By Jye Smith Oct.3.2008
In: Album Reviews

Review: The Butterfly Effect - Final Conversation of Kings

During a recording session last night with Steve, he highly recommended I buy the new album from The Butterfly Effect – The Last Conversation of Kings.  Jumped onto iTunes and bought it right away — it’s in fact the first album I have bought off iTunes as a whole.

The introductory bass tapping and steady guitars led me to believe this album would be filled with the balance of delicate power like the previous Butterfly Effect albums Imago and Begins Here.

However, only a few tracks in, I couldn’t help but think there was something lacking.  Some kind of dynamic I couldn’t put my finger on.  The notes were there, the rises and falls — but there’s something about how the album was perhaps mastered or structured that left me yearning for power. I didn’t feel this album like the previous two.  Overall it’s a 3 out of 5 for me — great ideas, just few of them executed to their full potential.

The album still has some funk and energy — but nothing compared to Imago or Begins here.  But I’m not one to believe a band shouldn’t evolve.  I think they have evolved but again, the result just wasn’t there for me and it’s a shame the production value have let down some very, very talented Aussies.  I love these guys and can’t wait for their next show at The Roundhouse.  The first single they released was “Window and the Watcher” – I’ve included the video below.

My favourite tracks off the album by far are 7 Days, Rain, and Sum of 17 Days really captured me with its terrace dynamics and balanced pace. The vocal lines take me away and let me float while the guitars bring me straight back down with beautiful force.

Rock Opera.  I remember reading an article about the album in Drum Media and there was a lot of discussion about the album being launched as a ‘rock opera’ album — which both the band and the media were very worried about.  A term like that often brings with it a lot of pre-conceived ideas.

The Horn Section. Right out of left field there.  I love it — maybe because I’m a traditionally trained brass musician.  But it just had the right voice to compliment their sound. At first I thought it might have been too unique (if there really is such a thing) but no, the next second it sang beautifully — just like a real – as opposed to a synth – trumpet should.  With grace, power and voice.

The trumpet itself reminds me a lot of Clint Boge’s vocal work throughout his recordings with plenty of crescendos and complex phrasing.

“I used to sit at practice and cup my hands over the microphone and make these ‘brrr’ sort of sounds. It sort of sat well with the music and we decided to give it a shot. Tyrone Noonan of George came in and put some Wurlitzer and different sorts of keyboards, some Rhodes and stuff as well.” – Clint Boge

So where does the title come from? Apparently (but I can’t confirm this just yet) it refers to an old Latin phrase regarding the last conversation soliders and kings have before they head to war (and hence may not come back).  Another source indicated something similar, and according to Jessie Shrock:

The title Final Conversation Of Kings, for those interested, is based on a Latin phrase that refers to war. While this is mainly intended to establish a running theme of conflict within the album, it’s also fitting if you imagine The Butterfly Effect as being engaged in a pitched battle against the fast-growing number of heavy/progressive bands on the scene. For if this is the case, then Final Conversation could be seen as the band finally utilising the element of surprise.

I really enjoy Shrock’s final point about the band using surprise.  Whatever you make of it, you can’t forget that bands are competing and that music is a big buisiness.