Bȕtcher - 666 Goats Carry My Chariot [Osmose Productions - 2020]
Every once in a while, a band comes along who challenges the natural order of things, Bȕtcher is one such band. 666 Goats Carry My Chariot is the band’s sophomore release, the follow up to their quietly acclaimed debut Bestial Fȕkkin’ Warmachine which was unleashed upon the world back in 2017. Sadly, until now, I was one of the uninitiated, but after one listens I was scouring the internet for more information about the band and where I could get a copy said debut, that is the power of 666 Goats Carry My Chariot.
Originally formed back in the early 2000s the band struggled to make an impact and split before eventually returning to action in 2014, stronger and ready for the fight. Even their stage names scream pure unadulterated, visceral heavy metal, we have vocals R Hellshrieker, guitarist KK Ripper, drummer LV Speedhȃmmer and bassist AH Wrathchylde, anyway their names and image aside the important thing we need to talk about here is the music, and boy what a mix of influences we have on display here.
After the intro "Inauguration of Steele", we are treated to the blistering assault of "Iron Bitch", an Iron Maidenesque riff-fest that recalls the band’s early years better than anyone, and whilst the track features some Teutonic thrash metal influences especially in the vocal department Maiden remain the key influence. "3.45 RPM" is firmly entrenched in classic German speed metal, coming on like Kreator with riffs by Walls of Jericho era Helloween. "Metallström_Face the Bütcher" follows a similar path, perhaps adding in a little more of a black metal influence, classic era Kreator remains the key influence though. "Sentinels of Dethe" keeps up the pace, another brutal masterpiece that pummels the listener into submission. I’ve not heard anyone write such brilliant and brutal speed metal riffs since the 1980s, this may be one of the finest metal albums of the last 30 years.
This leads us on to the album’s epic nine-minute title track centerpiece, and what a glorious centerpiece it is. After starting out sounding spookily like classic era Bathory the track takes several twists and turns, each one crafted to perfection. One can hear the influence of Mercyful Fate quite prominently at one point and there is even a knowing nod towards an Ozzy Osbourne riff lurking in there somewhere, simply put it’s brilliant. "Viking Funeral" sees the band go all Celtic Frost on us, which they do with aplomb before "Brazen Serpent" takes us back into more familiar territory mixing speed metal and black metal with a hint of classic NWOBHM riffing. Album closer "Exaltation of Sulphur" is a short acoustic piece to bring the listener back down to earth.
I have to say that the guys in Bȕtcher have absolutely smashed it, mixing some of the finest speed metal riffing this side of 1988 with classic black metal influences and the timeless NWOBHM twin guitar assault so beloved of bands like Iron Maiden and Angel Witch, not to mention the Mille Petrozza style vocals, and the various nods to bands from across the metal spectrum. As if more were needed, the songs are brilliant, technical, rapid and express an angst not heard in the metal scene for many years. This album is a stark reminder of why I fell in love with the thrash and speed metal scene back in the 80s. If anything comes along to dispose this as my album of the year, it will have been an astonishing year as I can’t remember the last time I was this in love with a new album.Darren Charles