Killer Be Killed (Nuclear Blast)
By Mike Delano
As far as supergroups go, Killer Be Killed is pretty straightforward. This might not come as a surprise, considering one of its members is the author of a song called “Blood Fire War Hate.” But it’s still refreshing that these metal luminaries – Max Cavalera (Soulfly, et. al.), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and drummer Dave Elitch (ex-Mars Volta) – came together not to create some wacky abstract sounds as an escape from their day jobs, but to pool their individual strengths and see what happens if you throw ’em all in a metal blender. The resulting mix aptly delivers on expectations.
When everything clicks, like on opener “Wings of Feather and Wax,” it’s a perfect combination of Sanders’ forceful roar, Puciato’s rousing chorus and Cavalera’s primal grunt coalescing into a sound that’s bursting with energy. Elsewhere on the album, everyone gets room to spread out their individual talents to great effect. “Dust Into Darkness” finds Puciato’s sinewy snarls in full Faith No More mode, “Save The Robots” is Sanders’ sci-fi trip to the stars, and “Face Down” is the classic all-business Cavalera bruiser that Soulfly rarely fails to deliver. And the balance is what keeps this debut fresh throughout: Just when you think Sanders and Puciato are getting a little too spaced out, Cavalera busts in to cut the shit, and likewise, before Cavalera can get stuck in an overly simplistic, Neanderthal rut, Sanders and Puciato come to the rescue with a more nervy, nuanced vibe.