Formed as Butcher Babies back in 2010, the Los Angeles based band is fronted by the powerhouse duo of Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd. Currently featuring a lineup rounded up by Henry Flury (guitar), Ricky Bonazza (bass), and Blake Bailey (drums), their sound is a powerful distillation of influences in the Metal, Punk, and Thrash worlds. Furthermore, their legendary stage performances are energetic and aggressive with influences from the Horror genre.
Now, with nearly 15 years of experience to draw from, 2023 sees the band release a double album. The records, Eye for an Eye and … and ’Til the World’s Blind, are a testament to the resilience and creativity of the band. Given the creative energy and focus needed to give fans two full albums of quality content, it is a powerful statement from the band that further cements their legacy as legends on the landscape.
Released on July 7th independently by the band, their 4th and 5th studio albums were recorded in two different environments; Eye for an Eye… was recorded in the desert, and …’Til the World’s Blind came together in a winter setting. That in mind, Butcher Babies nails the duality they set out to achieve in recording them in two completely different environments.
Looking at the two albums, from start to finish Eye for an Eye… is a rocket ship ride of emotions, urges, and aggression that are splattered in human wreckage. It radiates heat and emotion across a range of styles and tempos. Butcher Babies has shown a sense of maturity in this stage of their career, but continue to deliver the goods on the bloody, ragged edge of metal.
That in mind, there are two tracks that give you a distinct flavor of what this album is about. First, there is “Bottom of a Bottle” (featuring Andy James of Five Finger Death Punch), where an unholy groove builds against seething rage tinged with regret. Next, there is “Dreaming in Color,” which is a brooding and moody track with some very deep and twisted roots. It’s a song filled with a desperate yearning for inner peace.
As a whole, Eye for an Eye… is a direct hit on all fronts. At 24 minutes in length over 7 tracks, it gets right to the point. It burns hot and bright. The power of the desert sun fills the band with explosive energy and something impressive is born in the crucible.
On the other side, with …’Til the World’s Blind there is a distinct thread of unhinged despair that resounds through the tracks. The cold heart of winter beats strong and with a harrowing tint of evil as the songs dig deep into the dark corners of the mind. The band emerges from their exile in the ice and burns like a white-hot flamethrower in your mind.
The first track here that grabs your attention is “Beaver Cage,” which is an insane three ring circus of madness and chaos. Get strapped in and hang on when you listen to this one. The next track to look for is “I Fell Asleep at the Table”. This unrelenting song is a bone breaking anthem against conformity and celebrates finding your own path.
Different then Eye for an Eye…, …’Til the World’s Blind is unhinged and iced over with madness. At 47 minutes in length over 14 tracks it wanders deep into dark recesses of the mind. If you like deep cuts that are introspective and pulsate with moody energy, then you’ll find a lot to feed on here. Just be prepared to delve into the abyss with both, because the molten core and icy heart will look deeply back into you.
In the end, with these two albums Butcher Babies exudes a level of talent and creativity that comes with maturity. They are a band that has paid their dues and put in the work to translate their incredible vision into something special for their fans. That is why Cryptic Rock splits the difference between Eye for an Eye and … and ’Til the World’s Blind, giving the double album 4.5 out of 5 stars all together.