Killer Be Killed: The calm that follows the storm

Killer Be Killed album artwork

The Killer Be Killed album artwork by Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature Design.

“WHAT’S your dream band line-up?” is the kind of question that can fuel a pub debate for a whole evening, but sometimes you just have to agree on the huge potential of certain fictional collaborations. If Killer Be Killed was just a hypothetical group, then it would most definitely fit into that category of wet dream status.

Though this is isn’t the case, and Max Cavalera (-ex Sepultura, Soulfly, Nailbomb, Cavalera Conspiracy), Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), and Dave Elitch (-ex The Mars Volta) have all come together and written and recorded a self-titled album, which is absolutely a reality and is out now on Nuclear Blast Records. The question is: does it reach the lofty expectations that come with such a stellar line-up?

The album kicks off with the track ‘Wings of Feather and Wax’, which gives a good idea of what is to come in the next forty five minutes- thick heavy guitar riffs, thrashy verse sections and a massive chorus for you to sing along to in the shower. The influence of Max Cavallera and Troy Sanders is most obvious on the album, and taking that into consideration, the album sounds exactly how you’d expect (and hope) it to.

Although politically charged lyrics and thrashier sections do feature heavily, the equal contribution of the members in the writing of the songs make this more than just another Cavalera project, but a whole new beast of it’s own. By no means is this album essential listening, but you’ll certainly be missing out on a hell of a lot of fun if you don’t give it a try.

Yet when a project like this comes together in such a fashion, you can’t help but still have a niggling doubt in the back of your mind about whether the quality of what happens within the recording studio will actually translate into a touring success. So often we have seen so called “super groups” comprised of huge names from the world of rock release mediocre albums that we sometimes don’t think about what happens after the album release.

Similarly, it’s not only the quality of your average super group that brings the pessimism, but the problem that when a decent project does come along once in a blue moon, the members never have the time to fully commit to the band as much as the fans would like (I know. We’re never happy, right?). This is the problem we’re likely to be facing with Killer Be Killed.

With Mastodon on tour for their most recent album, The Dillinger Escape Plan on tour with Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails, as well Cavalera Conspiracy having a release for their new album set for later this year, saying that the members are currently busy is an understatement. Although in interviews the members have all stated that they’d be keen to play live together and are even planning to tour in North America and Europe next year, nothing has been set in stone. For the near future, it’s going to be quiet in camp Killer Be Killed, which seems like a shame after such a successful album release. On the other hand, any news announcements for 2015 will be all the more tantalising when they do finally come.

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