METAL CHURCH lead guitarist Rick Van Zandt had to go in for emergency eye surgery to repair a detached retina and will be unable to join the group on the road for several weeks. His bandmates say: "We are happy to announce that we have enlisted ex-FIREWOLFE guitar player Paul Kleff who dropped everything and flew in from Detroit to join us! The shows will go on and we will see you all tonight [in Aberdeen, Washington], tomorrow night [in Fife, Washington] and next week on the Monsters Of Rock cruise!"METAL CHURCH will release its new album, "XI", on March 25 via Rat Pak Records. Produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris "The Wizard" Collier, the band's eleventh studio release also marks the return of vocalist Mike Howe. "XI" is available for pre-order in various exclusive bundles at this location. A limited number of the deluxe international version are available on the web site and features a bonus disc of eight extra songs. Other bundles include guitar picks, stickers, a special-edition behind-the-scenes photobook, t-shirts and even a limited number of personal phone calls from Mike Howe himself. The album is also available for pre-order on Amazon, Google Play and via iTunes. Fans that order the digital version will receive an instant download of the song "Killing Your Time" from the new album. The reunion between Mike and METAL CHURCH was put in motion 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 '80s: "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.
METAL CHURCH 2016 is: Mike Howe (vocals)
Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar)
Jeff Plate (drums)
Steve Unger (bass)
Rick Van Zandt (guitar)