Eyehategod are one of the cult bands of sludge metal. Despite a career that spans four decades, their self-titled opus is only the fifth album released by the New Orleans band, and the first since 2000’s ‘Confederacy Of Ruined Lives’. It’s an album that’s clearly for the fans, but outside that select circle, there’s really not much for anyone else to latch onto.
‘Eyehategod’ wastes no time in barreling headfirst into groovy down-tuned algorithms with ‘Agitation! Propaganda!’. Mike Williams‘ token barks conjure an instant wave of tumult that is matched by Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton‘s gurning guitar spats. In fact, the characteristics that define the opening track can be found pretty much anywhere on ‘Eyehategod’, and that just might be its downfall. Pretty much every single song follows the same formula: a guitar feedback intro, followed by an assorted selection of overrused riffs that become tangled in their application.
There are moments on ‘Eyehategod’ that remind you why they have the reputation that they do, but there are plenty more that allow you to question that social standing. Bands like Down and Crowbar just do it better, and Eyehategod have definitely done it better in the past. There will undoubtedly be cuts from ‘Eyehategod’ that become fan favourites, but, for the rest of the world, this album will become just another hour of noise that they’d rather not listen to.
However, it must be applauded that ‘Eyehategod’ has even seen the light of day. Founding member Joe LaCaze (drums) died in August 2013, not long after his 42nd birthday. It’s unclear how much of the album was already written at this time, but for the band to club together and release a full-length effort less than a year after such a world-shaking event is admirable.
Eyehategod will continue to provide a soundtrack to cigarette smoking in the late evening sun for years to come, but their greatest hits won’t be bothered too much by the release of ‘Eyehategod’.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)