By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
The earth shook for fans of the Prog Rock/Metal community last year. When it was announced that members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, The Mars Volta and Soulfly were uniting for a secret project called Killer Be Killed, the buzz was immediate. As leaders of both modern progressive and heavy music, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon and The Mars Volta are held in high-regard as innovators. Coupled with the legendary Max Cavalera of Sepultura, Nailbomb and Soulfly fame, Killer Be Killed has been hyped as the supergroup of the generation for many.
The roots of Killer Be Killed were planted as early as 2011 when Cavalera and Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato announced that they would be working together on a collaborative project. Shortly thereafter, Mastodon bassist Troy Saunders and former Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch hopped on board, and the project was officially born.
As many feel the popularity and impact of heavy music has severely dwindled in American over the last 10 years, this project promises the best of the best of what America has to offer. And while many of the genre’s contemporary heavy hitters are popping up from across the Atlantic (France’s Gojira. Poland’s Behemoth, etc.), Killer Be Killed may serve as the United States’ best representation of heavy music in over a decade.
Cavalera is no stranger to the international metal scene. For nearly 30 years, his long-standing influential presence has been felt, beginning with Brazilian thrash and Nu Metal pioneers Sepultura, and continuing with his current project, Soulfly. Puciato and The Dillinger Escape Plan have been captivating audiences since the late 90’s, successfully bridging the gaps between punk, post-hardcore, metal and progressive with their extreme brand of music. The Mars Volta rose from the ashes of the post-hardcore movement and successfully carried the torch of Prog Rock throughout the 00’s, and Mastodon have served as possibly the biggest heavy act of the last decade, slaying audiences with their Tool-meets-Metallica brand of sludgy, thrashy Progressive Metal.
In March of 2014, Killer Be Killed released two tracks from their upcoming self-titled debut via Nuclear Blast Records. “Wings of Feather and Wax” and “Face Down” are first glimpses into what these Prog titans have laid upon the world. Both tracks lean more toward the styles of thrash, reminiscent of older Mastodon and Sepultura records, and far cries from another The Mars Volta or The Dillinger Escape Plan have ever released. Still, the musicianship is tight, and the music is heavy! Both Saunders and Puciato share vocals on these particular tracks, and their vocal harmonies match surprisingly well.
“It’s a bit of Sabbath-y doom, a bit of thrash, a bit of hardcore and punk,” said Puciato in a press release. “Of any of our bands, it sounds the furthest from mine.”
With elements of tried-and-true classic heavy metal with modern touches from some of the genre’s finest, Killer Be Killed is set for genre domination, as well as to make a bold statement for American music, perhaps to inspire more contemporary acts away from trendy and “core” sub-genres and back to original heavy music influenced by many of its modern offshoots. At any rate, Killer Be Killed is the sound of now.
Killer Be Killed’s debut is set to be release May 13 via Nuclear Blast. As of press time, no announcements of live dates or a tour have been made.