METAL CHURCH was rejoined by guitarist John Marshall for the song "Badlands" during the band's June 8 performance at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, California. Fan-filmed video footage can be seen below.
Marshall was in METAL CHURCH from 1986 to 1993 and again from 1998 to 2001. He was also the guitar tech for METALLICA lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.
Marshall filled in for METALLICA's James Hetfield on rhythm guitar in 1986 when Hetfield's wrist was broken due to a skateboarding accident, and again in 1992 when Hetfield was recovering from pyrotechnics burn injuries stemming from a concert with GUNS N' ROSES in Montreal.
METAL CHURCH's new album, "XI", debuted at No. 57 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 11,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 31.
"XI", was released 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 legendary vocalist and frontman Mike Howe.
The reunion between Mike and METAL CHURCH was put in motion in July of 2014 when Mike started working with guitarist 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.
Said Mike: "Kurdt Vanderhoof got ahold of me in August of 2014, and he proposed [me] coming back to the band. He said Ronny [Munroe] left the band and he didn't really wanna carry on with METAL CHURCH unless maybe I would consider coming back. So I said, 'Well, I don't know. I'm open to it. But let's see what kind of music we can come up with.' So Kurdt went back to the studio and started writing songs in the vein of 'Hanging In The Balance', where we left off twenty years ago, and he sent them to me over the Internet. And I was, like, 'Damn! The guy still has it and he's doing great work.' So he sent me another batch, and that batch was just as good [as], if not better than, the other. So, from there, I said, ‘Well, I can’t say no to this. And let's just see how it goes.' And we started writing lyrics and getting together, and it's now morphed into this, being back in Aberdeen in the studio making the new METAL CHURCH record."