[UPDATED] Original Killswitch Engage Vocalist Returns

Coolest shirt ever. Both Howard and his shirts will be missed.

There have been some rumblings on the internet these last few days about Killswitch Engage regarding Howard Jones’ future in the band. As many of you know, Jones had to temporarily leave the band RIGHT before they embarked on a North American tour, and the band called up fellow Massachusetts-native Phil Labonte (All That Remains) to fill in for the tour. Well, the news just broke that Howard Jones is officially leaving the band. Here’s his official statement, via the band’s official Facebook page:

Message From Howard: Well, I guess I will shed a little light without going too deep. As some of you may know, I’ve had a pretty interesting couple of years to say the least battling with some personal issues. One of the low points being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that went unchecked for years. The rest of the band stuck with me through it, and to be honest they are the ones that kept me going. The whole experience definitely put a scare in me.

Recently we’ve all been in writing mode but somehow I couldn’t get excited about the new album and all the touring that would go with it. The guys saw it before I did. In hindsight I now realize that my heart wasn’t in it. I have had an amazing decade with KSE. I love Justin, MikeD, Joel and Adam for hanging in there and standing by me no matter how bad it was. I have so many good memories, and those are the ones that I will keep. Will I be involved in music again? Sure, I have been in bands for a little over half my life, can’t stop now. Until then, get the new KsE album, it’s going to be good. Thanks everyone for letting me try to entertain you, and I wish myself well in my future endeavors. Gone fishin’ Howard

This was the official statement from the band, two days prior:

To our family, friends and fans: We have decided to continue on without Howard Jones as the singer of Killswitch Engage. We love Howard and are thankful for the nine years that we’ve had him in the band. Out of respect for everyone involved we will not be discussing the specific reasons behind this decision. Howard is a part of our family and always will be, and we wish him well. He has left big shoes to fill, so we certainly have our work cut out for us to find the next singer of Killswitch, something we plan on making priority #1 going forward. Most importantly, thanks to all of you for all the support throughout the years and for sticking by us for all this time. We really do appreciate it and we very much look forward to having a new record for all of you in the not too distant future that we can all be proud of. Sincerely, Adam, Joel, Mike & Justin.

I’ve always been more of a fan of the band’s original singer, Jesse David Leach (you can check out my review of his new band Time of Grace’s debut album here, featuring fellow KsE founder Adam D), but I always dug Howard’s stuff too, and I’m sorry to see him go. Phil Labonte has already stated via his personal facebook page that he will not be filling the spot in Killswitch. Who do you think is worthy of taking the reigns? Do you think Leach should  make a triumphant return back to the band? It worked out well for Peter Dolving, who left The Haunted only to return three albums later. Speculate with us in the comments section below.

UPDATE (2.8.12):

Thanks to a breaking story from Blabbermouth.net, we now have a confirmation that the original Killswitch vocalist, Jesse Leach, has officially rejoined the ranks of the band he helped catapult after leaving the band back in 2002. Here’s some of what Jesse had to say:

“… I will give all that I can to honor the position I have been given and take nothing for granted. I will sing every note with all of my soul. I am very blessed and very thankful to be back in the KILLSWITCH ENGAGE family! All things happen in their due time and now is the time for this reunion and new direction.”

Check out the full story on Blabbermouth here.

-ivan.

Image courtesy of Piet Gothals

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About Ivan Torres
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wrecked Reviews. Vocalist of A Thousand Kingdoms. More Metal Than Colossus.

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