Bad Butler proudly carry on the legacy of outstanding German metal. With Badtime Stories, the quartet from Saarbrücken crush your ears under the weight of pure metal. With influences across the spectrum from traditional metal to power metal, and from Judas Priest to Manowar, if Bad Butler‘s latest doesn’t get your  “Hornz Up” I’m not sure if you have any of The Metal in you. Bad Butler‘s Badtime Stories is for metal fans of all genres.

Dominik Kockler handles vocals with a wide-ranging, proto-metal voice. With a classic two-guitar attack, Gary Bonassi and Christian Lautemann (Harridan, Catastrophe Ballet, Stained) unleash heavy riffs and nice solos. The rhythm section maintains a breakneck pace with Tina Backes on bass and Thomas Diener (Powerwolf) on drums.

Raging Album Openers

The follow-up to 2017’s Not Bad At All opens with the ominous intro of “The Ballad of Flesh and Blood.” Then, it transitions to killer, high-octane metal. Starting an album with a heavy-hitting track is never a bad idea, and definitely the right choice for Badtime Stories.

The next track drops the tempo a little, but only to crush a riff-focused, doomier metal. It’s hard and heavy. Kocklers‘ vocals shine on this treat, at times channeling prime 90’s Rob Halford, and at others prime 70s Halford.


The remainder of the album delves into the traditional metal territory but in a lot of different ways. I couldn’t skip a single track on this album. They are clearly influenced by an enormously wide range of metal and heavy rock. They proudly wear those influences while building their own sound.

An Ode to Anthemic Metal

As any good metal band should, Bad Butler spends serious effort on metal anthems that should raise fists wherever they tour.  In “Hornz UpBad Butler doesn’t mention metal specifically, but it pulls from the core elements of a great many metal anthems. It’s a warning sign to be prepared for even more.

The next track—“Serious Business”—captures the spirit of metal for metal’s sake. Along with a hooky chorus, Backes and Thomas Diener set a heart-pounding beat. It’s an attitude song, and only a band in tune with the same metal spirit of Manowar could pull off such swaggering lyrics. Great song.

The third anthem closes the album. “Raise Your Flag” shows off Bad Butler‘s more swampy hard rock influences. It’s full of grooves and chanting choruses. Like the other two anthems, it’ll make a great live track with its rousing, catchy chorus.

The Wrapup

Bad Butler is not messing around. This stand-out, modern metal album, while still heavily influenced by loads of different metal genres, exudes what metal should sound like right now.  Badtime Stories is unique with swings all over the map from doom to power-metal and everything in between. If this sounds like you’re kind of thing, you’ll love Badtime Stories. Even if you just like great heavy rock, this would be a worthy addition to your collection.



Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Dave Wilks