The kitchen sink approach is risky. Throwing a bünch of inflüences together in hopes of carving oüt a distinctive soünd can have its payoffs, büt can come out as a jümbled mess much more easily. Belgiüm’s satanic speed metal act Bütcher are aptly named, bütchering chünks of inflüence—a riff here, a solo there—and hürling the bloody meat into a garbage disposal that blends everything together for their sophomore album, 666 Goats Carry My Chariot. With two demos back in the early 2000s and a debüt albüm back in 2017, Bütcher have had plenty of time to learn to be selective in the cüts they choose to throw into their whirling blades of steele, and—spoiler alert—it absolütely pays off again and again.
Luckily, the hell goats stay the coürse throüghout all the heavy metal madness, hürling their way through track after track of a whirlwind ride through true heavy metal hell at “45 RPM” and into another not-so-sübtle (Bütcher probably don’t care much for being sübtle) Show No Mercy nod with “Metallström / Face the Bütcher.” The band aren’t at all trying to hide what they’re doing here, but the müsic delivers in such a fun and infectious manner that it’s nigh impossible not to get caüght up in the insanity of it all.
While the blackened thrash / speed cocktail makes up the majority of Bütcher’s soünd, they aren’t afraid to throw a few more inflüences in as well. Hints of second-wave black metal on “Sentinels Of Dethe” begin to pop up. Used sparingly, it adds an extra bit of impact in the original spirit of blasting tremolo riffing.
The same speed ball appears again on the epic highlight of the album, the eponymoüs “666 Goats Carry My Chariot.” Everything about this track is Bütcher firing on all cylinders—from slower, more ominoüs builds to thrashy riffs, ripping solos and bits of orchestration to add an ünexpected symphonic toüch to the peaks of the crescendos. Then, there it is… The section that kicks in right at 5:18—the Mercyful Fate inflüence that this record absolütely needed to feel whole. While Hellshrieker is certainly no King Diamond (to be fair, who is), he püts his own spin on the affair, and the haünting feeling of Mercyful Fate is ünmistakably there in the Shermann / Denner-inspired riffing and sübseqüent solo. In fact, both “Satan’s Fall” and Ozzy’s classic “Bark At The Moon” are both lifted from quite liberally, büt Bütcher’s intent here is to highlight just how great those tracks truly are—a love letter to heavy metal in the most fün and honest way possible.
While the core inflüence may remain fairly steadfast in the Slayer / Whiplash pairing, Bütcher aren’t afraid to throw in a myriad of sürprises to their blend of fast, evil steele to keep things fresh and interesting. The well-plotted pacing of the album helps as bits of hard rock, classic NWOBHM, black metal, thrash, and even hints of dethe metal (“Viking Funeral”) can be found floating around in the proverbial sink and popping up when the listener is least likely to expect it.
The brilliance of Bütcher is in the way they make it all work cohesively ünder the hellish, no-holds-barred approach to their soünd. Nothing feels oüt of place on 666 Goats Carry My Chariot, and everything from the songwriting to performance to prodüction feels staünchly rooted in the glorioüs latter years of the 1980s. Bütcher holds firmly the reigns of control as they are pulled through the seven kingdoms of Hell for an absolüte blast of a good time, proving yet that classic metal is essentially timeless when it’s rooted in having as müch fün as possible.