“Doctor Butcher” by Doctor Butcher

Artist: Doctor Butcher
Title: “Doctor Butcher”
Label: Black Lotus Records
Release Date: 9/27/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Attention Savatage fans you may rejoice! If you were in need of some of the dose of the type of Metal that the classic band delivered you need look no further. Back in 1993 (around the time that Savatage released “Edge Of Thorns”) Jon Oliva and Chris Caffery were not active members of the group and had formed Doctor Butcher. With Butcher, the pair recorded an amazing number of powerful tracks that were released on a self-titled record which was unfortunately next to impossible to find. Now, thanks to the efforts of Caffery and Oliva as well as the folks at Black Lotus Records you are able to own this gem of music and an important release from these two musicians. As you listen you will find it almost to be a heavier version of the already heavy Savatage. One would expect a similar sound especially from the principle writer of many of the classics ‘Tage fans loved. Vocally, Jon still possessed the powerful pipes that he was known for in all of the Savatage tunes and now they burned with anger in these tracks. Chris’ guitar work was ripping continually and the bass and drums steady and powerful. Songs like “Season Of The Witch”, “The Altar” and “Reach Out And Torment Someone” clearly defined the piece and almost assured this band a place alongside their counterparts as an equal Metal power. Sadly, the material went un-toured and limited in release and availability until now. The CD is a double-disc and features a brand-new Butcher recording that also features the guitar talents of Metal Mike Chlasiak. Drums are handled by John Osborne on a large amount of the songs and Jon and Chris handled bass for the larger recordings. Lyrics and another excellent package are par for the course with all the Black Lotus releases it seems and this one is no different. I lean towards a release that also gives me a lot to look at and find it more worth my time when extra care was placed into it. I had heard this music as a friend owned the original CD (now many years lost) and it was great to hear it all once again.

From a historical and collector’s standpoint this is a great piece of Metal and worthy of ownership if you are a fan of the writing style that both Caffery and Oliva bring to the table. The subject matter is dark, twisted and the music overall very heavy and easy to appreciate. Even some 12 years later it maintains a fresh aspect that not all groups have the luxury of finding when it comes to re-issuing archived music. It is also great to have all of these songs in one place and not need to search high and low for them anymore. There are 16 tracks on the CD, and of this number 4 are taken from the original Butcher demos while one is a new recording. The demo tracks feature Gene Barnett on drums and Hal Patino (King Diamond/Force Of Evil) on bass; those are a welcome addition for I am sure not too many people ever got to hear them. In today’s Metal world Chris Caffery has released the CD’s “Faces” & “W.A.R.P.E.D.” while Jon Oliva has given us “Tage Mahal” with his band Pain. This is an important piece of Savatage history and stands well alongside classics like “Hall Of The Mountain King” and “Gutter Ballet”. In that I highly advise you snaring this while it is available. Until Savatage reunites and tours this is another part of the family that makes them up while we fans wait for them. This is Rock Solid Metal played the way it should be played; in your face with little or no apology. The Butcher is back, and let’s hope they revisit this with more new material sometime soon.

Track Listing:
1. The Altar
2. Don’t Talk To Me
3. Season Of The Witch
4. Reach Out And Torment Someone
5. Juice
6. The Chair
7. Innocent Victim
8. The Picture’s Wild
9. Lost In The Dark
10. I Hate, You Hate, We All Hate!!!
11. All For One…None For All
12. Inspecter Highway
13. Freaks
14. Born Of The Board
15. Help! Police?
16. Bridges

Official Website: http://www.DoctorButcher.com
Official Website: http://www.chriscaffery.com

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