The first Eyehategod album in fourteen years is absolutely rifftastic! After years of internal disputes, the narcotics arrest of singer Mike Williams in 2005 and the death of drummer Joey LaCaze in 2013, we finally have another Eyehategod album and it was definitely worth the wait. The band’s self-titled fifth album has everything that you would expect from a solid sludge metal album including great riffs, angst ridden hardcore style vocals from Mike Williams and that amazing overall grimy sound.
The thing I appreciate most about their newest record is that it serves as a staunch reminder of the influence that hardcore once had on southern sludge metal. Some of the newer sludge acts have moved away from the more crass influence of hardcore giving them a sound that is just too polished. On Eyehategod, we get old school southern sludge the way it was meant to be. The band even throws in some faster hardcore style speed on the tracks “Agitation! Propaganda!”, “Framed to the Wall” and “Medicine Noose”. Although the latter two tracks outshine, “Agitation! Propoganda!”, they all serve their purpose and drive home the fact that hardcore has an important place in the music.
On top of everything, the riffs on the album reminded me why sludge metal had such a ground swell in the early 1990’s. Much of Eyehategod is ripe with well written, well executed and catchy guitar work, most notably on songs like “Trying to Crack the Hard Dollar”, “Quitter’s Offensive”, “Nobody Told Me”, “Worthless Rescue” and “The Age of Bootcamp”. “Worthless Rescue” is definitely the cream of this crop. It has an excellent and tight southern metal style riff that calls to mind the best of 1970’s classic southern rock and Sabbath style doom metal.
There is really not much to complain about with regard to Eyehategod’s first album in over a decade. Given the long hiatus, the album does feel a bit too short. However, who really cares when you get music and influences that many of us thought had been long forgotten about? Eyehategod provides a reminder of why fans fell in love with sludge metal in the first place and should be used as a benchmark by newer genre bands of how to craft a proper record. Will this go down as Eyehategod’s best album ever? Probably not, but it is still one of the better classic sludge metal albums in quite some time.
What do you think of the first Eyehategod album in fourteen years? Do you agree that the riffs and hardcore influences are great or did you expect more? Leave a comment and let us know.