"Lilith" By Butcher Babies
Released Oct 27, 2017
Genre: Groove Metal/Metalcore
Los Angeles quintet Butcher Babies are one of the more polarizing bands in modern metal. While the band has a devoted fan base they've also earned an endless train of criticism for their highly sexualized image and perceived lack of musical quality. I've also been heavily critical of the band and found their first two albums agonizing experiences. Their latest record shows a bit of growth however. At least in the instrumental department.
Henry Flury's riffs have a lot more inspiration to them this time around. The album's title track, which was also the album's lead single, was the first Butcher Babies song I legitimately liked. It features a simple yet driving main riff in its chorus aided by persistent double kick work on drums and the verses have a dark swing groove that compliments the sultry vocal style of the bands two frontwomen well. Album opener "Burn The Straw Man" is a highly aggressive metalcore track that spits vitriol and a chorus that's hard to keep from singing along to.
There are still some less than stellar moments such as "POMONA (Shit Happens)". A lighthearted track that leans more towards crossover thrash and tells a story reminiscent of the Hangover movies of a crazy night gone wrong. Instrumentally the track is enjoyable enough but Carla and Heidi's lyricism, even though this isn't a serious track, lacks the catchiness and wit needed to carry a song like this. "Headspin" is the most melodic track and sticks out due to its very poppy chorus. While's there's still screaming and aggressive elements this feels more like a beefed up pop song and may not sit well with the metal crowd that the rest of the album is aimed at.
Lilith is the best Butcher Babies album so far by miles. However that's a low bar to beat. The guitar work is the best the band has produced to this point but the songs are hampered by the weak songwriting of its frontwomen. Heidi and Carla are solid melodic singers but lack the interesting songwriting to carry the songs. Also their screaming vocals are still sub-par with their lack of dynamics. While it's problematic to have your singers be the band's weak link there's tangible growth felt with this record. And it's the first Butcher Babies release that I can call somewhat solid with the first tracks that I would add to a playlist. There just might be hope yet for Butcher Babies to start gaining some respect from their long time critics.