Wed 6th June 2018
Butcher in the Fog do well with their first impressions. Their name is familiar from gig listings in our capital, and first sight of this promo brings you face to face with that cover art, which is quite something. Beyond that, press play and you'll be hooked instantly, first track Screaming Reflection takes not ten seconds to completely draw me in; brazen post-hardcore and punk bite combine. A vibrant throttle with nice and flighty atmosphere give added dimension.
From there, the album has a couple of distinct threads. On one hand many tracks simply fly by, with enough spike yet rushing past any reserves of originality or invention. There are plenty of boring punk tropes, or bland brash stoner blandness (the bad Electric Van Gogh in particular) strewn around. Even when the music is better, the faster tracks still suffer by association, Sandpaper's threat lost as it grunts into the wind, Take It All's fast Zeke-ish dirty gnawing guitar snarls fun but lacking substance.
The other side are tracks that back up the excellent opener. A doom presence within Blood and Starlight steadies the pace somewhat, gives more room to breath, adds depth and heaviness too. It is less immediate but better for it. Venus Fly Trap takes a while to attract, but brings it towards the end, and the rolling thunder of Hell's Teeth is a growling High on Fire metallic gurn that blasts, stoner influences subtly revealing themselves in amongst the rubble.
It is therefore a little hit and miss, but the highs are really great, and I'm more than happy to focus on those in summary. Butcher in the Fog are obviously restless, overloaded with energy, and, when they truly harness it, they're able to channel it into thrilling output.