Review: Killer Be Killed – S/T

Posted: May 7, 2014 in Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

If there was ever a supergroup that NEEDED to live up to the strength of its members, it’s Killer Be Killed. I hate that term supergroup. It instantly brings connotations of superior results than the bands from which its members are drawn. Bringing together members of Mastodon, Soulfly, The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Mars Volta should, on paper, lead to some staggering results but of course, we all know what high expectations can do to a band. Fortunately, Killer Be Killed live up to the hype, and then some.

‘Wings of Feather and Wax’ opens the album strongly. It’s instantly memorable, and brings together all parts of this collaboration perfectly; the surreal vocals of Sanders, the propulsive power of Cavalera and the soaring clean vocals of Puciato. It’s a year highlight track for me thus far. ‘Face Down’ follows with a more aggressive attack, powered much more by Cavalera’s style of metal; uncompromising and straightforward. Ending with a thunderous, Mastodonian rumble gives it an extra kick; Mastodon haven’t been this heavy in a while, and personally I miss it a bit.

‘Melting of My Marrow’ blends sublime prog with earthshaking groove. Killer Be Killed begin to sound almost like a metal fan’s experimental wet dream. What would Mastodon sound like with Max Cavalera on vocals? How good does Puciato and Sanders sound over good old fashioned groove metal? You can hear, almost down to the notes written, who was responsible for what part on the record, but they blend them all together without sounding disjointed at all. ‘Snakes of Jehova’ feels like a missing Dillinger track, lost from sessions between ‘Miss Machine’ and Ire Works’ with some guest musicians.

‘Killer Be Killed’ is a deceptively simple album. With three quarters coming from such wildly adventurous bands, you feel like mnd expanding cosmic prog metal mentalness is about to become unleashed, but it never happens. Perhaps that’s Cavalera’s influence keeping it grounded in solid, metal foundations. That may read like a criticism but it really isn’t. The chugging intro of ‘Curb Crusher’ leads into one of the best songs to come out of groove metal in years; strange considering the participants. But that is where Killer Be Killed works so well.

Be it the Mastodon chug of ‘Save the Robots’ or the Dillinger-esque of ‘Fire to Your Flag’, the band becomes more than just the sum of its parts. It becomes the embodiment of the all star jam, those times at live shows where a guest vocalist comes on to cover something with another bands. Except the songs are new and exciting, and the players are some of the most important in modern metal. It is time for Killer Be Killed to stand up and be counted as a credible challenger to Down and Shrinebuilder as one of the best ‘supergroups’ of all time.

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