Matt Butler

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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

Monolord – Your Time To Shine

There is still more than enough fuzz and riffage. But there is a greater range of dynamics, thoughtfulness and – here’s a word you don’t hear often when it comes to doom – subtlety at play here.

Endless Boogie – Admonitions

Sometimes you need a 22-minute misanthropic boogie tune to get you through the day. This album has two.

Employed To Serve – The Conquering

An exhilarating call for resistance, strength in adversity and generally saying “fuck you” to everyone and everything that brings us down.

Silence is a Dangerous Sound – A Tribute to Fugazi

This compilation shows through a lens of people paying tribute that Fugazi songs were more than just angry – they were very well written.

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel – Polaris

Polaris is accessible, but heavy. It is catchy but clever. It is rowdy without being y’know, loud. And – I should mention – it is so much fun.

Domkraft – Seeds

The riffs are still there but this album is a definite step forward – and connects some surprising Kosmiche dots.

Marius Danielsen’s Legend of Valley Doom Part III

Everything – the songwriting, the hooks, the production, the sheer metacular awesomeness – about the conclusion to this metal-opera trilogy is brilliant.

Horndal – Lake Drinker

It is always a treat to hear metal with an agenda. Especially when it is done as aggressively and thoughtfully as this album.

John Dwyer, Nick Murray, Brad Caulkins, Tom Dolas, Greg Coates – Witch Egg

To lumber this music with a label would be ungainly. Kosmische-psych-jazz-funk-film-garage-ambient, anyone? Let’s just call it ‘very good’.

Spelljammer – Abyssal Trip

Over five long years since their last album, Spelljammer have delved even deeper into the realms of thick riffs.

Werewolves – What a Time to be Alive

We need this album. This is music that is loud, fast, furious and knows damn well that it is dumber than Lloyd Christmas. A relentless pummelling to the face, devoid of subtlety and overflowing with insults and anger.

All Them Witches – Nothing as the Ideal

It wasn’t a wasted trip from Tennessee to Abbey Road. Because All Them Witches have delivered their best album yet. Nuanced, moody, heavy in places and delicate in others.

Mountain Tamer – Psychosis Ritual

Whatever psychosis ritual Mountain Tamer were experiencing when crafting this album, it certainly wasn’t all paisley and rainbows.

Ohhms – Close

This album is more autobiographical than Ohhms’ previous efforts – but it speaks to anyone who is infuriated with selfishness, stupidity and a general lack of empathy. And it still gloriously heavy.

Elder – Omens

Omens boasts some tremendous musicianship and is chock full of ideas. But therein lies its problem. Between the changes and jams, we lose interest.

Elephant Tree – Habits

You get the feeling that if Elephant Tree hadn’t fallen down the psych-stoner rabbit-hole, then their weighty yet uplifting melodies would be bringing joy to pop fans. A contender for album of the year.

Garganjua – Toward the Sun

Here’s something I didn’t expect: mindful doom. It is not a genre normally concerned with the lightness of being but Garganjua give us something new – and still crushingly heavy.

Brume – Rabbits

Massive slabs of fuzz with reassuring melancholy, which tugs at your innards, and a heap of gorgeous melody.

Year of the Cobra – Ash and Dust

Essential boulder of doom that boasts far more variety, tonal variation and emotion than seems possible from two people.

Byzanthian Neckbeard – Minaton (+ Exclusive Album Premiere)

The riffs are thunderous, the tone is thicker than a castle wall and the twin vocal assault of roars and barks give an air of malevolence that make you wary of playing the album in an empty house. 

Monolord – No Comfort

Monolord have outdone themselves here. They stand in mirrored sunglasses, flared jeans and Satanic Feminist T-shirts astride the roof of the doom world.

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