KURDT VANDERHOOF of METAL CHURCH Talks New Album “Congregation of Annihilation”: ‘It’s Our Tribute Album to MIKE HOWE, and Thrasher Than We’ve Ever Done Before’

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West coast thrash metal veterans Metal Church will release their 13th studio album, “Congregation of Annihilation”, on May 26th via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe). This record is the follow-up to their 2018 album “Damned If You Do”, and it’s a pivotal album for obvious reasons: it marks the first release since the tragic death of their 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.

Metal Church continues with their 30-year tradition of combining the heavy and aggressive sound of thrash metal while injecting a good dose of melody and hooks, which is evident on their latest singles, “Pick A God and Prey” and “Making Monsters.” 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.”

“Congregation of Annihilation” Artwork

Guitarist and founder Kurdt Vanderhoof comments about the new music affair: “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.”

“Congregation of Annihilation” features nine tracks infused with intelligent lyrical content, thundering guitar riffs, and Marc‘s aggressive and soaring vocals. It furthers the band’s sonic evolution to the next level, and is guaranteed to enthrall metal music fans worldwide. From the first guitar riff of album opener “Another Judgement Day” through the driving outro of album closer “All That We Destroy,” it is clear Metal Church is back and better than ever. “Congregation of Annihilation,” “Children of the Lie,” and “These Violent Thrills” showcase the sonically charged songwriting that made the early Metal Church albums such fan favorites.

“Congregation of Annihilation” was produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof and is now available for pre-order in various bundle configurations in North America HERE. 

Correspondent Robert Cavuoto spoke to guitarist and founding member of Metal Church, Kurdt Vanderhoof, on the importance of continuing with their signature sound, how many songs of “Congregation of Annihilation” were shared with Mike before his passing, how Metal Church’s songs must have positive messages despite how dark they may sound, and what he feels Metal Church stands for. Watch or listen to their all-encompassing conversation below and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, Sonic Perspectives is on Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter and YouTube, where you can be notified about new content we publish on a daily basis.


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