Kurdt Vanderhoof has confirmed that METAL CHURCH has commenced the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to its 2016 album "XI", tentatively due in early 2018. "I actually have a big pile of new songs — demos — ready to go, and Mike [Howe, vocals] and I are gonna start putting it together and we're gonna try to start putting a new record," the guitarist told the "KDUX Morning Show" (hear audio below).
Kurdt also spoke in more detail about the METAL CHURCH songwriting process, saying that it comes about organically. "The only way I approach writing a METAL CHURCH record is, does it sound like a METAL CHURCH record?" he explained. "I've never been one to try to take chances and break new ground with things; that's never been my kind of thing. I just wanna definitely keep it old school and heavy and powerful, but it's gotta be melodic; there has to be vocal melodies and notes and things like that. Things that some bands and people don't really do anymore, which is, I guess, fine, but that's not really something that I wanna listen to. So it's still gotta be musical. So I just kind of approach it that way — it's gotta be musical, it's gotta be melodic, and it still has to maintain power and be metal. But it's definitely old school — just kind of like 'XI' was."
"XI" debuted at No. 57 on The Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 11,000 equivalent album units. Produced by Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris "The Wizard" Collier, the band's eleventh studio release marked the return of Howe, who first appeared on 1989's "Blessing In Disguise" album.
METAL CHURCH released a live album, "Classic Live", on April 28. Produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof, this special edition release features nine classic METAL CHURCH songs recorded on the band's 2016 tour and also includes a special bonus track, a powerful new studio version of "Fake Healer" that features a duet with QUEENSRŸCHE vocalist Todd La Torre.