An excellent metal album

The measure of the success of a band like Killer be Killed lies in how far it transcends the sum of its parts. 2014’s debut album showed how far they could surpass expectations; Reluctant Hero goes even further. 

Five years of clandestine writing and recording sessions with a team driven only by their own desire to create something that answers to them alone has resulted in an outing that takes Killer be Killed to another level. A similar feel and execution pervades the early tracks with their insidious grooves and contrasting yet complimentary vocal parts and arrangements, but this isn’t so much a retread as a familiar welcome before Reluctant Hero exhales and reveals its vision and scope. The grandest example is Greg Puciato’s tour de force From An Crowded Wound with its growling, almost hypnotic riff and Neurosis-like atmospherics; Puciato shines throughout the entire album as he bounces his voice off Troy Sanders’ ragged croon or fills a space with an economic splat of lead guitar. 

Behind them, Ben Koller drives the engine room with a deceptively technical precision, while Max Cavalera steps up on vocals for furious thrasher Animus, but for the most part appears happy to take a back seat this time out, revelling in the groove. The fact that he can be so comfortable with just laying down riffs and groove speaks volumes for the confidence Killer be Killed has in each other as the tracks flow into and from each other with an enviable fluidity. 

From searing hardcore to moments of ethereal atmosphere, to ravenous thrash and monstrous grooves to the sombre sprawl of the title track, Reluctant Hero is nothing less than an excellent metal album from an extremely talented and solid band.

  1. Deconstructing Self-Destruction
  2. Dream Gone Bad
  3. Left of Center
  4. Inner Calms from Outer Storms
  5. Filthy Vagabond
  6. From a Crowded Wound
  7. The Great Purge
  8. Comfort From Nothing
  9. Animus
  10. Dead Limbs
  11. Reluctant Hero