeff Plate in 2017.

Damned If You Do

By The Numbers is the third single released from Damned If You Do. You can read our thoughts on one of the others, Out of Balance, by following the link. By The Numbers is another pretty typical Metal Church song, to be honest. It is just over 4 and a half minutes long in total, starting with an excellent little drum intro. The guitars soon join in with the drums forming a nice, steady riff. Vocals jump in with a lower, more menacing tone that sits nicely in with the riff throughout the verses. Howe raises to his more familiar higher pitch in a prechorus that is pretty sweet.

The actual chorus itself is a bit of a let down. Musically sound but drab lyrically as he repeats the same line “Cos we’re living, living by the numbers” over a few times. Back into a second verse and prechorus which are nice and chuggy and enjoyable. Another poor chorus ends into a squealing solo before we get another go round of the verse, prechorus and chorus. The chorus is made worse this time by being extended through to the end.

By The Numbers is a pretty solid song with a decent riff and a nice, steady drum rhythm. There are some decent lead guitar lines and I like the solo. The verse and prechorus are great. As Howe moves from a darker tone into his trademark screech, the contrast works brilliantly and is exciting but the chorus is not. Poor lyrically, cheesy and lacking in any spark or imagination, it is a weak spot on an otherwise solid song.

Metal Church have also been announced as playing at the UK’s top metal festival, Bloodstock, in 2019. You can grab tickets for that from here.

By The Numbers is out now on all the usual streaming services. You can check out the track and official video on YouTube here. Preorder your copy of Damned If You Do from Nuclear Blast here. Find out more about Metal Church at their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

By The Numbers by Metal Church (Damned If You Do)
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