NW Metalworx Books has set a November 2023 tentative release date for “Beyond The Black: The Story Of Metal Church”, a new book by author James R. Beach and co-author and archivist Brian L. Naron. Culled from extensive research, interviews with both past and current METAL CHURCH bandmembers, crew members, producers, managers, friends, peers and others, it includes numerous rare images and photos, extensive concert listings, discography and a brand new foreword by former GRIM REAPER guitarist and friend Nick Bowcott.
Synopsis: “In 1983, former LEWD guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof joined forces with vocalist David Wayne, guitarist Craig Wells, bassist Duke Erickson, and drummer Kirk Arrington, to form one of the heaviest bands to ever come out of the Pacific Northwest. Taking the name from his early attempts to assemble a band down in San Francisco that fused the aggression of punk rock, with the precision of heavy metal music, Vanderhoof assembled a powerhouse lineup back in Washington state. They quickly garnered attention for demos recorded that summer, live performances and a breakout indie album the following year, and landed a major label deal and went on to worldwide popularity.
“40 years later, METAL CHURCH lives on. Surviving various lineup changes, a short breakup, the ups and downs and changes of the music scene, and the tragic losses of two of their iconic lead singers, they continue to tour and make great albums under the guiding hand and direction of founding riff-master Vanderhoof. With a new singer and a new album in 2023, METAL CHURCH is poised to continue their legacy as an influential and well-respected heavy metal band. This is their story…”
For more information, visit NW Metalworx Books.
METAL CHURCH made its live debut with the band’s new vocalist Marc Lopes (ROSS THE BOSS, LET US PREY) on June 3 at the Legions Of Metal festival at Reggies in Chicago, Illinois.
Lopes joined METAL CHURCH in the summer of 2022 as the replacement for Mike Howe, who tragically passed away in July of 2021. The band’s current lineup is rounded out by guitarist Rick Van Zandt, bassist Steve Unger and drummer Stet Howland.
Lopes‘s first studio album with METAL CHURCH, “Congregation Of Annihilation”, came out on May 26 via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe). The LP was produced by Vanderhoof.
Howe was found dead at his home in Eureka, California in July 2021. According to TMZ, Howe‘s official cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to hanging. A spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Dept. told the site authorities are calling it a suicide. He was only 55 years old.
According to police, drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the death and no controlled substances or paraphernalia were located at the scene.
Howe, who fronted METAL CHURCH from 1988 until 1994, officially rejoined the band in April 2015.
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.