Killer Be Killed – “Killer Be Killed” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Killer Be Killed is the super group founded by The Dillinger Escape Plan’s vocalist Greg Puciato and Soulfly / Sepultura vocalist / guitarist Max Cavalera, featuring Mastodon bassist Troy Sanders and former The Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch. Musically, they’ve gone for a fusion of their above bands, although interestingly Puciato’s own mathcore is probably in a minority except in some of the math-like choruses, whilst Cavalera forms the backbone with his (still) angry Sepp rhythms – along with some tribal drumming to remind us of the old days – tempered by some stoner / doom courtesy of Sanders. Despite on the face of it the contradiction between the styles it all works of course thanks to the seasoned musicians in question, but moreover, a savvy choice to take the more recognizable elements from each band in this fusion. Where there is an element of the unexpected is in the strong prog melodies and the vocals that shift from Cavalera’s trademark hoarse roars to more trippy styles and even the use of ambient passages amidst the furor on songs like ‘Snakes Of Jehova’, ‘Dust Into Darkness’ and ‘Curb Crusher’. Furthermore, throughout this boundary pushing debut the mix of styles in each song shifts unpredictably which makes the material both fresh and experimental sounding, although thanks to its catchiness gained from these already well established bands the fusion is not an unfamiliar one. Despite it’s grim name, Killer Be Killed is not some eclectic nightmare of the criminally insane unfettered and unleashed, but a successfully interesting and accessible ‘what if’ answer to those wanting to stylishly blend thrash with stoner and prog.