Bütcher – 666 Goats Carry My Chariot Review

Did you ever stop and wonder what a collaboration between Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Agent Steel and Darkthrone circa Transilvanian Hunger would sound like? You probably didn’t, but Belgium blackened speed metal deviants Bütcher certainly did, and then they created 666 Goats Carry My Chariot to see if such a crazy musical time heist was even possible. It is, and I for one welcome our new time warping speed overlords, even as I flee from the super weapon of mass destruction they’ve wrought. This is the wildest ibex ride I’ve taken in some years, which is saying something as the cover art depicts my daily commute through burning hellscapes ov unspeakable evil en route to AMG HQ to lash the n00b herd. 666 Goats is a completely insane, convoluted fusion of metal’s past with its blackened present that touches everything in-between as it scorches the universe with hyper-speed riffs, deranged vocals and more twists and turns than an American Ninja marathon. The sheer lunacy of this thing is tough to put into words, so just hit play on that embed below, clench everything, and keep your hands in the goat chariot at all times. Off we goat!

After a righteously table setting intro with the winning title of “Inauguration of Steele”1, we’re off to the death races with the thrashing mania of “Iron Bitch.” As over the top and crazed as the song is, it still injects a fook-ton of classic 80s influences like Enforcer mixed with Desaster at their rabid best, and you’d be forgiven for thinking Bütcher is just another retro act looking to mine past glories for dubious ends. But there’s far more to them than that, and as 666 Goats blasts along it mutates and evolves, injecting black metal elements as well as oddball King Diamond vocals for a sound that quickly becomes unusual and unpredictable. “Sentinels of Deathe”2 starts off as another berserk thrasher but abruptly smacks you upside the melon with icy trem riffs and a regal black metal atmosphere. This is then stitched onto the frantic thrash and the song begins to writhe and contort in disturbing ways. Soon R. Hellshrieker unleashes some weird, warbly vocals that sound like Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) channeling King Diamond, and you will know you’re in an unsafe space.

The crown jewel in the insanity crown is the 9-plus minute title track which has to be heard to be believed. This one leaps between genres like its being chased by all the demons of Hell to whom it owes big money. It’s epic Viking metal one moment, then blazing speed the next. Along the way you’ll hear Hammerheart era Bathory, early Darkthrone, and various shades of death and traditional 80s metal too, with the Mercyful Fate and Ozzy Osbourne influences being particularly inspired.3 Expect to be disoriented by the time it’s over, but this song alone justifies purchasing the album. It’s a must hear piece of tuneage that weighs a tonnage. Later cuts “Viking Funeral” and “Brazen Serpent” intriguingly blend thrash, epical Viking metal and Celtic Frost worship in ingenious ways for even more thrill rides across time to round out a truly WTF listening experience. It isn’t a perfect platter by any means, but there are no weak songs and you can’t deny the huge fun factor.

At a mere 36:36 666 Goats feels more like an EP than an LP, but that helps it beat your ass and take your lunch money before running into the night. It’s the audio equivalent of being hit by a bullet train hauling concrete block and you won’t see it coming. The band is extremely talented and wildly inventive, able to handle the demands of intense genre hopping effortlessly. Guitarist KK Ripper uncorks some truly stunning riffs from numerous genres and even shows a neoclassical side at times with his soloing. The man is very talented and certainly unafraid to experiment and take chances. R Hellshrieker is an unhinged maniac, and over the course of 666 Goats he tears his throat inside out to entertain you. Are you not entertained? His thrash and black metal rasps are excellent and his air raid screaming is highly impressive and used judiciously. The man can even manage a respectable King Diamond impression, so props are certainly due. This outfit can do it all, and all is what they do here.

Bütcher have stumbled on something very interesting. 666 Goats is one of the most gleefully over the top albums you’ll hear this year, and the more you listen the more it will impress. It’s not for the feint of heart or those possessed of/by a weak constitution, but if you like your metal served up burning hot by a mad bütcher with a megalomania disorder and a grudge, this is your wicked biscüit. Goats to eternity!4


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Osmose
Websites: butcherspeedmetal.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/butcherspeedmetal
Releases Worldwide: January 31st, 2020

Show 4 footnotes

  1. The extra “e” is for excessive.
  2. The extra “e” is for extreme.
  3. There are some very obvious references to Mercyful Fate‘s “Satan’s Fall” at points.
  4. Go ahead, pull my chariot. I dare you.
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