Butcher Babies

01. I Smell A Massacre
02. Magnolia Blvd
03. C8H18 (Gasoline)
04. Grim Sleeper
05. Goliath
06. In Denial
07. Give Me Reason
08. The Mirror Never Lies
09. DeadPoet
10. The Deathsurround
11. Axe Wound

Carla Harvey (Vocals)
Heidi Shepherd (Vocals)
Henry Flury (Guitars)
Jason Klein (Bass)
Chris Warner (Drums)



Josh Wilbur (Production)

Released 2014-01-27
Reviewed 2014-06-15

century media

I smell a massacre when Butcher Babies starts to play, at least in the first track on this debut album as it's called exactly that. The band has two females fronting the band with three guys handling the instruments behind them. Together they cook up some sort of modern death metal without clear direction.

Maybe, though, it's me that's not modern enough but I really struggle to get this unmelodic death metal music. It's fairly progressive in the fashion that they have all kinds of tempo and directional changes in their music, taking sudden steps to one side in one moment and the next in the second only to make a complete U-turn in the next song. This in itself shouldn't be a problem but since they don't have some sort of constant as the vocals are a bit all over the place it gets very messy. The vocals actually sounds like the kind of screams you hear from women in a delivery room and that's kind of annoying when the music is so messy.

I like the opening track and I think that's the best song on the album although it took me some time to like it. I especially didn't (and still don't) like the ten second long roar at the very beginning of the song, but I'm pretty sure that's the kind of screams that can give them a role in a new version of The Exorcist if that's a movie they'll end up rerecording. However, the album kind of fades after the first track and as the tracks go by it turns more and more in to a watch looking game that's ended with me turning the album off prematurely a few times, often around half way through by the title track or soon after.

I think the biggest problem with Butcher Babies are their unappealing vocalists, though this isn't the only issue in this band. The music seems to make an effort to be as complicated as possible for the simple reason of being complicated and not for any musical purpose - as if they think complicated will make people think they're better musicians or something. However, most of the time they don't have any sensible purpose to drop the rhythm by stop-starting the music all the time and them pump it up with a nu-metal bass around this "dead holes". This is one of the most irritating things I know in music, tempo changes are no good if you have to make coffee breaks between therm all the time - get along with it instead, give your listeners a drive instead of a bus ride. The reason why I, despite this ploy still find the opening track good is the long and sweet choruses which most of the other ten songs doesn't have. Instead the formula in them seems to be grind a bit, chop up the music in short segments with changing tempo and shout a lot. Some parts of it works but overall it's mostly frustrating to hear it. And besides the production isn't great either.

There are, however, parts that do work and besides the opening track I think they have moments of light in most tracks of the album but as these moments gives some hopes of good things to come it always ends in disappointment. The music is too unstructured, the production too messy and the vocalists too annoying. The thing I don't understand is why they both try to shout and do clear vocals - why not share the duty with one doing the shouts and the other singing clean?

Anyway, to sum it all up I don't think that 'Goliath' is horrible or sucks completely, I just don't think it's particularly good. I'm sure there are people that like this but I can't see them being a particularly large number and I honestly think the main issue is that they need some more fine tuning on this before they can make anything great with this. It was a decent attempt, but I don't think they're there yet.



Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Kitty/The Agonist/In This Moment
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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