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

Beastwars – Tyranny of Distance

The songs picked give a glimpse into their musical upbringing – or at least a flavour of the country they grew up in. And it is also a very good Beastwars album.

Slower – Slower

There will be those who say these songs don’t even sound like Slayer. But that is kind of the point.

Werewolves – My Enemies Look and Sound Like Me

When you’re in the right frame of mind – preferably not behind the wheel of a car or caring for small children – this manifesto of mayhem really does hit the spot.

Danava – Nothing But Nothing

It’ll grow frills on the suede jacket you didn’t even know you were wearing, make your belt buckle holding up your flares swell into an eagle shape, before rendering the air into a hazy, pachouli-scented fog.

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods – Rejecting Obliteration

It is technical death metal in the best way possible: thundering roars, riffs to get lost in, a bass tone that will register on the Richter scale.

Ohhms – Rot

Ohhms return with eight blood-soaked songs blasted through in a mere 37 minutes. It does not mess about.

Early Moods – Early Moods

LA bands have a swagger to them. And Early Moods, with their doom laced with 1980s heavy metal, have attitude by the truckload.

King Buffalo – Regenerator

Regenerator is a coming-out-of-hibernation record, it is one for a sunny morning after a storm, one to play loud as you are driving across a desert to spend a weekend with your cousin you haven’t seen since 2019.

Krisiun – Mortem Solis

Krisiun channel their anger at the state of their beloved death metal scene into 10 relentlessly brutal tracks. There are few surprises but they do sound revitalised and, yes, absolutely furious.

CB3 – Exploration (+ Exclusive Track Premiere)

This is a noisy and joyous album celebrating the adventure of travelling through the cosmos.

Ufomammut – Fenice

Fenice has large riffs (of course) but it also has light, darkness, intensity and calm. It will move even the most cynical of music fan.

Undeath – It’s Time… To Rise From The Grave

In the lead single, the head is not merely splattered, it is splattered seven ways. It is this kind of attention to detail that is important to discerning death aficionados.

Fuzz Meadows – Orange Sunshine (+ Exclusive Album Premiere)

It will come as no surprise that this debut has a heck of a lot of fuzz. Warm, enveloping waves of it.

Eternity’s End – Embers of War

This displays all the hallmarks of top-quality power metal and it is so much fun. It has everything you want: high-energy tempos, catchy choruses and more cheese than a fondue-fetishist’s birthday bash.

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.

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