Album Reviews

The Butterfly Effect – Begins Here

(modern music) UK release date: 23 August 2004

I’m rather happy. When I was in Australia last summer, I was lucky enough to be granted an interview and see a gig by this Brisbane four-piece, and came out thinking how good it would be if they were introduced to the UK music scene. Now, I wouldn’t go on Mastermind to talk about heavy rock music, but I know enough of what’s around for the moment to see that such music has not been very healthy recently.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the nu-metallers are old, and our concert halls are filled with wonderful bands of the past making comeback tours (last year Metallica and Iron Maiden, this year Slayer this year) or forming “supergroups” (most recently Velvet Revolver). In other words, new talent is not immediately obvious.

You see, I feel that The Butterfly Effect have achieved a debut album which is both brilliant and daring. Conceptually Begins Here is a true work of art, but it’s daring because it manages to be musically illuminating while retaining its heavy rock staples of screaming and angst.

Although this is indeed a debut album, The Butterfly Effect already possess a unique sound, encompassing such melodic and musical acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers and more angst-ridden bands such as System Of A Down.

Consequence exempliflies this mix, with the vocal line treading from wonderful harmonies to screaming in seconds. Indeed, Clint Boge, the lead vocalist, creates wonderful tension, as we never know if he is going to be whispering, singing or screaming. He is slowly being recognised as Australia’s top rock vocalist, and this accolade may stretch further afield.

Begins Here is neatly packaged into two sections, both surrounded and separated by quieter instrumentals (named simply with a logo slightly resembling The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Formerly Known as… etc.). Section One, as I’ll call it, contains one of the most musically-written rock songs I’ve ever heard (Perception Twin), which grows to an astonishing climax half way through.

One Second Of Insanity (the first single), is very short, and that’s probably a good thing. It lacks the quality shown in the rest of the tracks, and loses steam after about one minute. Beautiful Mine, in contrast, is a brilliant track, its vocal harmonies creating a powerful and lasting atmosphere.

Into Section Two, and Filling Silence, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Standout tracks are without a doubt Without Wings, which contains beautiful strings and percussion and the five minute epic A.D.

Throughout the album, chords and riffs that we’ve heard in the instrumentals around and between the sections appear in various places, and then disappear as quickly as they arrived. Conceptually, the album is incredibly mature for a debut album.

The Butterfly Effect have managed to combine the best elements of many bands before them, but also to have recorded an album quite unique in its own right, which is sufficiently well written to appeal to both non-die-hard rockers and die-hard rockers alike.

The fact that on being sent an unmixed version, Tim Palmer (the legendary producer of U2, Pearl Jam, and Ozzy) immediately got in touch and offered his services shows something of the talent contained in this remarkable album.

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More on The Butterfly Effect
Interview: The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect – Begins Here