Killswitch Engage shocked fans in 2012 when they announced news of the departure of long-time vocalist and iconic frontman Howard Jones. Jones served as a savior to the band, when their original singer/founding member Jesse Leach departed the band back in 2002. Jones lent his immense vocal talents to the group's 2004 release "The End of Heartache", which helped KSE explode out of the Massachusetts metal-core scene.
The group quickly saw themselves playing massive tours, appearing on movie soundtracks, and even a Grammy nomination for the title track to the album. With a huge influx of new fans, the band saw a dividing line between which singer seemed "right" for the band. Old fans wanted Jesse back, but the new and plenty of old fans alike agreed that Howard was the missing piece to the band's signature style of melodic/screaming. As the years passed, the love and respect for Jones only grew, thanks to his affable personality, larger-than-life stage presence, and unbelievably clean and perfect voice.
When Jones and KSE parted ways in 2012, fans were left shocked. Talk immediately surfaced of the return of original singer Jesse Leach (thanks mainly to rumored speculation of KSE guitarist Adam D's and Jesse Leach's cooperation in 2011's side project "Times of Grace"). Fans were correct, however, as Leach returned to KSE in 2013, helping them pen their unstoppable latest album "Disarm the Descent".
The band faced a resurgence of divided fans (just like 2002), when they witnessed heartbroken fans, this time over the departure of Jones. This left everyone wondering why he and the band parted ways, and more so, would Jones return to music?
So what ever happened to Howard Jones?
After laying low for some time, rumors were confirmed that a new project was in the works that would feature members of All Shall Perish/Devolved/Divine Heresy and none other than Howard Jones on vocals.
Fans of the brutal were indeed stoked, and in 2012 news was announced of the project's title: "DEVIL YOU KNOW". The new band headed straight into the studio to begin recording their new album, and found musical chemistry right away. Jones spoke of the new musical rendezvous:
"I knew the guys, but didn't really know them," Howard said. "They got in touch and asked if I wanted to throw down some vocals on this stuff, and I said, 'OK, let me take a listen to it,' and I was, like, 'Hmm, this is interesting. Why not? I didn't really expect it to even go this far, because, in all honesty, I wasn't sure if I was even going to do music again. But it seemed right, so I jumped right into it." Read More from the Interview.
Indeed, the project was interesting and the songs quickly found critical acclaim as the group began to stream songs from the recording studio such as "Seven Years Alone". On April 4th, the band released another song for streaming entitled: "A New Beginning".
The track can be heard here.
This song only builds upon the group's unquestionably heavy sound, and features the same powerful vocals that we have come to know and love from HoJo. While it is undoubtedly Jones on lead vocals, he is demonstrating even more aspects of his voice that were not evident in KSE; which settles the fans who were worries about having a complete vocal re-hash of KSE. Complete with plenty of aggressive riffs and an assault of double kick, "A New Beginning" proves to be an absolute quality offering from this new band.
I can already tell, this is going to RULE when seen live! Go check it out this spring where the band will be playing the Golden Gods tour with Black Label Society and Butcher Babies!
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/howardjones