The lead singer of Metal Church, Mike Howe, has passed away at the age of 56.
The band revealed the news via a co-signed statement that read: “It is with our deepest regrets that we must announce the passing of our brother, our friend and true legend of heavy metal music. Mike Howe passed away this morning at his home in Eureka, California.”
Adding, “We are devastated and at a loss for words. Please respect our privacy and the Howe family’s privacy during this most difficult time.”
The famed Metal Church frontman was renowned for his gruff vocal abilities and on-stage bravura that led the band to beloved status and critical acclaim within metal circles.
Howe began his career as the frontman of the Detroit-based band, Hellion, in the mid-1980s, before relocating to the sunnier of Los Angeles and fronting various metal bands before joining Metal Church as a replacement to David Wayne in 1988.
He remained at the helm of the iconic band, singing on some of their most celebrated records, until they split in 1996, later re-joining in 2015 and recording two further albums.
As of yet, no cause of death has been announced, but with the news only just breaking, more is expected in the coming days.