Posts Tagged ‘Dillinger Escape Plan’

Few bands make music as fearlessly inventive nor as jaw droppingly intense as the Dillinger Escape Plan. The band who created and defined mathcore in a single record (Calculating Infinity), and since then have implemented so many strings to their bow its difficult to tell where they can go from here. From dazzling cosmic ‘mathprog’ (Miss Machine’) through accessibility (Ire Works) and to last year’s culmination of all their elements (One of Us is the Killer), Dillinger are a staggering proposition.

The first time I ever heard Dillinger was ‘43% Burnt’ from ‘Calculating Infinity’. I remember it clearly, because it was one of the most ‘what the fuck is that?’ moments of my entire musical journey through life. My ex was into them and inroduced me to ‘Miss Machine’, an album that I now love so much I silently thank her everytime it comes on. Miss Machine is a much easier place to start than Calculating Infinity. If you appreciate Dillinger’s newer stuff, Calculating Infinity provides the highlight. If you’re new to the band, Miss Machine is where to start. Hit single ‘Unretrofied’ aside, it has amazing songs like ‘Van Damsel’, ‘Panasonic Youth’ and my personal favourite ‘Setting Fire To Sleeping Giants’.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Dillinger twice live, and their live show is all you’ve heard and more. They headlined at the Garage in an unhinged display of ferocity and acrobatics. They supported Mastodon in a dream double headliner slot at the Barrowlands and were again magnificent. They’ve managed to pull out instant classic after instant classic on record, and doing so without sacrificing any of their brutality or jazz influence. Horns fucking up motherfucker!

I have a book of metal. That is my designated notebook of metal tunes that I need to listen to/need to review/enjoyed immensely. I refer to it every so often when I remember bands I need to check out, or to make notes for a future review. Some of my notes seem oddly profound on reflection….:

New Dillinger just melted my brain

Sounds like a shite Hatebreed

Needs more thrash

Where is the riffs!?

Deathcore nonsense


That last one was a cultured analysis on the merits of the new Killer Be Killed single, of which the band has just released a video for, ‘Wings of Feather and Wax’. One of the most anthemic cuts this year, it forms the pinnacle of what supergroups can do when they mix up their members’ core strengths.

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.

This is where you can hear the first songs from Killer Be Killed, the stunning collaboration between Max Cavalera, Troy Sanders, Greg Puciato and Dave Elitch. It. Is. Awesome. It sounds exactly as you’d expect Soulfly crossed with Mastodon crossed with Dillinger would. It’s heavy, it’s catchy, it’s going to be essential. I can’t wait!