Live Review: Butcher Babies w/Eyes Set To Kill & Klogr @ The Tufnell Park Dome, London 04/03/2018!

Tonight is the last night of the UK leg of Butcher Babies “Lilith” tour. The UK has been hit by storm Emma and blizzard conditions for the last four dates of this run and yet the bands are here for tonights show like nothing has happened. In the build up tonight, a pair of acoustic bootlegs have appeared online in the form of “In Denial” and “Headspin”. They’ve been played as part of an exclusive acoustic set for those who have purchased the VIP bundle. One thing we can say is that Butcher Babies have matched Architects with overpriced merch.

Italian dirge hard rockers Klogr [4/10] have a really impressive drummer. He belongs in a far better band than these. Klogr’s frontman can’t decide whether to play his guitar or hold his microphone. Not that the second guitar makes any impact on the sound. There are no lead parts to speak of. The problem they have is their material rather than their ability. They are distinctly less than the sum of their parts. Their frontman has decent enough vocal range and the rest of the band enough talent between them to make the band into something akin to Cancer Bats for example. But their material is distinctly same-same save for their impressive sticks man.

Pheonix Arizona’s Eyes Set To Kill [6/10] are a band split. On the one hand, older material like “Heights” where guitarist AJ is layering unclean vocals over the bands Metalcore side has the crowd going. On the flip side, newer material like Cranberries cover “Zombie” is fine in a punk-goes-pop kind of way but lacks that energy which the audience in the live arena thrive off. It’s like watching A Day To Remember in that you know they are capable of both sides of the extreme but you don’t know what they’re going to deliver. The energy is there, the love is there, but you can’t help feeling they need to embrace one side or the other if they want to grow their fan base.

Butcher Babies [8/10] intro tape sees the stage bathed in green light, the same shade as their new album cover. The band burst into the title track “Lilith” and hammer through a set that spans all three of their albums and their covers EP for good measure. Heidi Shepard mentions having a weakened voice tonight but this isn’t on show. Instead both Heidi and her frontwoman partner in crime Carla Harvey are both on fine form. The be fair, while the ladies get all the attention, it’s the remaining three members of the band who deserve far more credit. Guitarist Henry Flurry is an eight string master when it comes to groove metal and tonight he shines. Stalking the stage alongside the ladies, up and down off their stage blocks. Crowd pleasers “Monsters Ball” and “Igniter” get the audience in a frenzied mosh while toning things back with “In Denial” is a master stroke as they pull it back to push it forward. New songs fit well amongst the older material and “Burn The Straw Man” and “The Huntsman” have far more energy in the live arena. The later also has much more in the way of dark atmosphere, which points at rank bad production on the album. When you compare that to the success of Logan Madder’s production on “Take It Like A Man”, “Lilith” pales in comparison at times. ZZ Top’s “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” gets a huge sing a long. The band disappear far earlier than expected but then return for a huge four song encore. “They’re Coming To Take Me Away” has never sounded better. Closing out with “Magnolia Blvd” is a moment of sheer class. Butcher Babies are a band that epitomises the underdog spirit. They’re better than the sum of their parts, they’re here to have a good time and they wiped the floor with the support bands tonight. By the end, all throats are horse.

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