QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre, former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and German metal queen Doro Pesch are among the musicians who have reacted on social media to the passing of METAL CHURCH singer Mike Howe.
Howe died Monday morning (July 26) at the age of 55 at his home in Eureka, California. No cause of death has yet been revealed.
Howe, who fronted METAL CHURCH from 1988 until 1994, officially rejoined the band in April 2015.
Prior to joining METAL CHURCH more than three decades ago, Howe spent two years fronting California metal act HERETIC.
The reunion between Mike and METAL CHURCH was put in motion in July of 2014 when Mike started working with guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof on a side project Kurdt 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, 2016's "XI" was born and captured the sound that made the band fan favorites in the '80s and mixed it with a new, invigorated sound.
METAL CHURCH's latest release was "From The Vault", which arrived in April 2020 via Rat Pak Records. The effort was a special-edition compilation album that featured 14 previously unreleased songs from the Howe era, including four newly recorded studio tracks, among them a redux of the band's fan favorite classic "Conductor".
Howe is not the first singer of METAL CHURCH to die. David Wayne passed away in May 2005 from complications following a car crash. He was 47 years old.
Wayne sang on METAL CHURCH's first two classic offerings (1984's "Metal Church" and 1986's "The Dark") before leaving the group and being replaced by Howe.
Saddened to hear of the the passing of former HereticMetal vocalist Mike Howe. R.I.P.
Posted by HereticMetal on Monday, July 26, 2021
Shocked and saddened to learn that the incomparable Mike Howe, of Metal Church, unexpectedly passed away this morning. There will never be another like him. RIP, Brother.
Posted by Overkill on Monday, July 26, 2021
Words fail. Can't believe we lost not only an amazing singer, but a tremendously great guy. Our bands crossed paths...
Posted by Michael Wilton on Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Mike Howe. I had the honor of touring with him a couple of years ago on...
Posted by Jordan Cannata on Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Rest In Peace, Mike Howe. Super nice, talented guy and the 2nd singer of Metal Church to pass. 😔
Posted by Craig Locicero on Monday, July 26, 2021