Reviewed: February, 2020
Released: 2020, Osmose Productions
Reviewer: Jack Merry
BÜTCHER is quite an apt name for this Belgian four-piece. Wearing their influences on their sleeves, they have created a satanic speed metal monster on sophomore album “666 Goats Carry My Chariot“, as they rip and tear riffs, solos and vocal techniques used by the bands who preceded them and throw them into a blender. The bloody mess we’re left with is this record, and it’s rather glorious.
Not fond of depth or subtlety, BÜTCHER go all-guns-blazing on this record. The incredible artwork could have been ripped straight from the early days of the NWOBHM scene. Nothing feels at all restrained here, but it all works in the band’s favour. The bare-bones, stripped back production allows for a raw and intense listen that feels like it was dragged through the nine circles of Hell and emerged in someone’s garage. Imagine METALLICA’s “Kill ‘Em All” mixed with any MOTÖRHEAD record, and lashings of VENOM for good measure, then push the speed up to eleven, and you have “666 Goats.”
Opening introduction ‘Inauguration of Steele’ sets the tone of the record with some cheesy 80’s synth and distorted voiceover, before unleashing ‘Iron Bitch’ unto the world. With blazing drums and inspired lead work, the track kicks into gear, as the chariot races through Hell, dangerously close to blasting off the rails. Vocalist R Hellshrieker wails, growls and shrieks his way through the song with incredible power, demanding to be heard above the wall of metal madness.
It’s immediately apparent the record is going to be loud, proud and absolutely bat-shit insane. ’45 RPM Metal’ is another dose of high voltage thrash metal, with only the smallest mix of black metal stylings, but the album’s eponymous title track is where all of the band’s influences get chucked into a melting pot and the results are served up on a near-ten minute track. In the wrong hands this could have failed, but BÜTCHER have proven they’re capable of paying tribute to the past while keeping it fresh and up to date. Slow, doom-y guitars creep and crawl during the intro section, before erupting into dual harmony guitars a’la THIN LIZZY and IRON MAIDEN. I loathe to use the word ‘epic’ in a serious context, but this song absolutely deserves it.
‘Viking Funeral’ and ‘Brazen Serpent’ are drenched in black metal tropes, reminiscent of BEHEMOTH with howled, primal throaty vocals and blast-beat drumming, coupled with a wall of sharp distortion from guitarist KK Ripper. The record is an aural feast, treating us to many different styles on this chariot ride through Hell, and the band are having as much fun as they possibly can along the way.
My only real criticism is that for anybody looking to expand their tastes into the speed metal genre, this may not be the best place to start. Accessibility takes a back seat as right from the opening bars of ‘Iron Bitch’, you’re either on this ride or you’re not. If this is your thing, you’ll feel right at home with “666 Goats Carry My Chariot“. It’s a record that impressed me, and it must be played loud. Get the best speakers or headphones you could possibly have, and bask in the deafening glory of BÜTCHER.