Killswitch Engage have announced that their lead singer for nearly 10 years, Howard Jones, will not be asked to rejoin the band as they head into the studio for a new album. Howard Jones replaced original singer Jesse Leach in 2002 and appears on four album, the last being their 2009 self-titled LP.

Leach has recently teamed up with Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz for side-project Times Of Grace, so perhaps he is planning a comeback to the band. A statement issued on the band’s official website made the announcement and detailed plans on how they will be moving forward.

“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,” the band wrote.

“Howard is a part of our family and always will be, and we wish him well,” they continued. “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.”

We will bring you more details as they become available. Times Of Grace are coming to Australia as part of the Soundwave 2012 tour and are supporting Machine Head at their sideshows.

Don’t forget to check out our slideshow where we ask the question, did the replacement singer suck?