Ronny Munroe: Electric Wake review

Metal Church vocalist Ronny Munroe is without a doubt one of the most prolific and busiest men in music today, often releasing two or more albums in one year under the various projects he is working on at any given time. It should come as no real surprise then that he is at it once again this year. Having already released the new Metal Church album Generation Nothing, he is now set to drop his third studio album on Rat Pak Records entitled Electric Wake. Munroe has a long and illustrious pedigree of bands he has sung for over the years including Moxi, Paladin, Far Cry, Rottweiler and Lillian Axe as well as his current bands Metal Church, Presto Ballet and Trans Siberian Orchestra. Rat Pak has spared no expense, launching a media blitz to promote the album, releasing three music videos for the songs “The Others,” “United” and “Pray” as well as a promotional video for the song “Ghost” and a video of Ronny in the studio making the album. The album was produced by Bruce Bouillet, mixed by Jon Wyman and features cover art by Rainer Kalwitz. It also showcases a who’s who list of guest musicians including such greats as George Lynch, Dave Rude, David Donigian, Paul Kleff, Sean Baker and Tony Rossi. As well as a stunning vocal performance by Pamela Moore. The lacerating hooks and driving double kick drums of “Burning Time” and “United” are not far removed from Metal Church musically and Munroe’s vocals are as sharp as ever. They make damn sure that the album closes just as strongly as it began, serving as the perfect heavy metal bookends to what could be a career defining album and one that should finally cement his proper place alongside metal gods like Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio. He teams up with Dokken axe legend George Lynch on “Ghosts,” a deftly constructed sonic manifestation that falls somewhere between vintage Overkill and the latest Primal Fear album while the rhythmic assault of title track “Electric Wake” is brilliantly conceived and executed, bolstered by Munroe’s infectious rasp. “Turn To Stone” is an audacious musical maelstrom, driven by propulsive double kick drums and the high notes in “My Shadow” channel the very essence of Rob Halford or Ralf Scheepers. At the same time, “Not You Not Me” is a groove laden rocker that puts the emphasis on Ronny’s inimitable voice. From there, Munroe expands his broad musical palate even further on “Pray.” It shines a spotlight on his sonic diversity as a song writer whereas the insidious melodies of “Ritual Damage” are brutal and not for the faint of heart. If Accept and Iron Maiden were to collaborate on a song together, “Sleepless Mountain” would undoubtedly be the end result while “The Others,” featuring the incomparable Pamela Moore, may very well be the best Helloween duet never recorded and was the obvious choice to lead the charge into battle. Here’s the bottom line- While it’s not exactly clear what Mr. Munroe threw out the proverbial window, it is quite obvious that his gut was the way to go. Rating: 8/10 -Eric Hunker