22 September 2014
Eyehategod - Eyehategod
Some bands are legends in their own time; their names are so interesting and their sound is talked about in hushed tones that when you ask somebody about them, they tend to look at you with disdain for not knowing who they are. For many moons, Eyehategod were that sort of band for me and when I heard them, they did not disappoint me. When I first heard that sweet sludge sound, it was all that my friends had promised (when they eventually stopped tutting with distain). They are not the most amazing band in my life, but they always have an interesting. Brief back story of the band: Formed in 1988, not much is known about their early years. What is known is that where Eyehategod play, trouble usually follows. The main core of the band has pretty much stayed quite stable which is strange when their music sounds like chaos refined. Only the bass player has seemed to be ever changing part of the band, until 2013 with the sad passing of drummer Joey LaCaze (who appeared on this album). Considering they have been together for all these years, it is only their fifth studio album but if you include complications and demos then it is their 10th album. This is their first album since 2000 and saying it is over fourteen years in the making, there is a lot of expectations have been high for this album. Now it is time to find out how good the album is....
"Agitation! Propaganda!" starts with a wall of feedback which is demolished by a sledgehammer of sludge which rattles along at a manic speed. This is a brilliant opening track which sound like it they were recording this when a fight was going on in the studio around them. It just feels like they had a shit storm of aggression to get off their chest and they have just started to with their attack on the rest of mankind. Next is "Trying To Crack The Hard Dollar" which sounds like a more aggressive Black Sabbath before they lost their balls. Even after the frantic energy of "Agitation! Propaganda!” it losses none of the aggressive nature of the opening. It is just a different way to drive that but through your skull to make the world a more aggressive place to live. "Parish Motel Sickness" is another slow and aggressive number; I have a feeling that aggressive is going to be a word I use a lot on this review as this feels like a prize fighter giving everything in the fight for its life. For a band of social rebels, they are incredibly tight and like a very powerful unit. "Parish Motel Sickness" sounds like a death march towards the end of creation and is a powerful as a car smashing through a brick wall.
"Quitter's Offensive" is a strange boogie piece that has that NOLA flavour which is pretty much unique to bands of that area. It does come out as the lovechild of The Allman Brothers and Black Sabbath; it is a bone crunching type of song and keeps my interest going. "Nobody Told Me" slowly emerges from the veil of feedback, there is an air of familiarity coming over with this track in droves. It is a fine slice of sludge metal and it will have many people in raptor, but it is starting to get a little bit too repetitive. "Worthless Rescue" was in danger of doing the same to be honest: Feedback - check; Slow Sludge Riff Monster - Check; Screams that will have the weaker willed turning to their deity for help and forgiveness - Check. But for some reason, "Worthless Rescue" works; it is just a better tune at the end of the day and is also the best song on the album. "Framed To The Wall" is another great piece from the band, it is piles the aggression on and sounds like another fight has erupted in the studio whilst this was being recorded.
"Robitussin and Rejection" is another slow and moody number, sounding like the riffs are just oozing slowly out of an infected wound and into a pool of acidic tar on the ground. It is a sick and twisted number that sound like it has been made to be the soundtrack to either one of the more disturbing gigs of your life or it is background noise to your soul being tortured by demons. Next is "Flags & Cities Bound" is the longest track on the album and is just a symphony of feedback, lulls and waves of noise to smash the senses. It is another great number, but it has as many false ends as the final Lord Of The Rings movie. The penultimate track is "Medicine Noose" which stars like a hangover from "Flags & Cities Bound", but soon it flexs its muscles and starts to bring the noise to the party. Setting up the album for the final fanarle which is "The Age Of The Boot Camp". The formula at this point is well established and the band just let the riffs fall like hammers on the skulls of their victims. If it ain't broke, they are not going to change it at this point and the album is brought to a noisy conclusion.
There is a feeling of 'here is the old boss, same as the new boss' about this album. There is nothing on here that the band has not done before; they are just slight difference to their tunes. Yet I really did not expect anything else from the band if I am honest, I was expecting a brutal and harsh album. On that front, then this album has fulfilled its mission. Is it as good as their back catalogue? I would say yes again, it is another great release and is a worthy epitaph to the late Joey LaCaze. But it is not the world better that some people have been raving about; it is just a very good album which has quite possibly the best cover I have seen for a metal album this year.
7.5 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check
Top track - Worthless Rescue
You can purchase the album from Amazon
You can visit the Eyehategod website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Here is a link for people who use Deezer
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