Untitled Metal Column: Volume 1 (3.15.14)

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Eleven years ago today I said “I will” to my wife but I’ve been married to metal for longer than that. I’m not really sure what my first metal album was (Either …And Just For All or The Black Album by Metallica on cassette I think) but as soon as I discovered the genre, I couldn’t stop eating it up. My first concert was Pantera with Crowbar opening at the Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg, MA on the Far Beyond Driven tour in April of ’94 and I’ve been to hundreds of heavy shows since (Wow, 20 years since my first show. I’m old.) Anyway, I listen to metal, see metal live, and while I was writing for popblerd.com, wrote a regular metal column for over 2 years (I have some metal tattoos, too).

Which brings us to today and Rock And Roll Fables’ first “regular” column, a play on my old “Metal Monday” from my Popblerd days. I tend to write about what I like so if you’re looking for some scathing reviews of bands I don’t like then go elsewhere cuz frankly, I don’t have the time to write or listen to what I don’t like (There are few exceptions, however, especially when a band I like puts out a shitty record.)

But I digress. A lot apparently.

I had plans on reviewing the new Lamb Of God doc (That’s coming next week) and then I was going to write about the phenomenal new album from Hark (That’s coming next week, too, I hope) but then yesterday Killer Be Killed premiered the first two tracks from their upcoming debut on Nuclear Blast Records and I was immediately inspired.

If you don’t know Killer Be Killed yet they are the definition of a metal “supergroup”. Mostly (Sorry ex-The Mars Volta drummer David Elitch!). Beginning as the brainchild of Max Cavalera and The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato who wanted to create a Nailbomb-type project (Which was a one off pairing of Cavalera and Fudge Tunnel mastermind and later The Mars Volta producer Alex Newport), the group eventually expanded to feature drummer Elitch and Mastodon’s Troy Sanders.

First up is “Wings of Feather and Wax” which opens with a wall of feedback followed by a juggernaut of riffs as Sanders and Puciato trade lines. Cavalera enters later with his uncanny growl. The band hits tribal territory during the breakdown with Elitch laying down a solid foundation until Max brings the Sepultura with a line beginning with “Arise! Arise!”. The song is all over the place with elements of metal, thrash, and some really melodic lines thanks to Puciato and Sanders.

“Face Down” is the more straightforward metal song of the two with a great Cavalera riff and Puciato letting it rip vocally. The song goes for the jugular for almost five minutes and displays the diversity that this debut is sure to have. The surprising thing about both songs is how diverse the vocal line up is. If you were expecting this to be the Max Cavalera show then you’ll be sorely disappointed. The other great thing is the amount of melody involved. Sanders has evolved considerably over the years and it shows here while Puciato really gets to show his stuff on “Wings…” bringing to mind the “poppier” DEP moments (“Black Bubblegum” in particular) and his work in Spylacopa. If this is a sign of what the rest the rest of the album holds then metal fans are in for a treat!

Killer Be Killed will be unleashed through Nuclear Blast on May 13th. Pre-orders are up now over at the Nuclear Blast shop but for now you can check out “Wings of Feather and Wax” and “Face Down” below. For more on the band, head on over to their official Facebook page.

 

 

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