Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE are putting the finishing touches on their new album for a tentative early 2019 release.
The follow-up to 2016's "Incarnate" will mark the band's third full-length effort since the return of vocalist Jesse Leach, who rejoined the group in 2012.
Speaking to Australia's "Wall Of Sound: Up Against The Wall" podcast, Leach stated about the progress of the recording sessions for KILLSWITCH's new disc (hear audio below): "It's getting there, man. I've basically got a handful of songs left to do, and then we're gonna listen to all of them and choose what we think are the best ones, and then use the other songs for the future for something."
He continued: "I think, for us, we just really wanna put out the best record that we can, and the way we thought we'd do it is write a ton of songs and then choose the 12, 13 or 14 of them that make the record."
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's next disc will be released via Metal Blade Records in the U.S. and Sony Music Entertainment in the rest of the world. The effort will feature a guest appearance on one song by the band's former lead singer Howard Jones.
Regarding how the collaboration with Jones came about, Leach said: "The cool thing about is Howard sort of made the first move; he wanted to come out to a show we played in Canada. The guys had their own differences to sort out, but between him and I, we've never really been friends. We know each other, we've been part of the same scene, but it was such a different thing this time around. And the fact that I was able to sit with him, one on one, backstage and on the bus, without anyone else around, and just kind of figure out who he is and talk to him. And we totally hit it off within 10, 15 minutes and realized how much we had in common. And thankfully, since then, we text each other once every couple of weeks here and there, we're really good friends, and he sings on the new record and we had him come out and sing with us in London. So we were able to move on from that awkward thing that happens when bands lose a member; we just decided we weren't gonna be that band."
Leach added: "It's a terrible thing that happens with bands, especially bands that split up and they're legendary and they need to come back together. I could name a few right now off the top of my head I'd love to see reunite. But it's ego. Just put your ego aside; who cares? And the press can definitely twist it up, the fans can twist it up, and you can believe the hype — you can feed into the nonsense. Which happens, and everybody's human; I get it. But I've never had any bad blood, 'cause I didn't really know Howard, so I couldn't really speak on that. So, for me, it was, number one, good to see the band bury the hatchet, move on, and just let time heal the wounds. Why would I hold on to anything if those guys weren't? And the nice surprise out of it is I gained a new friend — somebody that I really enjoy talking to and hanging out with and having in my life. So it's a win-win situation."
According to Jesse, the KILLSWITCH song on which Jones makes a guest appearance was written with Howard in mind. "His new band being called LIGHT THE TORCH, the analogy of the song is lighting a signal fire — like a distress call — and I wrote it about coming together and finding unity," Leach explained. "It's kind of about our friendship now — it happened so strangely. That's kind of all I'm gonna say about it. It's a song about unity. And he does a verse, I do a verse, we sing the chorus together, and it's a real heavy shit-kicker."
Leach appeared on KILLSWITCH's self-titled debut and sophomore album, "Alive Or Just Breathing", before exiting the band. Jones took over on vocals for "The End Of Heartache", "As Daylight Dies" and the 2009 self-titled set before being dismissed from the group six years ago.
"Incarnate" debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 35,000 equivalent album units. In terms of pure album sales, it opened with 33,000 copies.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's last release was the "Beyond The Flames: Home Video Part II" two-disc, Blu-ray and CD package.