Review and photos by Mark Thompson
The opening of Butcher Babies was nothing short of explosive. From the get-go, the blast beats hit like a sonic punch to the face, setting an intense and aggressive tone for the evening. The breakdown chorus that followed was absolutely slamming, and the energy exuded by all three band members was palpable. They moved back and forth on stage, their presence dominating the three boxes at the front. Around the two-minute mark, a syncopated breakdown riff descended upon the audience, leaving a trail of musical savagery. It was undoubtedly a powerful way to kick off the set!
Transitioning to “Red Thunder,” another track from their new album, the atmosphere shifted Heidi took centre stage, alternating between vocals, high kicks, and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The song’s relentless energy was fueled by an exceptional chorus with clean vocals. The drum part in the middle, with its syncopated rhythm leading into the solo, was a standout moment, culminating in a heavy breakdown before returning to the infectious chorus.
“Monsters Ball” from the “Take it Like a Man” album took the audience on a wild ride. Heidi’s headbanging at the start resembled Corpse Grinder, and as the song progressed, it transitioned into a carnival-like verse, much to the delight of the pit-goers. A near-blast beat snare roll led into a chorus that had shades of White Zombie, featuring awesome guitar riffs from Henry, who seemed to be everywhere on stage. The track’s energy was infectious, and it was a definite highlight.
The new album’s “King Pin” offered a perfect balance between groove and a thrash-style pull-off riff. The song constantly shifted tempo, keeping the audience on their toes, and the word of the night was undoubtedly “energy.” The gang chorus on the words “King Pin” added an extra layer of excitement, and the middle section featured a groovy vibe intermixed with Suffocation-style chug riffs.
“Killing Time Baby,” a 2021 single, introduced a pure Djent riff that hit like a sledgehammer. The song incorporated a Meshuggah-inspired groove in the verse, shifting to a spoken vocal over the bass line and culminating in a massive gang chorus that had the entire crowd engaged. A circle pit kicked off, and the song featured some impressive drumming and fills in the middle section.
“Beaver Cage,” another track from the new album, began with a dance music-style intro and a spoken introduction. It then transitioned into a System of a Down-style groove for the verse before adopting a dance-style beat for the second verse. The song featured a clean vocal section with a wide vocal range and showcased some impressive bass work from Ricky. The crowd eagerly participated in the “woo ooh” parts, and the song took on a System of a Down vibe, leading to a memorable middle section and a return to the massive chorus.
“Spittin’ Teeth,” also from the new album, kicked off with a dirty riff that evoked Djent vibes. The song had a Monuments-like quality, with double bass accompanying a heavy riff. The band’s energy continued to impress, and the track featured somewhat industrial-sounding elements at points, making it a particularly intriguing piece.
“Last December” marked a brief respite in the set, with Heidi showcasing her vocal subtlety in a ballad. The song carried a poignant message, and the arrangement focused on the vocal’s power, even as the band gradually joined in. A melodic and lovely solo matched the mood of the song, making it a beautiful and emotionally charged performance.
Closing tonight’s performance with “Magnolia Boulevard” from the 2013 album “Goliath,” Butcher Babies unleashed one final burst of aggression. The song kicked off with a bang, featuring slamming half-time sections and up-tempo thrashy parts. The bouncy chorus riff with clean vocals provided a memorable ending, leaving the audience craving more. The entire show was a ball of unrelenting energy, with Heidi delivering an electrifying performance throughout the night. It was an unforgettable experience!
Butcher Babies Setlist
BACKSTREETS OF TENNESSEE.
WRONG END OF THE KNIFE.
It’s Killin’ Time, Baby!