West coast metal veterans Metal Church will release their 13th studio album, “Congregation of Annihilation”, on May 26th, 2023, 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”.
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 comments: “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. From the first guitar riff of album opener “Another Judgement Day” through the driving outro of album closer “Salvation”, it is clear Metal Church is back and better than ever. “Pick a God and Prey”, “Children of the Lie”, “Congregation of Annihilation” 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. 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.
Watch the lyric video for the new single “Pick a God and Prey” below.
Pre-order “Congregation of Annihilation”: US & Europe
01. Another Judgement Day
02. Congregation of Annihilation
03. Pick a God and Prey
04. Children of the Lie
05. Me the Nothing
06. Making Monsters
07. Say a Prayer with 7 Bullets
08. These Violent Thrills
09. All That We Destroy
10. My Favorite Sin (bonus track)
11. Salvation (bonus track)
Kurdt Vanderhoof – Guitars
Marc Lopes – Vocals
Stet Howland – Drums
Steve Unger – Bass
Rick Van Zandt – Guitars