By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Butcher Babies returns with a an angry, in-your-face album filled with attitude and some good melodies.
Butcher Babies is a band that has a lot of things counting against them. In the early days of the band, the two female vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey performed bare chested with only their nipples covered by black tape. Not the easiest thing to overcome if you want to be taken seriously as vocalists and as a band. Many metal heads seem to dislike them (at least in public) and consider them gimmicky and fake. My guess is that many of those thinkers haven’t heard much of the band’s music. Well, it seems that they have put their clothes back on, stopped the drug use and decided to focus on the music. Good choice, because it seems to make wonders to their artistic output.
It’s not fashionable to dig this but I sort of do. Power to them. There is certainly some room to improve on some of the material, but there are some fab songs here. This is modern, angry metal with some great melodies. There are some metalcore vibes here and there, as well as some small nods to bands such as Arch Enemy and Amaranthe and plenty of good melodies under the harsh and angry surface.
The album kicks off with “Burn The Straw Men”, a typical trademark Butcher Babies song, full of energy, hooks and a shout-along chorus. “Headspin” kind of sounds like a pop song by Avril Lavigne. OK for what it is. Could have gotten air time on MTV if anyone still watched music shows on TV. “Korova” is a terrific and energetic song, combining sheer power with a great melody. A piece of arena rock. “#Iwokeuplikethis” is a good brutal and fast song, while In “The Huntsman” we get a great combination of angry brutality and pop hooks. “Controller” is pure energy while “Oceana” is a crossover song with metalcore and all sorts of modern metal melted together to create an interesting song. “Look What We’ve done” is Butcher Babies’ take on a power ballad. Could have been a radio hit if anyone still listened to radio. “Pomona (Shit Happens)” seems to exist to piss people off (yay!). There is always someone who will find the use of swear words upsetting. “Underground and Overrated” is perhaps the song title of the year. The title is better than the song, which isn’t bad though. But, together with the title track “Lilith”, it is one of the weaker songs on an album filled with quite a few good songs. The album was produced by Steve Evetts (Warbringer, Havok, Devildriver, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sick Of It All, Sepultura, Hatebreed, Suicide Silence, The Cure).
Butcher Babies is a band full of contradictions and strange turns. But it is also a band with attitude and some interesting modern metal to back it up. Overall this is quite a good album of modern metal. I love the energy and no-fucks-given attitude. Despite the shit storm facing them, I hope Butcher Babies will stick around. They’re entertaining and they have some good music..
Butcher Babies’ “Lilith” album is out now via Century Media Records.