Hard rock titans METAL CHURCH return with their new album, "XI", slated for release 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.
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.
"Sometimes I still can't believe it myself," says Vanderhoof. "No one would have ever thought Mike would return after his departure almost two decades ago."
Adds Howe: "At first, I struggled with the decision to come back, but after hearing the riffs that Kurdt was writing, I just couldn't resist. The music called to me and I wanted to be part of it!"
METAL CHURCH has also released an official music video for the debut single from "XI", a song called "No Tomorrow". The clip was filmed in the Satsop Nuclear Facility, an abandoned nuclear power plant in Elma, Washington, with Seattle filmmaker and documentarian Jamie Burton Chamberlin (of Black Dahlia Films),who previously worked with DUFF MACKAGAN'S LOADED on "The Taking" series.
Rat Pak Records has entered into a licensing agreement with Nuclear Blast for distribution of "XI" in all territories outside of North America, South America and Japan.
"We here at Rat Pak Records were very excited to receive a licensing request from Markus Staiger and his amazing team at Nuclear Blast Europe to release this new METAL CHURCH [album] into their international territories, ultimately ensuring that this album will reach every corner of the globe," states Rat Pak Records president Joe O'Brien.
Staiger adds: "We are happy and proud to welcome METAL CHURCH, an absolute metal legend, to the Nuclear Blast Europe family! When the self-titled debut album was released in 1984, it was a revelation to me — that this was how heavy metal had to sound like — with killer riffs and plenty of speed!
"We will do our utmost to help re-establish METAL CHURCH here in Europe and get them back where they belong — in the 'Champions League' once again!"
King Records will oversee the new METAL CHURCH release throughout Japan.
"We are very excited to be releasing the new album by METAL CHURCH," adds "Ryo" Saito of King Records.
METAL CHURCH 2016 is:
Mike Howe (vocals) Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar) Jeff Plate (drums) Steve Unger (bass) Rick VanZandt (guitar)