The early '90s were not the best of times for metal. Suddenly everyone who grew up listening to Sabbath--and a lot of people who didn't--was exchanging skull rings for flannel and writing grunge songs about being strung out. But Patrick Flannery and his alter-ego Prophet were just starting out playing the music he loved and would not be deterred. After a short stint as Crown of Thorns, the band morphed into St. Madness, and they haven't looked back since.
They've just released a two-disc retrospective of those 20 years, and thankfully, not a single cut is a lousy power ballad or an experimental excursion into EDM. No sir, it's pure adrenaline and crunch from beginning to end, from the early "Loneliness is Black" up to more recent fare like "Vampires in the Church" and "Metal to the Death and Beyond" where the band spells out who its heroes are, if covers of "Comfortably Numb" and "Sweet Leaf" aren't enough of an indicator.