Mike Howe of ‘Metal Church’ passes away at 55, fans pay tribute

Image of Mike Howe.
Mike Howe, the singer for Metal Church, passed away at age 55. Pic credit: @metalchurchoffical/Instagram

Heavy metal singer Mike Howe passed away in his home on Monday (July 26) at age 55. This news was shared with fans in an Instagram post by the band Metal Church the day after Howe’s passing.

Howe was best known for his work in collaboration with the bands Metal Church, Heteric, and Snair. At the time of his death, he was still actively working with Metal Church. While the band had taken a few breaks and rotated through band members, they reached some revitalized energy in 2017.

In 2018, Metal Church released their twelfth studio album, Damned If You Do, which was followed by a tour and the release of a compilation album. Weeks before Howe’s death, the band announced via Facebook that their thirteenth album was coming “next year.”

Mike Howe’s passing

On Tuesday, July 27, Metal Church shared a black-and-white image of Howe onto Instagram with a sorrowful message about his passing. They 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.”

Metal Church continued, “Mike Howe passed away yesterday at his home in Eureka, California. We are devastated and at a loss for words.” They added, “Please respect our privacy and the Howe family’s privacy during this most difficult time.”

Fans pay tribute to Mike Howe

Fans and other rock artists were devasted to hear of Howe’s sudden passing. The late performer had a strong passion for music and was deeply connected to his band, Metal Church. In an interview with Indiewire, Howe shared, “When Metal Church broke up it was a very sad thing. I loved being in Metal Church and I felt that was my identity.”

He continued, “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.”

In the same interview, he disclosed that when he left Metal Church, he returned to “his first backup profession,” carpentry.

Throughout his musical break, he stayed attuned with his voice and musical talents but also devoted energy into his supporting his wife and raising his two sons. Howe said, “To go back to the music business while raising a family, in my mind, would have been a selfish decision.”

Remembering the artist and his legacy on Twitter, one fan shared, “Devastated by this. Mike Howe was my favourite Metal Church singer. Was looking forward to hearing him in concert. R.I.P.”

Vocalist Todd La Torre wrote, “RIP my sweet friend. I have no words for this loss. Love and respect to you always.”

Performer Jeff Scott Soto posted a picture with Howe, writing, “So sad to hear of the untimely passing of Mike Howe (centered) of @metalchurchis1. I finally met him for the first time this photo was taken in Vegas 04/19. Condolences to his family, friends and fans!”

Sons of Apollo’s Mike Portnoy tweeted, “So sorry to hear of the passing of Mike Howe from @metalchurchis1 I can’t say I knew him well, but I did spend a weekend with him and the band in the studio while they were recording his first album with the band (Blessing In Disguise) back in 1988. Gone way too soon.”

Another fan summarized their feelings with, “He was totally the epitome of Metal. Rest easy Mike Howe. So young…”

Metal Church’s statement did not disclose Howe’s cause of death. Howe leaves behind his wife and two sons.

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