Matt Butler


Motörhead changed my life. Then the Ramones did. And Guitar Wolf. Public Image Ltd probably did as well. Then there was NoFX… and Henry Rollins. And Kyuss. Maybe even Monolord.

Come to think of it, Elvis and the Beach Boys probably changed my life as well, as I listened to them as a child (thanks mum and dad) and still harbour a desire for the former artist’s leathers and the latters’ garish Aloha shirts.

All right, I will admit it: every new thing I hear gives me something – even if it is just nausea. And it is this that keeps me looking. One day I might even find something as life-changing as Ace of Spades was all those moons ago.

Even  if I don’t, the exploring is still fun.

Oh, almost forgot. I am a Kiwi, I like long walks (well, runs), socialising (whisky), good food (chocolate and pork scratchings) and cosy nights in (doom metal by candlelight). And I am a Pisces. In my day job I write about people in shorts.

Articles by Matt Butler

Ghastly Sound – The Bottom

If they are this good on only their second EP – nine songs into their career, to put it another way – imagine what they could do if they were given time and money to spend on an entire album. Outstanding.

The Erkonauts – I Shall Forgive

If you need an album to match an excess of caffeine but one that doesn’t lumber you with irritability or melancholy, you are in luck.

Year of the Cobra – Burn Your Dead

This album has a sneer, a swagger. But as well as that, it has a whole heap of melody.

The King is Blind – We Are The Parasite, We Are The Cancer

The King is Blind straddle genres. They’re a bit deathy, a touch thrashy, a little groovy… even a tad folky, for a few brief seconds. But throughout, they are all metal. And metal rules.

Monolord – Rust

Every drum is beaten like a Dickensian bastard. Every growling bass note is played with no thought for human hearing. Every guitar riff is strummed with scant regard for bleeding fingers. This is doom perfection.

Low Flying Hawks – Genkaku

This is doom, but as for what it really sounds like… well, that is a tough one: it is big but delicate, heavy but airy, morose but uplifting. And it hangs together like all good albums should.

Shroud Eater – Strike the Sun

By the end of this album, you’re hooked on the melody and bludgeoning sludge – even if at the beginning of the album you took some convincing. They get you in the end.

Cambrian – Mobular

Cambrian’s music is billed as Hawaiian doom, which I bet is a sub-genre you’d never thought you’d read about. And it is heavy, make no mistake. But in addition to being heavy, it boasts a languid quality. And damn, it is gorgeous.

Rancid – Trouble Maker

You know what you get with Rancid. But it is good to hear that after 24 years and nine albums, they have regained their mojo.

Petyr – Petyr

Petyr seem to have cut out the middle-man and come up with their own stoner-rock skateboard movie soundtrack.

Endless Boogie – Vibe Killer

Playing at being louche is harder than it looks. But this band do it effortlessly, with their lengthy jams and tales of seeing Kiss.

Nopes – Fun Limbo (Review + Exclusive Album Premiere)

In seven inches this packs a lot in: noise, attitude and an ability to slip in slices of achingly good melody among big sandpapery blasts of punk.

DragonForce – Reaching Into Infinity

It’s cheesier than a fat man’s pizza but most enjoyable. And it is further evidence that power metal does indeed rule.

Archivist – Construct

There are some some genuinely gorgeous moments in this album. The only thing is it seems to be weighed down by its own concept.

Arc of Ascent – Realms of the Metaphysical

Arc of Ascent certainly aren’t the first to put out a whole album of massive riffs accompanied by a very good vocalist singing lyrics with an eastern looking viewpoint. And they won’t be the last. But the fact they did – and did it very well – should be more than enough reason to buy this album. Do it and give Hamilton a claim to fame.

Wounded Giant – Vae Victis

This is a snarling, seething, spooky record. Imagine taking tea with Aleister Crowley then realising too late that he has spiked your cucumber sandwiches.

Body Count – Bloodlust

Ice-T’s metal outfit hasn’t changed much in the 25 years since their debut. But then again, neither has the world.

Cavalli – Vol.2

This band describe themselves as “anti-fascists who play rock ‘n’ roll”. So that is already two points in their favour before the start playing.

OHHMS – The Fool

This is a fierce album: massive, loud and just the right side of bombastic. Prepared to get immersed in some incredible music.

Spidergawd – IV

This is a frozen-margarita-with-mini-parasol of a record: gaudy, fun and ripe for a party, but with a firm kick behind it.

Forming the Void – Relic

Heavy music is a hoary, hairy beast. But with bands like this one, it is possible to present the ideas as fresh. Catchy, epic and a joy to listen to.

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