The Butterfly Effect – IV
Released: September 2nd, 2022
Clint Boge | vocals
Kurt Goedhart | guitar
Glenn Esmond | bass
Ben Hall | drums
“You can love and hate your family with equal measure, but the power of the bond you have to have with them, you can’t really ever walk away.” – Julie Plec.
Although Julie Plec is in all likelihood best known for developing The Vampire Diaries into the monster of a TV series it became, universes away from the alternative metal scene of Australia, her understanding of family and the intense connection involved is unparalleled. Enter Queensland’s The Butterfly Effect and after six years of inactivity and around a decade without their strongest family bond – the quartet have returned. However, this is not (nor has it ever been) a sci-fi thriller film from 2004 to be confused with in regards to “name” – as a matter of fact, this return is nearing the territory of the Oscar nominated 2016 film Lion and it may well have a global EFFECT.
TBE’s third full-length Final Conversation Of Kings released in 2008 incorporates almost too much irony for the Brisvegas four-piece when interpreting its title; the album continued the outfit’s magnificent momentum from Imago and Begins Here but it came with ‘A Slow Descent’ of catastrophic proportions. Creative differences and tension ‘Overwhelmed’ this family and a separation was the ‘Consequence’ to the dismay of countless heavy music enthusiasts worldwide.
Referring back to Ms. Plec’s statement though, alluding to the “power of the bond”; it seems that vocalist Clint Boge, guitarist Kurt Goedhart, bassist Glenn Esmond and drummer Ben Hall never really could walk away from what formerly bound them. In 2022 the globe has been gifted with their new proclamation, simply and flawlessly entitled: IV.
Extraordinarily the quartet mark their return with a sensationally subtle and theatrical opening, the title track ‘IV’. Sincerely, this mostly instrumental number could be used for the trailer of (yet) another Oscar nominated film True Grit – a western outlaw composition with classical influence and a string section that begs for a sequel of the monumental movie. Guitarist Kurt told us here at Wall of Sound it “is probably the piece of music that I will definitely be stoked about until the day I die. It’s amazing” and he’s not wrong. As the saying goes by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park: “A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking, and in Central Park, you get rain instead of sunshine.” – This imposing musical introduction could call upon this sentiment which is known as: “Chaos Theory”; spoiler alert, it does but under the topic of “exploration”, read on.
‘Dark Light’ is The Butterfly Effect using the aforementioned theory to their best alternative metal ability: Powerful, mathematical, adventurous, heavy and harmonious – as if they were reborn from another cocoon with the same DNA. Enhancing the theoretical theme are the lyrical contributions bellowed angelically by Clint Boge; past contemplations seem to arise with disclosures that read: “This house burned to the ground”, “I can’t get out, I can’t get away”, “I see everything you have left behind” and “That’s all we’ve got time for, until we meet again” to list a few significant phrases. Read into it as one pleases, Mr Boge would know the true definitions; however that previously discussed family bond seems to exceptionally creep up again.
‘Wave Of Tides’ sits in the prog rock realm alongside Perth luminaries Karnivool (let’s be honest, the bands are basically cousins) and has some excellent eccentricities in experimentation not too dissimilar to Seattle’s Rishloo. The spiritual Gregorian Hum interlude is unexpected and undeniably eerie, adding another impressive dimension to the progressive element of the composition. It is however, comparable to a bull shark in that they can be found in almost any body of water: Illustrious undoubtedly, but on the other hand, illogical. ‘Nil By Mouth’ is TBE as Chaos theoretically. A heavy thumping nu-metal meets industrial metal amalgamation throwback and it is charismatically out of character. Elements of Deftones‘ ‘7 Words’, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals record and early Nine Inch Nails pulsate through the four-piece like a Pretty Hate Machine. The commentary about the devolution of mankind through reliance on social media is a marvellous paradox retrospectively.
Then returning to very familiar territory ‘The Other Side’ negotiates the amazing atmosphere created on Butterfly’s first album Begins Here astoundingly. Ben Hall’s drumming contributions on this number are indisputably THE highlight as they are gargantuan. This is followed by ‘So Tired’ which somehow gives an impression of early Grey Daze (RIP Chester Bennington) in a beautiful tribute, if The Butterfly Effect were in this scenario the orchestra and Lesser Key were the conductor (former TOOL bassist Paul D’Amour’s new musical project).
‘Unbroken’ is the song that Chevelle wish they had written, although the East 17 hook adds an immeasurable anthem quality that boosts the track’s profile. Then from the addictive sing-along to the artistic adventure we find ‘Great Heights’ that could be deciphered as the sequel to ‘Rain’, the criminally underrated ninth track from the Final Conversation Of Kings. As famed novelist John Updike once said: “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” This essential force of nature literally nourishes and saves our world, its importance has no measure or height and somehow The Butterfly Effect captured that in song.
‘Start Again’ could have been this return LP’s actual title and in reality, this musical alternative metal creation encapsulates that expertly. To conclude, ‘Visiting Hours’ and astonishingly this one song manages to visit the band’s entire back catalogue: The hours of music, the tenderness, the poetry, the brashness, the creative crusades and whole-heartedly The Butterfly Effect’s identity. In under five minutes, the quartet constructed a reflection, a refraction and remarkably their return with wings spread in full flight.
“I am with you always.” – Clint Boge, The Butterfly Effect, ‘Always’ (2003). It would seem these words lasted with The Butterfly Effect brothers in a timeless manner.
The Butterfly Effect – IV tracklisting:
2. Dark Light
3. Wave Of Tides
4. Nil By Mouth
5. The Other Side
6. So Tired
8. Great Heights
9. Start Again
10. Visiting Hours