LOUDER REVIEWS: 'Reluctant Hero' - Killer Be Killed
The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Mastodon, Soulfly. All four of these bands are some of the most forward-thinking and eclectic bands that heavy music has ever produced. Everyone expects their members to do something different every time, and so what do they do when combined? Create a straight metal record of course! Absolutely no one expected something as straight forward as this from Killer Be Killed the first time round, and here on follow-up record 'Reluctant Hero' they have turned it all up to eleven.
With three of the greatest vocalists that metal has ever produced all collaborating on top of Ben Koller’s legendary drumming there was high expectation from everyone – especially after how mind-blowing their debut self-titled was. They absolutely exceed that bar. The absolute chills that are created when Greg Puciato’s iconic vocals kick in on opener ‘Deconstructing Self-Destruction’ (in an almost Ozzy Osbourne-esque style) are rivalled only by when the gravelly tones of Troy Sanders that made Mastodon such a success follow up, whilst legendary former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera shows why he is spoken of in such high regard, by contributing some absolutely incredible work.
All three vocalists contribute on every single song, and it’s almost like a game of one-upmanship, except with the end result not sounding like showing off, but instead as four of the greatest musicians to ever do it working together in perfect harmony. Supergroups can often be a contentious issue, sometimes working on paper but not actually having the chemistry to write decent songs, which tends to be the case more often than not when artists want to move away from their ‘usual style.’ However Killer Be Killed works so well because it is not really a supergroup. Yes it’s a band comprised of high-profile members of other bands, but at the core of it all it is just four people who adore heavy music, and thrive in pushing boundaries. Take 90 second long ‘Animus’ for example; it’s a track that wouldn’t work on any of their individual bands’ records, but when bought together even the doomy nature of Sanders’ voice sounds like it was built for this kind of bombastic hardcore.
Anyone hoping for a record that sounds exactly like one of the bands from any of these members’ most famous work will be disappointed. But that’s for the best, as Killer Be Killed sound almost exactly like what you’d expect when chucking those four massive names (and all of their countless side projects) into a cauldron and melding them together. And it absolutely fucking rules. This is by far the best straight metal release of the year, and throws down a glove to those bands who do this sort of thing full time to really step up their game. After all, if these guys can do it alongside their dozens of other projects, why can’t they?
Long live Killer Be Killed, the best metal band of 2020!
'Reluctant Hero' is due for release on the 20th of November via Nuclear Blast Records - keep an eye on their Spotify for when it drops!
Check out the video for the band's latest single, 'Inner Calm From Outer Storms' below: