Reviewed: February, 2021
Released: 2021, Petrichor Records
Retro and revival bands are commonplace in rock and metal today. This proliferation makes it easy to miss or dismiss many of these bands, the thought that often passes through my mind being “Do we really need another 70’s occult band?” Well, in the case of Butterfly the answer is a resounding yes, though this is not occult metal. DOORWAYS OF TIME, the debut album from Melbourne, Australia’s Butterfly is certainly a walk down the retro road. Here though, we get a glorious mix of 70s era Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Budgie and a bit of Uriah Heep. “The Night Is In Its Way” actually is more a tribute to “House of The Rising Sun” by The Animals than anything from the 70s.
DOORWAYS OF TIME is an album that manages to blend all of these styles into a cohesive sound that does not sound contrived. Instead, it is authentic and steeped in knowledge and appreciation of a glorious time in metal. The bass groove of “Desert Chase” kicks things off before a catchy trill riff paves the way for vocals that instantly remind me of Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. All four guys sing (like Kiss), so I am not sure who it is, but it fits the style of the music seamlessly. As the album progresses, we are treated to massive riffs like the Zeppelin heft of “The Sin” to the clean guitar psychedelia of “Nobody.”
“Heavy Metal Highway” naturally takes its inspiration from Priest’s “Head Out To The Highway” in its opening riff before carving its own unique path. “Crawling” is a sprawling instrumental with some fantastic twin guitar solos and prominent bass lines that anchor the song and diverge from the current bass style in metal of simply playing what the guitars are playing. While this is a cool track, the momentum of the album is a bit blunted by ending it with two instrumentals, the final track being something of a snoozer. The sound and mix are just about perfect though, the guitar distortion and everything else sounding precisely vintage.
I have mentioned the retro style of the album, and the band has employed none other than Rodney Matthews Studios (Deep Purple, Nazareth, Scorpions) to provide the album art. Few bands have mixed all of these different approaches into a style that sounds natural. For it all to work, the songs have to actually be good, and that is where DOORWAYS OF TIME shines. This is not a flawless album, but it is not far from it. If you are a fan of 70s metal Priest, Thin Lizzy, Budgie or even often forgotten Amulet, this album is for you.
1 Desert Chase
2. Climbing A Mountain
3. Doorways Of Time
4. The Night Is On Its Way
7. Heavy Metal Highway
9. The Scorpion
Phil Gresig – Vocals, Bass
Rob Wog – Vocals, Drums
Luke Robertson – Vocals, Guitars
Philip T. King – Vocals, Guitars