Written by: Blackie Skulless
Before tearing into this monster, I need to address something. Belgium’s black/speed metallers Bütcher are an enigma that took me a hot minute to dig, but the deeper I went, the more unique they became. This is mostly due to the fact that they’re so unapologetically ridiculous that I almost want to classify them as a parody band. This thinking is coming from the song titles themselves, the stage names, the intentionally nonsensical spelling of words, the crude sexuality crossed with Satan everywhere, and just the fact that Bütcher wears every influence on their sleeve, refusing to even try to cover it up. This breathes Judas Priest, Motörhead, Bathory, and Venom all in one sentence. Despite all of this being pretty damn common, the fact that the songwriting is so astronomically good, blending so much together so smoothly is what gives this its standout charm.
Now that the elephant in the room has been discussed, let’s get to the actual meat of the sandwich. In 2017, Bütcher cursed us with an unholy breath of crushing blackened speed metal titled Bestial Fükkin’ Warmachine that stuck to the chaotic side. While compelling, it was a little harder to pick things apart. 2020 comes around and drops 666 Goats Carry My Chariot, somehow managing to deliver this blasphemous cumshot of aggression in a sophisticated way. Again; it is as ridiculous as it sounds, and it fucking rules!
Dusting the surface of the previous effort naturally made for some sharper songs to come in that sport a bit more melody than expected. Sweeping clean solos that take the forefront amongst a fuming hellish pit of noise are not uncommon here, namely the way it is executed on “Brazen Serpent.” This somehow fits itself into an otherwise raging ball of speed that burns so hot, things melt into the most doom metal outro you’ve ever heard on a speed metal record. But it doesn’t have to be that complex. Openers “Iron Bitch” and “45 RPM Metal” let in familiarity, melodic Tipton-like guitar leads, and thunderous bass that gives what sounds like the cheesiest nonsense you’ve ever heard all sorts of life. I am once again reiterating that I know how this looks, but I assure you that it is all the better.
Rest assured, 666 Goats Carry My Chariot does not ignore its black metal roots. The entire mid-portion is littered with all of your favorite tropes; the tremolo picking, the machine gun-esque drumming, the harsh and unforgivable tones that feel like they’re gonna burn your ears; it’s all there. If that isn’t enough, frontman R Hellshreiker (yes, I’m laughing too) coats on a vocal style that’s damn near impossible to describe. Higher, unique Carmine Blade shrieks? Deep and hoarse Bathory growls? Blistering bouts of chanting and anger? The answer is simply, yes; all of the above. The nine minute title track goes through phases of a song that ride through doom caverns, razor sharp rhythms, focused transitions, and soft instrumentation to change the mood. Too much? Just see “Sentinels Of Dethe” for one that’s just unmerciful black metal to the bone without the extra bells and whistles.
Man oh man was it tough to get all of this on paper. This literally reads like a nightmare (at first). So many tactics, so many influences worn as clear as day (the guitarist is literally called K.K. Ripper), so much cliche stupidity, all packaged alongside explicitly sexual and blasphemous lyrics. Can this really be that good? It has no business being that good, that’s for damn sure. But it is, and I love every minute of this record. It’s digestible, it’s swift, it has hooks for days, and I really can’t recommend it more to anyone that likes any kind of classic styled metal.
Bütcher - 666 Goats Carry My Chariot was released Jan. 31st, 2020 via Osmose
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.