Mike Howe, frontman of American heavy metal outfit Metal Church, has passed away. He was 55 years old.
The band confirmed the sad news on their Facebook earlier today (July 27), revealing that he passed away in his California home. A cause of death hasn’t been revealed.
“It is with our deepest regrets that we must announce the passing of our brother, our friend and true legend of heavy metal music,” the band wrote.
“Mike Howe passed away this morning at his home in Eureka, California. We are devastated and at a loss for words. Please respect our privacy and the Howe family’s privacy during this most difficult time.”
It is with our deepest regrets that we must announce the passing of our brother, our friend and true legend of heavy…
Howe joined Metal Church in 1988, after a two year tenure fronting California thrash metal act Heretic. He then fronted the band until they disbanded for the first time in 1996.
Howe didn’t return to Metal Church until almost two decades later in 2015, after the band had already reunited with founding Howe’s predecessor David Wayne and subsequently disbanded once more.
Overall, Mike Howe made five studio albums with Metal Church – 1989’s ‘Blessing In Disguise’, 1991’s ‘The Human Factor’, 1993’s ‘Hanging In The Balance’, 2016’s ‘XI’ and 2018’s ‘Damned If You Do’.
Heretic also posted a brief tribute to Howe, saying they were saddened to hear of the passing of the band’s former vocalist.
Saddened to hear of the the passing of former HereticMetal vocalist Mike Howe. R.I.P.
Todd La Torre, vocalist for heavy metal act Queensrÿche, also shared a tribute to Howe, referring to him as his “sweet friend”.
“RIP my sweet friend,” La Torre wrote on Twitter.
“I have no words for this loss. Love and respect to you always.”
— Todd La Torre (@ToddLaTorre) July 27, 2021
‘Damned If You Do’ is Metal Church’s most recent studio album, though they released a compilation album ‘From The Vault’ in April of last year. The band revealed on Facebook earlier this month that their next album was planned for release in 2022.