Butterfly’s full-length debut isn’t the least bit shy about its Seventies Rock inspirations. That is made immediately apparent with the cover art contrasting Vikings and a mystical title with an innocuous band name, but the music plays out like a grab-bag of Montrose, Uriah Heep, and Budgie among others. Its free-spirited attitude is comparable to their contemporaries in Freeways and one can occasionally detect hints of otherworldly haziness in line with Tanith and Brimstone Coven.
This vibrant outlook on Doorways Of Time (Self-Released) is further reinforced by some fun musicianship. The guitars draw the most attention, constantly interjecting harmonies and solos in Thin Lizzy tradition with riffs that are tight without losing a sense of swagger. The rhythm section is also rock-solid as the drums are busy without getting too intricate and the bass is consistently beefy. These elements can make the vocals easy to overlook in comparison, but the melodies are engaging, and the occasional falsettos do a lot to flesh out the otherwise workman delivery.
The songwriting is also pretty dynamic as the tracks flow through different moods over the course of the album. ‘Desert Chase’ and ‘Climbing a Mountain’ start the album with a rocking one-two punch, the latter invoking AC/DC with a particularly catchy riff set, while ‘Sin’ pairs the groove of Zeppelin’s ‘Wanton Song’ with a strong chorus. Going further, the title track provides hints of psychedelia that are fully embraced on ‘The Night Is On Its Way’ and ‘Nobody,’ and ‘Crawling’ makes for a climactic culmination of the various influences on display.
Overall, Butterfly’s debut album is an enjoyable Classic Rock dive that keeps from feeling too derivative. While there are times where I find myself wishing for a bit more punch, particularly with the vocals and drumming, a combination of engaging musicianship and hooks is more than enough to make up for it. The band’s love for the style is always palpable and one can imagine it getting even deeper with further development. In the meantime, this is an easygoing listen that is just shy of the best but still fits in.