Let it be known that I hate the term 'Supergroup' as I feel it does a disservice to any bands that are tagged with its ridiculous label. For me a band is only worth it's weight as a whole rather than the sum of its parts, much like a football team. There is no point having the most expensive skilled players in the world if they cant work together as a team. The same is true of a band made up of musicians that have flourished in other bands, or areas of musical expertise, if they don't gel as a unit then the experience is flawed.
The reason I bring this is up is because when faced with the Killer Be Killed album, we have in our hands another so called 'Supergroup' featuring Max Cavalera (Sepultura/Soulfly/Nailbomb/Cavalera Conspiracy), Troy Sanders ( Mastodon), Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan) and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta). There is no one in their right mind that would argue the pedigree of this particular band, but the question remains, how would these different styles come together?
Well the short answer is that Killer Be Killed for the most part are fucking killer, and this self titled album lands like a fucking bomb, pretty much levelling most things in it's patth, which is great news because I hate massively high hopes for it, being a fan of most of nthe artists involed. I wanted it to blow my balls off and thankfully it delivers on all the promises that were made leading up to its release. I think much like everyone else, there was the initial fear that this project would just sound like the parts of the indiviuals concerned, however that fear only rears its head a couple of times and that is mainly down to Max, as there are some parts that sound a little too much like what we have come to expect from him over the years. For example, him Screaming ARISE! ARISE! Was always going to evoke memories of past moments, but its a minor quibble.
Troy, Max and Greg all share vocal duties on the album, often times in the same song, trading off vocals with each other, which creates an interesting and unique dynamic as all three have very different and distinct vocal styles. This triple threat of vocal gymnastics works best on album opener 'Wings of Feather and Wax' where Troy and Max do the heavy lifting on the verses, before Greg cuts through with a melodic chorus that is absolutely to die for and really underpins the whole songs, breathing a new life into it.
I will admit that for my taste, I feel the album is lacking in Dillinger Escape Plan stylings, I would have prefered a more schizophrenic pace and some more batshit off the wall stuff thrown in, but even a Dialled down Greg Puciato is better than most frontmen in the game today.
For my money, the real strength behind Killer Be Killed lies in the minds of the people involved. As previously noted, everyone hear comes from forward thinking bands that have flipped the script and changed the game on more than one occasion and I think that their free thinking nature has allowed them to take the most interesting parts of their day jobs, deconstruct them, remould them and build something that is not only different but also a cut above the rest of today's musical scene. If they weren't all on the same page things can quickly fall apart, but here everything works in a brilliant, cohesive and incredibly heavy fashion.
Killer Be Killed have dropped one of the years, heaviest, grooviest and playable albums. An album that showcases a "no fucks given"mentality and an ability to think outside the box in order to create art for art's sake and not to serve any master. Trust me when I say you are not prepared for this album, you will just have to let it bash your brains in and thank me later.
Killer Be Killed is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.