West coast metal veterans Metal Church will release their 13th studio album, “Congregation of Annihilation”, on May 26th via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe). The new album marks the first release since the tragic death of legendary front man Mike Howe who passed in July of 2021. It also marks the first album with new vocalist Marc Lopes (Ross the Boss / Let Us Prey) who came on board in the summer of 2022 and features the current lineup of founding guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, guitarist Rick Van Zandt, bassist Steve Unger and drummer Stet Howland. The new songs are a return to the band’s musical roots harkening back to the vibes of the self-titled first album and The Dark.
Congregation of Annihilation was produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof.
Of the album, Kurdt Vanderhoof comments:
“This new album is starting a new chapter in the Metal Church legacy. I really love this album. It’s a fresh approach for us in one way, but also a return to the very beginnings of Metal Church as part of the New American Thrash Metal movement. This record contains some of the most aggressive songs we have recorded. I hope the fans will like it as much as we do.”
Marc Lopes adds:
“I am beyond honored to be part of carrying on this legacy into a new era of Metal Church. Working with Kurdt and a band that was a huge influence of mine growing up was a surreal experience to say the least. For me there was no point in trying to imitate what was already done to perfection. So, with respect to the past, we moved forward to a new chapter and here we are!”
“Congregation of Annihilation” features nine all new tracks from Metal Church and continues to build upon their iconic sound the band established over three decades ago. Infused with intelligent lyrical content, thundering guitar riffs, and Marc’s aggressive soaring vocals, “Congregation of Annihilation” furthers the bands sonic evolution up to the next level and is guaranteed to enthrall metal music fans around the world. From the first guitar riff of album opener “Another Judgement Day” through the driving outro of album closer “All That We Destroy,” it is clear Metal Church is back and better than ever. “Congregation of Annihilation,” “Children of the Lie” and “These Violent Thrills” showcase the sonically charged songwriting that made the early Metal Church albums such fan favorites. Haunting musical opuses “Me the Nothing” and “Making Monsters” each puts the musicianship that Metal Church was known for on full display in 2023. The album also features two bonus tracks: “My Favorite Sin” and “Salvation.” The band’s first single is the anthemic “Pick A God and Prey” and a lyric video for the song can be seen below.
|1. Another Judgement Day
2. Congregation of Annihilation
3. Pick A God and Prey
4. Children of the Lie
5) Me The Nothing
6. Making Monsters
7. Say a Prayer with 7 Bullets
8. These Violent Thrills
9. All That We Destroy
10. My Favorite Sin (Bonus Track)
11. Salvation (Bonus Track)
Born out of the West Coast Metal scene of the 80’s, Metal Church quickly became one of the standout talents of the genre. After signing a deal with Elektra records, they released two critically acclaimed albums, their self-titled release Metal Church and The Dark. With the heavy metal scene starting to rise in the U.S., Metal Church set out on a very successful tour with label mates Metallica. They tackled political and social issues of the day with the releases of Blessing In Disguise and The Human Factor with vocalist Mike Howe. At a time when heavy metal bands moved from the underground and became part of the hair band/pop fad, Metal Church stayed true to their roots. In March of 2016, Metal Church reunited with Mike Howe and released their eleventh studio album XI that reached #57 on the Billboard Top 200 and landed on several other charts around the globe. Metal Church’s next studio album Damned If You Do was the follow up to XI and landed on numerous charts around the globe in 2018. Now with Marc Lopes taking over vocal duties, Metal Church is ready to start a new chapter in their impressive canon with “Congregation Of Annihilation”.
Photo credit: Rat Pak Records