Hard rock titans METAL CHURCH return with their latest album »XI« in a worldwide (except North and South America as well as Japan) release on March 25th 2016 via Nuclear Blast Records. The band’s 11th studio release also marks the return of legendary vocalist and front man Mike Howe. The reunion between Mike and METAL CHURCH started 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 80’s: »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, no one would have ever thought Mike would return after his departure almost two decades ago,” says guitarist and founding member Kurdt Vanderhoof.
“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!,” says returning vocalist Mike Howe.
Nuclear Blast Europe has teamed up with Rat Pak Records 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 insuring that this album will reach every corner of the globe,” states 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!“