Melbourne metal stalwarts Butterfly have chosen to house their new album, Doorways Of Time, in a sleeve designed by legendary British poster/album sleeve/book cover illustrator Rodney Matthews; As a piece of visual shorthand to point the ears of prospective noncoms their way it is, it has to be said, a magnificent success. Few people’s sleeves sum up the period of 1972 – 1985 in heavy music quite as well as those of Matthews, and, luckily, that’s just the period Butterfly have chosen to mine for this, their debut album.
Doorways of Time sees the band weaving their way through all manner of delightful metallic highways and byways, from the more immediately recognisable Love Gun quotes of Climbing A Mountain to some slightly more arcane yet no less enjoyable dips into the worlds of Wishbone Ash (the excellent Crawling) or Ted Nugent (Heavy Metal Highway has a nice, heady whiff of The Nuge’s Stranglehold about it).
They pick their influences well, too. Opening track Desert Chase brings to mind Judas Priest, but where many revivalists might opt to go for the more ‘successful’ eras of Priest from which to take a cue, Butterfly opt for an earthy, seventies feel with this track. An energising mix of Sad Wings of Destiny and Killing Machine, in fact. And that’s a pretty good mix, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Elsewhere the band takes a stab at funky hard rock in an Eagles vein on The Sin, but for the most part what you’ll get for your entrance fee here is solid, melodic heavy rock and metal of the classic kind. Just the sort of music Sentinel Daily was created to showcase, in fact.
Unsurprisingly Butterfly is comprised of metal lifers who’ve been around the block more than a few times, and the quartet bring that experience to bear superbly throughout Doorways of Time. Drummer Rob Wog (who also mixed the album), guitarist Phillip T. King and bassist Phil “Venom” Gresik all contribute vocals which mixes things up nicely, whilst King and his guitar partner Luke Robertson mesh together with an easy insouciance that belies their educated chops.
Superbly executed and even more superb to listen to, Doorways of Time is one of those records that will quickly slide into your ‘must keep close at hand’ folder; let’s hope it’s not too long before they treat us to a follow-up…
Doorways of Time is out now.