Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE are in the process of signing a new record deal.
Other than the band's 2000 debut self-titled LP, which came out through Ferret, all of KILLSWITCH's recorded output so far has been issued through Roadrunner Records.
The group's first release under the new deal — and eighth album overall — will likely arrive in early 2019.
In a brand new interview with Finland's Kaaos TV, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE bassist Mike D'Antonio stated about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's new disc (see video below): "Unfortunately, [singer Jesse Leach's recent] throat surgery put a little cramp in the production of the record. As of now, we have 22 songs, so we're gonna pick the best ones. But it's good to have more than less and then have to play make-up later. But drums are done, bass is done, most of the guitars are done, vocals not so much. So as soon as we get those done, this record will be out."
According to D'Antonio, KILLSWITCH, which is currently supporting IRON MAIDEN on a European tour, recorded the basic instrumental tracks for all 22 songs. "Whether we do that with vocals, I'm not positive," he said. "We're gonna try. We're gonna do our best."
Mike also confirmed that former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Howard Jones will make an appearance on the band's upcoming effort.
"It was news to me; I didn't know he was gonna come [into the studio and lay down his vocals]," the bassist admitted. "But much like how Jesse was in the past when he wasn't in the band, we remain friends with these guys. We care about these people. They were in our family for a long time, and it's not like you just forget about somebody, especially Howard. He's a great dude, and it was cool to know that he could come back and sing on the new record and help sing some backup stuff. And we hung out with him recently. He's doing really well, his new band [LIGHT THE TORCH] is awesome, so we couldn't be happier for him."
Asked about a possible release date for KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's new album, Mike said: "We were really hoping to get something out by this [IRON MAIDEN] tour, or at least have this tour be the build-up to the record — maybe release it afterwards — but it just didn't work out that way. We are in the middle of a new record deal. I can't announce yet, but that is happening at the moment. And I hope it'll be out before next year, but I can't really promise. We're just gonna take it slow and make sure Jesse's happy and records appropriately."
As for how Leach is doing a month after undergoing vocal cord surgery, D'Antonio said: "He's doing very well. We had to cancel a two-week tour, unfortunately. We were really bummed that we had to cancel it. We are going to make it up. That was in the States, going down to Mexico. But we really wanted to make sure that we could do this tour and do it the right way and not have him limp through it. He had to get a polyp removed from his vocal cords, and the surgery went great. He trained afterwards with a bunch of vocal coaches, and everyone gave him the A-plus."
The follow-up to 2016's "Incarnate" will mark KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's third full-length effort since the return of Leach, who rejoined the group in 2012.
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.