With a sound, mixing the beauty and atmosphere of shoegaze and post-rock, all the while mixing the visceral and ear
Album Review: Butcher Babies - Eye for an Eye...'Til the World's Blind
American metal band Butcher Babies have returned with the release of their new double album Eye for an Eye...'Til the World's Blind on Century Media. After a six-year gap from their previous record, 2017’s Lilith, the band becomes more eclectic on this record. Dividing its lighter and heavier sides between both discs, the band delves into unique and different tonal changes that haven’t been tackled before on previous releases. Was this record worth the wait and gave the patient fans what they were waiting for?
We’ll start with disc one, titled Eye for an Eye.... This disc is where the band gets more dynamic in their sound. With a lot less growling/screaming vocals, and a more straightforward modern metal sound, the band delves into this style in their own way. The opening track “Sleeping with the Enemy” opens with a djenty style opening riff and musically gives off a Lacuna Coil feel to the song with gothic elements in the vocals, and the chorus giving off a modern/radio rock sound to it. Growl vocals show up at the halfway mark that segue way into clean vocals. I do like the breakdown at the three quarters mark, giving you a good idea with what the sound of this disc will sound like. Following that song is “Bottom of A Bottle”. A song similar to the previous track. With clean production, and the gang chorus and wa-oh’s in the post chorus, add uniqueness to the new modern metal sound. This is all clean singing and no growls/screaming appear on the track.
“Yorktown” has a great driving pulse that reminds me of Rammstein in the guitar tone and playing. The gritty bass playing in the verse section adds that dirty, grimy, almost strip club feel to the sound. Growls hit hard, matching the bass/guitar tone on the song. The sing-along chorus is so catchy, kind of reminding me of “mOBSCENE” from Marilyn Manson. There are elements of classic 80’s heavy metal in the beginning of the chorus and in the riff before the end of the song, and also features a good guitar solo near the end of the track transitioning into growl vocals.
The heaviest song on this disc “It’s Killin’ Time, Baby!” features Craig Mabbitt of Escape The Fate. The song has a pent-up aggression compared to a lot of the more midtempo songs so far on this disc. There is no clean vocals and just all fury and intensity. With sludgy bass playing under the clean talking parts and adding elements of deathcore in the track, it is a HEAVY track compared to the songs on this disc and would give a hint of what disc two would bring.
Disc two, titled 'Til the World's Blind, is more of what Butcher Babies is known for, possibly the heaviest the band has sounded since their debut. Opening with the peculiar “Darn That Nightmare”. A big band era song with classic 50’s sounding production with disturbing and violent lyrics hidden behind the sultry vocals. Then we break the door down with the track “Red Thunder”. Starting off with heavy double bass, with more metalcore/deathcore aggression, this is the heavy disc, no doubt about it. Growl vocals by both singers are just strong, matching the fast-paced intensity and delivery in the song. The chorus features elements from the first disc, but continues to keep the heavy momentum going.
A great solo over the blast beats with some vocal delivery that remind of Randy Blythe of Lamb of God. That Lamb of God feel in vocals and now musically continues on the next track “Backstreets of Tennessee”. Continuing the deathcore/metalcore fusion in the music with hints of Meshuggah with the slow downed riffs over the blast beats, and a great guitar solo over the blast beat drumming.
The album does slow down with the ballad “Last December”. The simple piano and clean vocals with a nice record player effect in the production gives the listener a break from the heaviness the bands brought so far on disc two. There isn’t a lot of instrumentation until the halfway mark, then the chuggy bass and guitars kick in picking the pace up and adding heaviness to the song. The metal ferocity comes back with “Beaver Cage”. A thumping techno drum bass opening and feeling to the track, similar to the rising party band Electric Callboy. The singers give off so much swagger and party attitude in-between the band’s metal play style. The breakdown section gets frantic and schizophrenic with the band trying to keep up with the manic delivery of the vocals. The band does have a cover on the record with the song “Best Friend”.
A unique metal cover of the popular rap song by Saweetie and Doja Cat. It is a decent cover, but is almost a one-off and should have been either a bonus track or a live-only performance, but to each their own and more power to you if you like it. The fury continues again with “I Fell Asleep at The Table” with another heavy opening riff with vocals that are anguishing and fierce and hit hard, matched with the pummeling drums and chugging guitars on the track. The band has another slowed down track with “This is The Part” featuring Chad Grey of Hellyeah and reunited Mudvayne. Starting with another clean opening vocal performance and piano like “Last December”, the song almost has a country ballad duet feel in the performance of the vocals and the production of the song. The disc returns to the pummeling sound with “Spittin’ Teeth” and “King Pin”. A metal drinking song “The Devil Cut Me Off” I can picture the band performing live with drums hitting hard with double bass and fills. Musically, the album closes with disc two’s title track. I love the ominous building soundscape intro. When that crunchy and grungy guitar tone with stabbing drum hits kick in, it is slow and ominous and builds tension bringing this disc to a strong and heavy close.
With this release, Butcher Babies try new things and push the envelope in the band’s sound, that in my opinion works at some points and sometimes doesn’t. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the first disc as much as disc two. Disc one has some decent songs on it, but I think they sometimes have the problem of a lot of them bleeding into each other, sometimes sounding similar or formulaic, and can sometimes make the songs forgettable. Compared to the other songs on disc one, I think “It’s Killin’ Time, Baby!” should have been moved to disc two, since it is an almost completely different song than the rest on that disc and fits more on disc two. Disc two is a strong release and if you are a fan of Butcher Babies, this disc you will most likely blare on repeat, and is more like their previous releases. The band’s musicianship, vocals and overall attitude is on point and probably the heaviest record they have done. It will be interesting to see where the band goes after this release and if we will see more songs like disc one or if they will continue like disc two. 2023 is the year of experimental releases (see new Avenged Sevenfold record for example), and I think Butcher Babies is doing some unique things with their sound and I will be curious to see where they take their sound in future releases.
The band will be openers for industrial metal legends Fear Factory starting in October of this year. For more information about the tour and dates, check out the story below.
DISC ONE SCORE: 6.5 / 10
DISC TWO SCORE: 8.5 / 10
Disc One: Eye for an Eye…
01. Sleeping with The Enemy
02. Bottom of A Bottle
04. Dreaming in Color
05. Last Dance
06. It's Killin' Time, Baby! (feat. Craig Mabbitt of Escape The Fate)
07. Sleeping with The Enemy (feat. Andy James of Five Finger Death Punch) (radio edit)
Disc Two: …’Til the World's Blind
01. Darn That Nightmare
02. Red Thunder
03. Backstreets of Tennessee
04. Wrong End of The Knife
05. Last December
06. Beaver Cage
07. Best Friend
08. I Fell Asleep at The Table
09. This is The Part (feat. Chad Gray of Mudvayne)
10. Spittin' Teeth
11. King Pin
12. The Devil Cut Me Off
13. Til The World's Blind
14. Don't Touch My Pole
FFO: Otep, Lamb of God, Infected Rain