West Coast metal veterans METAL CHURCH will release their 13th studio album, “Congregation Of Annihilation”, on May 26 via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe)
The new album marks the first release since the tragic death of legendary frontman 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“. “Congregation Of Annihilation” was produced by Vanderhoof and is now available for pre-order in various bundle configurations.
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.”
Lopes adds: “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. 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.
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. Haunting musical opuses “Me The Nothing” and “Making Monsters” each puts the musicianship that METAL CHURCH was known for on full display in 2023. The album also features two bonus tracks: “My Favorite Sin” and “Salvation“.
The LP’s second single, “Making Monsters“, can be streamed below.
About “Making Monsters“, Vanderhoof comments: “Keeping with the METAL CHURCH tradition of combining the heavy and aggressive sound of thrash metal while injecting a good dose of melody and hooks, ‘Making Monsters‘ is a track that showcases what we have done for over 30 years. It has the comfort of old school METAL CHURCH while showcasing how our signature sound has evolved. The band is firing on all cylinders.”
Lopes adds: “Just a dark, creepy, heavy-ass driving tune that is lyrically based from the book ‘Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power Of Dehumanization’ by David Livingstone Smith — a truly terrifying read. It’s based on actual real-life research. The dehumanizing of others that transforms them into something so terrifying that they must be destroyed. Deep, philosophical and psychological stuff here, just another day in my train of thought.”
METAL CHURCH “Congregation Of Annihilation” track listing:
- Another Judgement Day
- Congregation Of Annihilation
- Pick A God And Prey
- Children Of The Lie
- Me The Nothing
- Making Monsters
- Say A Prayer With 7 Bullets
- These Violent Thrills
- All That We Destroy
- My Favorite Sin (bonus track)
- Salvation (bonus track)