When the lineup for the supergroup Killer Be Killed was revealed, it definitely drew attention. The combination of Max Cavalera (Sepultura / Soulfly), Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan), Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and Dave Elitch (ex-Mars Volta) is an intriguing one, and one with a lot of potential.

The creation of their self-titled album was a very collaborative process with Cavalera and Puciato putting together the initial demos. Once they got into the studio with producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God), the outfit created many of the lyrics and song titles on the spot.

With the pedigree of the musicians and the style of music their bands play, there might be the impression that ‘Killer Be Killed’ would be very experimental and unpredictable. And while each band member brings in their influences, the end result is diverse, but fairly straightforward.

Opener ‘Wings of Feather and Wax’ has a lot of melody, but also elements of hardcore. The intensity is ratcheted up a notch on ‘Face Down,’ with thrashy riffs and a combination of screams and singing.

Each vocalist gets fairly equal time throughout the album. Puciato is the most versatile, contributing a variety of styles. Cavalera’s bludgeoning screams are effective, and Sanders’ gruff melodies stand out. Elitch lays down a potent groove that holds everything together.

‘Snakes of Jehova’ is one of the heaviest tracks on the album, and also one of the most cohesive. The songs are pretty streamlined, getting right down to business and generally clocking in around the four minute mark.

‘Save the Robots’ bounces between extreme and mainstream, with some interesting electronic flavored vocals at the beginning. ‘Dust Into Darkness’ has a more moderate tempo and thicker groove than most of the album, and also one of the most memorable choruses.

The album wraps up with ‘Forbidden Fire,’ which has some intense parts, but also progressive, almost ambient sections. The idea of a group like Killer Be Killed is to do something fun and creative apart from their regular bands, and ‘Killer Be Killed’ has succeeded in doing that. It has its own identity while still sounding enough like Soulfly, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mastodon to appeal to the fan bases of each of those bands.

4 Stars