Bütcher takes you on an epic journey to a parallel universe. A universe that is very similar to ours. A universe where cars are referred to as chariots. A universe where we do not mention horsepower, but talk about goatpower. And Bütcher is here to introduce their new ride! Sorry, was that too corny? I know, I can’t help myself. Let’s forget about that and I’ll tell you how I got to know this band and why I am so excited about this album.
I tend to dislike the current trend of bands touring in packages of too many bands. Usually, when I go to a concert, I just one to see that one band. I am willing to work my way through the set of one support act, but that’s it. It is a tough life, as you can imagine. A couple of years ago I went to a concert to see a Dutch speed/thrash metal band (Distillator, in case you are curious) and saw two support acts that are an example of the exception that proves the rule. One of these bands was so good I just stood there in disbelief. It was only halfway through the first song that I managed to pick up my jaw from the floor, that kind of good. I watched their show with a smile so large it almost split my head in two. This band, as you might have guessed, was Bütcher.
Since that day I have seen them a couple more times and each time it was a blast. This band is awesome live, so if you ever have the chance to catch ‘m live, I suggest you do just that. Question is, are they any good in the studio? After that first show I got a copy of their debut. I was happy to hear it lived up to their live-show, although of course there is a big difference between listening to a live show or sitting on your couch watching the record spin. The last show I saw the band tried a new song on us. I was not that thrilled, it was different from what I expected. I was a bit worried their second album could only disappoint. Boy, was I wrong…
One of the reasons this band is such a delight both live and in the studio is that half the time they play so fast they sound like a train that can derail any second. And yet it doesn’t. So there you have it, this is speed metal as it should be played. Fast and furious and with a vocalist who can match the musical madness. He applies an almost black metal shriek with plenty of high pitched yells thrown in for good measure.
The influences are worn on the sleeve by this band, but the mish mash they make of it makes it a sound of their own. It is great fun to look for the almost tributes the band pays to certain bands. It is not as obvious as the part lifted straight of the Manowar debut on their previous album, but even the casual metal listener will look up and think: hmmm… sounds a lot like Diamond Head (the start of “Metallström/Face the Bütcher”). This is just one example, there are plenty more. There is Bathory (the epic title track), Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden and plenty more to be discovered.
That title track is the track that made me think: what direction are they heading? I enjoyed the debut with all it’s short and ultra fast speed metal cuts. Mixing it with a bunch of Bathory (viking metal era) influences was not what I expected and not what I was waiting for at that moment. After listening to the album a lot I have to admit this track works really well. It breaks the spell of all the speed (even though the track has a midsection at typical Bütcher speed) that surrounds it, giving you, the listener, a small pause that is very welcome.
The production is very eighties, but with a modern twist. I find this difficult to explain, as however I put it, it will sound like a strange paradox. My best try? When you spin the record it will transport you to the eighties production wise. At the same time everything sounds clearer than most records coming out of that era, which makes it a clear child of this day and age. Nostalgic without lingering on it for too long. On top of that every instrument is clearly audible, including the bass guitar, which is something I enjoy greatly. As on the debut short acoustic parts are used. I just have to mention how much better this works with the production on this album. In short: a production job well done!
It is impressive how Bütcher reintroduces metal in a way that is fun. This is all about escaping day to day dread and having some good old metal fun. It allows you to join them in their parallel metalverse for 36 minutes (after which you can just play the record again if need be, of course). So put on your denim jacket, prepare to raise your fist and bang your head again and again and again.
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