Last night I posted a blog about ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach rejoining the band after a decade apart to replace Howard Jones, who announced his departure from the band early last month. Today, the quintet officially released a statement confirming Leach's position as singer of the band, and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz gives us his insight on the reunion.

As of this afternoon, this statement appeared on KSE's Facebook page:



(New York, NY): Killswitch Engage are pleased to announce that they have filled the singer vacancy in the band and they have done so with a familiar face: original vocalist Jesse Leach.

Leach sang on the band's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut Alive or Just Breathing. Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Howard Jones, but his work on Alive or Just Breathinghas always been revered by die hard, longtime KSE fans. Things have come full circle a decade later, and Leach and the band couldn't be more pleased about this reunion.

The band revealed that Leach auditioned for the job he once held and pretty much blew everyone away and then some. The band stated, After much deliberation and careful consideration, we are pleased to announce that Jesse Leach has rejoined Killswitch Engage. Our job was to find the best person to fill Howard's shoes: a decision based on talent and not familiarity.

The band further said, Truth be told, Jesse blew us away in auditions. The room seemed charged with electricity. He commanded both new and old material, and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted to do this. The choice became very clear and apparent.

The band also is psyched to share the news with fans, saying, This change is very exciting. We know you're going to love it. This is truly a new era in KSE history and it is ready to shred your face off. So, please help us in welcoming Jesse back into the KSE family; he is a rare and great talent, a fact that older KSE fans have known for years. Here is to a killer new record and a bright future. The five of us cannot wait to write this record and play shows together and bring that feeling to our fans. It's been far too long.

The "new" guy himself also commented on his return to the band after a decade-long absence, saying, It is a great honor to rejoin my brothers after all of these years. After some discussion and much reflection, it was obvious to me this was the path I was meant to take. We got together and jammed on the 'Howard-era songs,' as well as some Alive or Just Breathing-era songs and we all felt the synergy.

He continued, I look forward to writing the new record, since the demos sound absolutely amazing, as well as breathing new life and getting comfortable with the soulful songs Howard has written. It is a new chapter of my life filled with new and exciting challenges. 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 KSE family! All things happen in their due time and now is the time for this reunion and new direction.

It sounds like this truly is the way the band was meant to go, and I am looking forward to seeing where this takes KSE. They will continue to work on their newest album, which will follow-up 2009's self-titled album. No release date has been set yet.

As for the rest of the band, they seem to all be on board according to Dutkiewicz:

Honestly, we didn't want to jump into anything too quickly. We were in a position where we could take our time and try out as many singers as we wanted. There are a lot of talented singers out there, and we didn't want to rush everything. We ended up mulling it over a bit, and we tried out a few different people, Dutkiewicz reveals about Killswitch's time between singers.

When we got back in the rehearsal room with Jesse, it just felt right. He's one of my good friends, and the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time, and all of that stuff, was gone when he jammed with us again. We also knew what Jesse is capable of, so it just took all of us getting in a room together again to remember how cool it once was. He blew us away, says Dutkiewicz.

The "new" band will start touring again in April, kicking off with the New England Metal and Hardcore Fest on April 22.

Besides working on Killswitch Engage's next album, Leach and Dutkiewicz will be back out on tour in the coming months with their other project, Times of Grace. I love working with the guy, and we get along so well on the road. That's also important. Anyone would rather pick to play in a band with a good friend over some stranger. I mean, you're going to be hanging out with this person for half the year, or whatever [laughs].

Stay tuned to see where the musical road takes KSE. We wish them all the luck in this transition.

What's your opinion on all of the news? Has the band made a good decision?