“XI”, the new album from hard rock veterans METAL CHURCH, debuted at No. 57 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 11,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 31.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
“XI”, was released on March 25 via Rat Pak Records. Produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier, the band’s eleventh studio release also marks the return of legendary vocalist and frontman Mike Howe.
“I can hardly believe the response to this new album! It’s also a testament to Rat Pak Records and how hard they work!” said Vanderhoof.
Added drummer Jeff Plate: “The return of Mike Howe not only brought a level of excitement and anticipation from our fans that I have not seen in my eleven years in the band, but also gave the group a sense of commitment and purpose unlike before. The response to ‘XI’ has been tremendous and our shows have turned into an emotional experience for all of us… a proud moment for all members of the METAL CHURCH.”
“XI”landed on multiple other charts, debuting at No. 3 on Top Hard Music Albums and Current Hard Music Albums, No. 4 on Record Label Independent Current Albums, No. 5 on Top Current Rock Albums and No. 21 on Top Current Albums.
The reunion between Mike and METAL CHURCH was put in motion in July of 2014 when Mike started working with Kurdt Vanderhoof on a side project he was forming with Nigel Glockler from SAXON. Through these initial conversations, Kurdt convinced Mike to ultimately return to METAL CHURCH. The idea was to see if they could recapture some of the magic from the three albums METAL CHURCH released in the late ’80s: “The Human Factor”, “Blessing In Disguise” and “Hanging In The Balance”. Out of those sessions, “XI” was born and captures the sound that made the band fan-favorites in the ’80’s and mixes it with a new, invigorated sound for 2016.
Said Mike: “Kurdt Vanderhoof got ahold of me in August of 2014, and he proposed [me] coming back to the band. He said Ronny [Munroe] left the band and he didn’t really wanna carry on with METAL CHURCH unless maybe I would consider coming back. So I said, ‘Well, I don’t know. I’m open to it. But let’s see what kind of music we can come up with.’ So Kurdt went back to the studio and started writing songs in the vein of ‘Hanging In The Balance’, where we left off twenty years ago, and he sent them to me over the Internet. And I was, like, ‘Damn! The guy still has it and he’s doing great work.’ So he sent me another batch, and that batch was just as good [as], if not better than, the other. So, from there, I said, ‘Well, I can’t say no to this. And let’s just see how it goes.’ And we started writing lyrics and getting together, and it’s now morphed into this, being back in Aberdeen in the studio making the new METAL CHURCH record.”
“XI” track listing:
02. Killing Your Time
03. No Tomorrow
04. Signal Path
05. Sky Falls In
06. Needle & Suture
08. Blow Your Mind
09. Soul Eating Machine
10. It Waits
11. Suffer Fools
METAL CHURCH 2016 is:
Mike Howe (vocals)
Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar)
Jeff Plate (drums)
Steve Unger (bass)
Rick VanZandt (guitar)
Rick had to go in for emergency eye surgery to repair a detached retina and is unable to join the group on the road for several weeks. His temporary replacement is TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and SAVATAGE guitarist Chris Caffery.