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In Mourning: A Tribute to Mike Howe (1965-2021)

It is very rare that I am at a loss of words to write. But today, I am staring at a blank, empty document as I sip my morning coffee. Of all the people to wake up to and read about their passing, I never would have thought in a million years that at 55, Mike Howe would be one of them. It may not be much, but I thought that I would share some of thoughts, feelings, and experiences with you about the man who provided so much to the heavy metal community through his work with Metal Church.

                I first time heard Howe was on Metal Church’s album ‘The Human Factor’, of course, I did, I was young then, it was a big release by the band on Epic records and it was plastered all over MTV. Naturally, being the collector I am, I went and grabbed ‘Blessing in Disguise’, and let’s face it who doesn’t love ‘Badlands’ and ‘Fake Healer’? No one with taste, that’s for sure. Therefore, I always had a soft spot for ‘The Human Factor’ and Mike Howe’s vocals; it is probably the reason why I prefer these albums to the first two David Wayne fronted albums.

                Fast forward a quarter of a century and imagine this chubby hairy face’s delight that Howe had returned to Metal Church. Did I run out and buy ‘XI’? By run out, I mean, did I sit there, click my finger and order the album online? You bet your fuckin’ arse I did. After half a decade of patchy, patchy work, it was so good to hear Howe and Metal Church back, not just back, but back on top form. You know what, I did exactly the same thing two years later with ‘Damned If You Do’ (I bought it at the same time as ‘The Nature of the Beast’ by Impellitteri… irrelevant information, but there you have it, those little things that stick in your mind).

                Today, a new era begins for Metal Church and sadly, Mike Howe will not be part of it. However, dig in your record collection grab those albums and spin them loud and proud because Howe lives on within those grooves. Howe’s earthly remains may no longer exist, but his voice is immortal and that my friends will never leave you.

Rest In Peace

Mike Howe (1965-2021)

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