The band brandish many a time-honored sword but yield them in a way that is entirely their own.
Words by Rohan (@manvsplaylist):
The analog-recorded rolling double kick. Those high note, hammer riffs. That scream! Without question, the first 15 seconds of BÜTCHER’s brand new offering 666 Goats Carry My Chariot lay entirely bare their intentions here: to thrill, to swill, to kill!! Over the course of the next 36 minutes, the band will take you across a sub-genre spanning concoction of some of metal’s finest moments, and piece together an album that will have you harking back to the glory days of mid-‘80s thrash and classic speed metal.
But a simple, generic, genre-blending throw-back this is not. Creativity and personality spill out of each & every track, not to mention precision riffing and technical instrumental interplay. The references the Belgian four-piece are pulling from are everywhere and undeniable: from Exciter and Mercyful Fate, to Hellhammer and Maiden, through to Sodom and Bathory, topped off with heavy doses of mid-‘80s era Slayer. And while many groups will claim precisely those same melting pot of influences, BÜTCHER have an uncanny ability to harness the core spirit of these torch-bearers, and mold them into one single fire breathing monster of their own.
Highlight tracks range from the opener Iron Bitch, tempo crushing Metallstrom-Face the Bütcher with its more abstract and off-kilter black metal leanings, to the quick hitting rager of Viking Funeral, where you can practically see in your mind’s eye the fists pumping along to the stomping chorus breakdown. Said tracks take you through the flame filled chariot you see before you on Kris Verwimp's hellish cover, which perfectly represents the insanity present on this outing.
Just beyond the mid-point of the album when the pace can’t get any more frantic, the tempo takes a well-earned pause, and down shifts to a glorious battalion stomp and dual vocal hook in the title track. The effortless swing that propels this one is beyond catchy. Whereas preceding cuts are 3-4 minute fierce quick hitters, 666 Goats Carry My Chariot is an expansive, 9-minute opus that runs the entire gamut of stylistic influences. Classic, time-honored metal textbook elements all get time to shine: from chorus-tinged clean finger picking, driving double-bass pedals, to bass lines that weave independently of the rest of the rhythm section to blistering lead soloing. This is one of the albums stand out tracks, showcasing BÜTCHER's ability to piece together all their battle-jacket worn influences in one single cohesive form of metal expression.
The production quality perfectly mirrors the rest of the stylistic influence the band is referencing, as the overall tone captured here is pure analog glory. Within the chaos of the riffs and howling screams, the halls of reverb drenched all across this album is perfection. The result is a mix that gives equal presence to all its component parts and maintains a rawness that helps translate the band’s fierce live energy on to recorded format.
With a title such as 666 Goats Carry My Chariot, one can make no mistake that this album is a fully self-aware, all-out assault of the senses. It’s covered in metal adoration, but never veers into mindless replication or cheesy homage territory. Instead, BÜTCHER have managed to put to tape a hellfire amalgamation of some of metal’s most cherished sub-genres, brought together with daring confidence & military precision. The entire listen is engaging, diverse and exhilarating. Screw the definitions or labels. This is beer-and-a-shot metal. This is the sound of the weekend beginning. Horns up!!
666 Goats Carry My Chariot is out on January 31st via Osmose Productions and you can pre-order your copy HERE.