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

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.

The Utopia Strong – S/T

Turns out Steve Davis is not only good at snooker. He and his two collaborators Kavus Torabi and Michael York got together to jam and the result is a woozy, cosmic testament to the benefits of spontaneity.

Beastwars – IV

When music crafted this well is paired with heart-on-sleeve reflections of a man contemplating his own mortality… well, then we have some magic.

War Curse – Eradication

Name me a fan of heavy music over 35 that hasn’t drank more than necessary while listening to Anthrax’s Persistence of Time. War Curse rekindle the joy from that golden age of thrash.

Bismuth – The Eternal Marshes (Review + Premiere)

Premiere of a huge, slow, affecting song, originally recorded in 2012, from cerebral drone doom duo.

Aehpanemer – Prokopton

Aephanemer, with their rousing, upbeat take on melodic death metal, remind you of just how much fun this stuff can be

Astronoid – Astronoid

The combination of gorgeous, dreamy melody, angelic vocals, mammoth guitar hooks and a heavy, heavy rhythm section drags out of your core a sense of nostalgia or longing so strong that it almost hurts.

Desecravity – Anathema

Desecravity do technical death metal as it should be done: dizzyingly, quickly, furiously – but with the musicianship and songwriting to make it monstrously heavy and yet still listenable.

Bismuth – The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef

It is difficult to know where to start with a body of work as intimidating and weighty (not to mention heavy) as this. It is phenomenally affecting and the title alone makes the listener think about the gradual destruction that humans are inflicting on the earth.

Marius Danielsen – Legend of Valley Doom Part II

You hear these epic, operatic choruses and you swear that you can flex your magically enormous biceps and real lightning will actually shoot out of your fingertips.

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