One of the main problems with this album is the drumming. Chrissy Warner's skills are really not up to par with anything that could be called metal. As always, an album loses a star in my review for each track that recycles that same generic, disingenuous, uncreative "DIK-a-DIK-a-DIK-a-DIK-a-DRUMROLL-DIK-a-DIK-a-DIK-a-DIK-a-DRUMROLL-DRUMROLL" style of "drumming." The ability to keep a rhythm in the simplest of ways does not a metal drummer make. I hear that same approach being used in at least three songs on this album, so Butcher Babies are already not doing well by my standards for this record.
The other problem is that while some of the riffs are certainly agile enough to get my attention, the tracks all seem to have been mixed and mastered in a really muddy, un-discerning way which makes it all kind of blur together like the end-result of putting various kinds of food through an in-sink electric disposal. What's left-over is not that attractive, it's definitely hard to tell one thing apart from the others and I'd probably rather not interact with any of it any further if I had the choice. For example, the guitars don't cut through in the mix very clearly and I think both the rhythm and lead are generally panned very close to "center," which makes it hard to distinguish one from the other. You can't really appreciate the complexities of guitars written in this way without giving them each enough space in the mix, and I just don't feel that happening.
Butcher Babies seem to be a very talented group of people who are clearly not performing to their potential in this first offering. Heidi and Carla do WAY more screaming than singing, which to me is a real shame since they clearly have beautiful singing voices. I worry that between writing, practicing and especially touring, they'll ruin their vocal cords long before they reach that "okay, so hardcore is great, but let's add some more subtlety and get a little more clever and dynamic about our writing style" stage to which most super-heavy bands eventually find their way (and their niche.)
One of the songs that did seem to have some staying power was "Gasoline." This probably has the most actual singing of anything on the album, and the melody brings it together nicely in the chorus. Heidi, Carla and the gang also score points with me for being a band that's not afraid to blaspheme. The last thing the metal scene needs is more posers who clearly think themselves hardcore rebels, yet push religious philosophies (or worse, quote scripture for scripture's sake) in their songs (I'm looking at you, 'August Burns Red.') Conversely, Butcher Babies often highlight the injustice done against women and the feminine by organized religion, and clearly reject and encourage the rejection of those doctrines. For that reason, I wish I could applaud this album more than I am. I don't dislike the band. I just know they can do better.