Singer Mike Howe played his first show with METAL CHURCH in more than twenty years last night (Friday, February 19) at D & R Theatre in Aberdeen, Washington. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
Howe, who previously fronted METAL CHURCH from 1988 until 1994, is featured on the band’s new album, “XI”, which will be released on March 25 via Rat Pak Records. The CD was produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier.
“XI” is available for pre-order in various exclusive bundles at this location. A limited number of the deluxe international version are available on the web site and features a bonus disc of eight extra songs. Other bundles include guitar picks, stickers, a special-edition behind-the-scenes photobook, t-shirts and even a limited number of personal phone calls from Mike Howe himself. The album is also available for pre-order on Amazon, Google Play and via iTunes. Fans that order the digital version will receive an instant download of the song “Killing Your Time” from the new album.
In the summer of 2014, METAL CHURCH suddenly found themselves in need of a new singer. As fate would have it, guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof was already in talks with Mike for another project that he was working on with SAXON drummer Nigel Glockler, so he decided to ask Mike to rejoin METAL CHURCH. Mike agreed, but true to form, didn’t want to make it official until he knew for sure that the integrity of the new material was there.
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.”
METAL CHURCH 2016 is:
Mike Howe (vocals)
Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar)
Jeff Plate (drums)
Steve Unger (bass)
Rick Van Zandt (guitar)
Rick Van Zandt had to go in for emergency eye surgery to repair a detached retina and is unable to join METAL CHURCH on the road for several weeks. He has been temporarily replaced by ex-FIREWOLFE guitar player Paul Kleff.