Veteran West Coast thrash metal act Metal Church will release its 13th studio album, “Congregation of Annihilation,” on May 26, 2023, via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe).
The new album marks the first release since the July 2021 death of frontman Mike Howe. It features new vocalist Marc Lopes (Ross the Boss/Let Us Prey), who joined the band in summer 2022. The current lineup also includes 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 Kurdt Vanderhoof and is available for pre-order in various bundle configurations in North America here.
“This new album is starting a new chapter in the Metal Church legacy,” Vanderhoof said. “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.”
“I am beyond honored to be part of carrying on this legacy into a new era of Metal Church,” Lopes said. “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!”
The album’s first single is the anthemic “Pick a God and Prey,” and a lyric video can be seen below.
“Congregation of Annihilation” track listing:
1) Another Judgement Day
2) Congregation of Annihilation
3) Pick a God and Prey
4) Children of the Lie
5) Me the Nothing
6) Making Monsters
7) Say a Prayer with 7 Bullets
8) These Violent Thrills
9) All That We Destroy
10) My Favorite Sin (Bonus Track)
11) Salvation (Bonus Track)
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