Metal Church Singer Mike Howe Dead at 55

Metal Church Singer Mike Howe Dead at 55
Photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi
Metal Church frontman Mike Howe has died. The band confirmed the sad news on Monday night (July 26). Howe was 55.

"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."

While the cause of death remains unclear as of press time, police have said that neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be factors in Howe's sudden death, TMZ reports. The publication added that police responded to a call just after 10 a.m. local time at a home in Eureka, CA, where they found Howe dead at the scene.

Howe began his career in metal as the singer for the Detroit-based band Hellion before moving to L.A. and then joining Heretic in 1986. After recording Heretic's one and only album, 1988's Breaking Point, Howe joined Metal Church, replacing original singer David Wayne.

Howe would go on to front Metal Church from 1988 to 1994, before officially rejoining the band in 2015. During his tenure in the band, Howe sang on such albums as 1989's Blessing in Disguise, 1991's The Human Factor and 1993's Hanging in the Balance.

Upon returning to Metal Church in 2015, Howe said in a media statement: "I didn't want to come back to just for nostalgia. It had to be for the right reasons. It had to be the best stuff we've ever written, or it wouldn't be worth it to anyone, especially the fans."

His return saw the singer featured on XI (2016), Classic Live (2017), Damned If You Do (2018) and their final album From the Vault, which arrived last year.