Mushroomhead fall into the category of iconic bands who never had a huge radio single and never reached that mainstream level of success that a lot of bands reach, but they’ve still grown a fanbase larger than many of the bands who reach those levels. Mushroomhead fans are some of the most dedicated and rabid fans you’ll ever find and that’s the reason the band has been around for over 20 years.
After the heavy offering of 2010’s Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, the masked industrial metal icons are back with what may very well be their most beautiful and brutal record yet in The Righteous and the Butterfly, which is the first record to feature guitarist Church and bassist Dr. F., as well as the return of vocalist JMann after a long hiatus from the band.
The title is an homage to late original Mushroomhead guitarist JJ Righteous and former band photographer Vanessa Solowiow- who’s also the wife of drummer Skinny, who both passed away long before their time. Because of this you know it’s gonna be a personal and insanely brutal record.
Opening with “Our Apologies,” it’s clear this is a Mushroomhead in every aspect and every possible way. Take that into “How Many Times” and they’re off to one hell of a start.
“Devils Be Damned,” much like the opening track, an adrenaline rush if there ever was one and shows that Mushroomhead still have the brutality and hardcore edge that made the band so popular and notorious in the first place.
“Qwerty” has the sinister carnival sing along feel that only Mushroomhead can pull off and will be a classic hit on the live circuit. It wouldn’t be a Mushroomhead record without some haunting piano solos and tracks, which we get with “Portraits of the Poor.”
With “Portraits of the Poor” is the epitome of a Mushroomhead track and “Childlike” is even more haunting and beautifully twisted.
“We Are the Truth” and “This Cold Reign” take us right back into the brutality and will leave almost nothing left of you before we get to “Son of 7” and one of the standout tracks, “For Your Pleasure,” which features every element of Mushroomhead imaginable and is one of the hidden gems of the record.
Ending the album is an impressive cover of Adele’s “Rumor Has It,” which obliterates the original, blows it to smithereens, glues it back together and completely destroys it yet again. You wouldn’t know it’s an Adele song if they didn’t tell you.
In the end, Mushroomhead have done it again. They’ve improved upon everything they accomplished before and have recorded the strongest record of their career. Any longtime Mushroomhead fan will love every minute of the record and anyone who’s never heard the band before will be able to pick right up with The Righteous and the Butterfly and work their way back through the catalog.
Mushroomhead drummer Skinny talks The Righteous and The Butterfly: