Mike Howe lead singer of Metal Church who performed on Badlands died age 55

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Mike Howe, the lead singer from Metal Church, has passed away at the age of 55.

It is understood the heavy metal icon died on Monday morning at his home in Eureka, California.

The bands official Facebook page confirmed the sad news at around 5.30pm local time in the US.

In a post the band wrote: "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. We are devastated and at a loss for words. Please respect our privacy and the Howe family’s privacy during this most difficult time."

Howe began his career as the singer for a Detroit band called Hellion before joining Heretic in 1986.

Heretic released its sole full-length album, Breaking Point in 1988 before Howe departed to join Metal Church.

Led by Kurdt Vanderhoof, Metal Church was formed in 1980 and has been credited as a vital influence on thrash metal, reports Entertainment Weekly.

The band has released 12 studio albums and counted over 20 members, through out its time.

The band had three albums that charted on the Billboard 200: 1987's The Dark, 1989's Blessing in Disguise, and 2016's XI.

Howe first joined the band in 1988, replacing then-singer David Wayne.

When Metal Church broke up in 1996 Howe spent time with his family and pursued carpentry for almost 20 years.

In 2015 much to the joy of fans Howe rejoined the band and the group released two more albums.

In 2020 Howe spoke to Loudwire about his feelings of leaving the band in 1996.

He said: "When Metal Church broke up it was a very sad thing. I loved being in Metal Church and I felt that was my identity."

"I left primarily because of the business of music and how difficult it was navigating management, record companies, and outside forces that were ruining the band and my love of music.

"When I quit Metal Church and went off the road, I felt damaged about music in general that I loved. I felt hurt and angry about it all."

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