Hard rock titans Metal Church return with their latest album, XI, slated for release on March 25 via Rat Pak Records. The band’s 11th studio project also marks the return of vocalist and frontman Mike Howe.
The reunion between Howe and Metal Church started in July 2014, when Howe began working with Kurdt Vanderhoof on a side project he was forming with Nigel Glockler from Saxon. Through these initial conversations, Vanderhoof convinced Howe to 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 1980s: The Human Factor, Blessing In Disguise, and Hanging In The Balance. Out of those sessions, XI was born. It captures the sound that made the band fan favorites in the 1980s and mixes it with a new, invigorated sound for 2016.
“Sometimes I still can’t believe it myself,” says guitarist and founding member Kurdt Vanderhoof. “No one would have ever thought Mike would return after his departure almost two decades ago.”
“At first I struggled with the decision to come back,” says Howe. “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 released an official music video for the debut single from XI, “No Tomorrow.” It was filmed in the Satsop Nuclear Facility, an abandoned nuclear power plant in Elma, Washington. The video was directed by Jamie Chamberlin of Black Dahlia Films and features a unique visual that ties in to the location. The behind-the-scenes video on the making of the video for “No Tomorrow” was also recently released. XI was produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier.
Rat Pak Records has teamed up with Nuclear Blast Europe through a worldwide licensing agreement 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 XI into their international territories, ultimately ensuring that this album will reach every corner of the globe,” says Rat Pak Records president Joe O’Brien.
Markus 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,” notes “Ryo” Saito of King Records.