After what seemed like an eternity, both to the band members and fans alike, the Butcher Babies have finally seen all their hard work pay off in the form of their Century Media Records debut, Goliath. I recently interviewed them, and they were chomping at the bit for everyone to hear it, and rightfully so.
“I Smell a Massacre” is the first single that pretty much hits you over the head with a shovel and drags you back to the lair for the sonic beat down you’re about to endure. This, combined with “Magnolia Blvd” is a great way to introduce the two-pronged vocal attack of Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd, and attack they do. These ladies do NOT play nice, alternatively screaming and singing, while Henry Flury (guitar), Jason Klein (bass), and Chris Warner (drums) provide the soundtrack to this apocalypse.
“C8h18 (Gasoline)” has some great harmonies from Carla and Heidi over arguably the best riffs on the record, while “Grim Sleeper” (my favorite track) features those same harmonies in the soft intro before the band launches into one of the ballsiest songs of 2013, no doubt. The measure of a great song, to me, is how it’s gonna sound live, and I cannot fucking wait to hear this one on Aug 4! Same thing with the title track “Goliath”. I can only imagine the pits that have been stirred up by this one.
“In Denial” is another song that uses just the right blend of beauty and brutality before Henry tears off on this very atmospheric solo that’ll make you say, “Whoa! Where’d that come from?” And it works. It fits perfectly. “Give Me Reason” is an in your face rocker and that pretty much explains it. The intro to “The Mirror Never Lies” has another aural assault from the boys before the girls unleash their vocal fury, sounding at one point like the Sirens who lured sailors to their doom in Greek mythology. I can see the shipwrecks now!
“The Deathsurround” and “Dead Poet”, while good songs, were a bit much for me. The aggression is there, but compared to the rest of the record they tend to fall short. This brings us to album closer “Axe Wound”. An acoustic intro, followed by a full-on pummeling make this another high point of the album. The singing on this reminds me of one of my favorite vocalists, Maria Brink from In This Moment, whether that was intentional or not. Regardless, I think it sounds great.
The Butcher Babies have definitely put out one hell of a debut album. Is it perfect? No. Then again, who really gets it all right on their first try? But it IS an album that metal heads should embrace, and quite frankly, I think it’ll sound even better live. They’ll be here in Dallas Aug 4, and I will be ready and waiting.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Grim Sleeper”, “Axe Wound”, “In Denial”, “Magnolia Blvd”, “C8h18”