Reviewed: February 2021
Released: 2021, Petrichor
Reviewer: Kat Knite
Four experienced musicians with a range of musical backgrounds and influences join forces in Melbourne, Australia, to bring the world a nostalgic dose of Traditional Heavy Metal, laced with vocal harmonies, twin guitars, and massive sounds from the rhythm section. Fans of Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Kiss and AC/DC will want to reach for Butterfly‘s new album, Doorways of Time, on the shelves of their local record stores this March. Pop the vinyl on, and travel through a unique musical landscape clad in the studded leather of rock and metal from the 70s and 80s, those psychedelic mementos that planted their seeds in the 60s and evolved through the years scattered within. Butterfly aim to create a world where the past sounds of bands like Led Zeppelin ring brightly into the vision of the future.
Hard-hitting yet pleasant and easy to listen to, Doorways of Time offers a classic and organic sound as it enters with ‘Desert Chase’. Raw, unfiltered, and moving with reckless abandon like a motorcycle down the freeway, this track immediately draws me in. The qualities of the soundscape are reminiscent of hair-in-the-wind, nothing-to-lose freedom-seekers of late 70s rock n’ roll. Relatively straightforward at first, by the second song it’s clear that Butterfly are proficient at telling a story with music. What follows during ‘Climbing a Mountain’ is a recognisable and cheerful sound, reminding me of Rainbow at moments. As I listen, it becomes apparent that these guys know how to create a build with tension and resolve, with solid breakdowns and changes in beat steering the song underneath expressive vocals in need of little editing or effect. The ride moves and grooves through ‘Doorways of Time’, the title track, and I am pleasantly swaying my head in agreement with the timbre of the vocals accompanied by a consistent and catchy arrangement. However, the band does not limit itself to one concrete sound. ‘The Night is in its Way’ has a military-like, marching beat, layered with melodic leads and vocals that oddly enough remind me of The Clash.
Psychedelic dust sprinkles from the sky and into the air around ‘Nobody’, a dark and melodic piece, followed by ‘The Sin’, which lays funky and feeling on the ground beneath. ‘Heavy Metal Highway’ breaks the waves as a no-bullshit, straight-shooting testament to honest and dirty heavy metal – and it doesn’t hold back, to say the least. While I found the track powerful in some ways, as someone with a great love for lyricism, lines like “You got the guts, I’ll grab your nuts, Come out and join the band” had me somewhat taken aback. This wasn’t out of shock or offence, but because I felt it was degrading to the quality of what the song could be. Perhaps in a loud and rowdy live setting lyrics like these serve their purpose amongst certain audiences, who can drunkenly chant along, boisterous in their chaotic catharsis.
Thankfully, ‘Crawling’ came to redeem some of my faith. Beautiful and ballad-like, this track lends to the soaring lead guitar that floats atop of it – real, true, and sexy. Once again, Butterfly showcase their talent for storytelling through arrangement. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing a breakdown (like the one in the bridge) with so much potential to explode, carried out seamlessly by the band, who almost follow exactly what you want to hear. The way this song builds and erupts, closing with the signature twin guitars… these are the definitive moments that make it take the cake on the record.
Finally, a sweet, soft, and pretty ‘Scorpion’ fades in and out as Doorways of Time draws its curtains. I find myself wishing I could hear more of this lovely atmosphere, but sadly the ending comes swiftly and the long and interesting journey is over.
Choose between an LP that comes as a 180 gram audiophile vinyl with a download card, and a CD that comes as a deluxe edition with a slipcase. Secure your chance to listen to Doorways of Time by Butterfly in premium format, and order your copy HERE.