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

Tranquonauts – Tranquonauts

Let’s face it, putting out two songs of jams, which span the entire side of a full length album and making it even listenable, let alone enjoyable, is a tall order. And they’ve pulled it off. – By Matt Butler

Nopes – Never Heard of It

This is the best punk record I’ve heard in ages. In fact, it’s bloody marvellous. – By Matt Butler

Holy Serpent – Temples

Be warned. You may not warm to this immediately, but when you do, you may find yourself shopping for stuff that hasn’t been in fashion since the first time flares were the thing. You may even feel the need for a lava lamp. Or at least a long skateboard. – By Matt Butler

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel – Human Collapse

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel created a massive, angst-ridden collection of anthemic monsters, retaining a few of their desert fried-roots, but adding baubles like a knack for a hook or clever breakdown, progressive elements and a shiny, near-radio-friendly production sheen. – By matt Butler

Yawning Man – Historical Graffiti (The Ion Studio Session)

If Yawning Man’s previous rate of output is anything to go on, this will be the last we will hear of them for a while. Savour this while you can. – By Matt Butler

Blind Pilot – And Then Like Lions

It’s a gentle call of defiance, an acceptance of grief at the end of what was a cathartic 10-song creation. It acknowledges that even if life throws over-ripe tomatoes at you, you can still make Bloody Marys. Let’s hope it’s not another five years before we hear from Blind Pilot again. By Matt Buttler

Abigail – The Final Damnation

The bottom line is this album is loads of fun, with its debauchery and Satanism turned up to cartoonish levels. – By Matt Butler

Fange – Purge

This is bloody great, if you like your music scary, abrasive and bleak. And loud of course. – By Matt Butler

Scientist – 10100II00101

It may sound churlish to complain about too many riffs or an excess of changes, because innovation in a genre which is straitened and slow to evolve should be praised. But just as speaking to a genius on a caffeine high is no doubt extremely informative and exhilarating, it would also be exasperating. – By Matt Butler

Tides of Sulfur – Extinction Curse

A brooding, heavy, malevolent piece of riff-laden noise. First efforts aren’t supposed to be this coherent and accomplished but this is. – By Matt Butler

Salem’s Pot – Pronounce This!

There isn’t a dud track on here and there is enough variety and originality welded to the ye olde heavy psychedelia and space rock to deserve a place next to the Hawkwind and Deep Purple albums. – By Matt Butler

Augustines – This is Your Life

And in the closing track, “Days Roll By”, analogue and digital meld together perfectly to provide a clear sign of where Augustines are heading. And with the continued solid songwriting, it don’t seem a bad place at all. So would I cook chili to it? Absolutely. I may skip a few songs, but in the main, it is still genuine enough to cook to. By Matt Butler

Monoliths – Monoliths

Those who appreciate a thick, oozing slab of doom with no unnecessary distractions like vocals, changes in pace or silly occult references that tend to infect music of this nature, will lap this up. – By Matt Butler

Selva – Eléo

If I didn’t already write about music, this album would make me want to start. You do need this album. – By Matt Butler

Astronoid – Air

Words like ‘epic’ and ‘anthemic’ get thrown around like confetti when people describe music of this type, but with this album, with its massive major-key progressions and angelic vocals, there is no other way to describe it. – By Matt Butler

Harbinger – Paroxysm

Much of the racket in here will be familiar to many, but it is heavy as hell and leave you wanting to hear more. – By Matt Butler

Electric Citizen – Higher Time

There is little here you have never heard before, but that doesn’t matter: when fuzzy classic rock is done as well as this, you’d almost be tempted to build a time machine. – By Matt Butler

Ghold – PYR

‘PYR’ is a challenging listen, but one that at times you can lose yourself in. By the end of the final track you have no idea how much time has passed and in some parts you may even find yourself nodding your head along to an unlikely hook. – By Matt Butler

Switchtense – Flesh & Bones

Next time someone asks me what I know about Portugal, I’ll mention the booze, the food, the waves… and, based on this 35-minute blast, the damn fine metal. – By Matt Butler

Ommadon – Ommadon

Ommadon are masters at turning a long, slow song into something which transports your mind into a deep, dark hole. And just like walking in total darkness, you see things that aren’t really there. Or at least you don’t think they are. Either way, the experience is unnerving. But totally worth it. – By Matt Butler

Beastwars – The Death of All Things

‘The Death of All Things’ is a near-perfect monster. It crushes, it soars, it makes your head nod as well as think – and it even wows you with melody. But above all it still obeys the riff, the mantra that Beastwars have adhered to since their inception in 2011. – By Matt Butler

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