Happy EYEHATEGOD week. Remembering that time I was in high school and my dad saw the Confederacy of Ruined Lives CD on the front seat of my car. The good times. Anyway, in the continuation of EYEHATEGOD week, I interviewed Mike IX Williams about a variety of things and am very glad I got this opportunity to speak with him! Check it out!
JACKASS IN THE WILL OF EYEHATEGOD: Take As Needed for Pain, or Die Tryin’
Kim Kelly for CVLT Nation
Photos by Samantha Marble & Diana Lee Zadlo
I remember my first encounter with EyeHateGod with almost startling clarity, given the volume of Dixie whiskey I’ve consumed in the ensuing eight years. It was a typical Northeastern winter, veering between blustery and balmy with little or no regard for the seething mass of humanity that ducked and dodged its way through Manhattan’s busy streets and neon alcoves. It was my first time in New York City. My grandmother, whose wanderlust and love of the written word courses powerfully through my own veins, had decided to take my mother, little sister and I to the big city to celebrate New Year’s, and so there we were. I remember being dazzled by the lights, the often overwhelming din, and above all, the people. There were so many of them! In all shapes and sizes and colors! I’d never seen anything like it. Keep in mind, I come from a rural town set deep in the heart of South Jersey’s desolate crown jewel, the Pine Barrens, and it wasn’t exactly what you’d call a “diverse” kind of place. I think my grandmother was a bit overwhelmed herself, and we ended up seeking refuge behind a familiar set of beveled doors. In those days, the Virgin Megastore, with its orderly rows of shiny jewel cases and useless ”counterculture” tchotchkes, was sheer paradise for a budding metalhead. A couple years down the line I’d be spending my meager paychecks on Blut Aus Nord imports, but that day saw me in pursuit of lighter fare, as my embryonic hessian obsession was only just beginning to bloom. Passing through the first few rows, a strange CD caught my eye. “EyeHateGod?” I thought. “Whoa.”
Have you ever had a moment when you put on a record and you can actually see the power of the music coming out of the your speakers? Then the next thing you know, your face starts contorting in awe and amazement while thinking to yourself, how that fuck can a band create music so epically awesome? When I first heard Invernal, the new album by BLACK COBRA, which will be released on October 11th via Southern Lord, those were the kind of experiences that took over my senses. This is one really special record; it is constructed of ultra gnarly grooves that only get thicker with each listen, and drumming that has the force to break dinosaur bones. Before I continue I must say that BLACK COBRA makes me scratch my head in wonder, because I still can’t figure out how only two humans can create such a monolithic sonic attack! Listening to Invernal is like having audio magic take place in your skull, and the call and response thing that this band has happening between each other is like hearing the 10 wonders of sound take place in your brain. Trust me, there are loads of rad vocals on this record, but it’s the interaction that the musicians have that will mesmerize you! The riffage on Invernal is so fucking radical that it has me envisioning it carving giant animal heads out of stone with caustic tones jumping out of the guitar. This record will inject you with so much Apocalyptic melody, after one listen you will have the strength to kick in the skull of Mad Max and get your dancing on at the same time. So the first song on the album is called “Avalanche,” but what comes to my mind when I hear this track is a raging volcano that you can not walk away from, because the magnetic grooves are just puling you closer until your body becomes lava. BLACK COBRA’s tune “Somnae Tenebrae” paints this strange picture in my imagination; when I hear the fury that this song packs, it makes me daydream about Nascar races, but instead of cars going around the track it’s giant woolly mammoths running around it, chasing after nonbelievers in metal. BLACK COBRA is two humans that are highly original in the music that they create, and they figured out a way to combine punk, hardcore, & cycodelic sludge into a sound that is all of their own. Another of facet Invernal that impresses me is when they slow things down; the guitar during these periods makes me think about my favorite trees, weeping willows. While taking in the new BLACK COBRA record, I realized, damn, I must see them perform this live! I know for a fact they will rock and shock the nation!
Bluesy, sludgy, and absolutely filthy, Dopesick was a shock to the system for American doom metal bands. Debaucherous beyond understanding, Eyehategod play whiskey soaked, resin caked sludge metal that sounds like it crawled out of a mosquito infested swamp somewhere below the Mason-Dixon. When thinking about the lineage of doom, you really have to understand Dopesick‘s importance in cementing a place in the world of doom metal for America. While English influences ran strong, Eyehategod were part of a new wave of American metal bands who pulled more from Pentagram’s bluesy style, combining it with hardcore punk, thrash, and whatever else could be dredged up to create a decidedly American sound. With an album title like
Take as needed for pain – this is THE ultimate definition of Sludge. There wasn’t any band afterwards (and there will probably never be one) that could redefine the genre the same way as Eyehategod did back in 1993. From the first hint of feedback in its opener Blank to the last track Laugh it off, which consists merely of sick samples, this record is the blueprint for every other Sludge/Stoner band there is today. And even Eyehategod themselves describe TANFP as their best record. Although some of the tracks were written within ten minutes (according to guitarist Jimmy Bower), the whole record walks the thin line between sheer insanity and pure genius. Packed in a dazing artwork, TANFP is an all-time classic record that belongs in every serious record collection.
Let’s beginn with the riffs: the combination of Iommi-inspired guitar-play and Ginn-inspired feedback-mayhem never sounded better than on TANFP. Harsh feedback, a brutal slowness, sick samples and a neverending groove make the humid heat of New Orleans more vivid than any other record I know. Listening to this album feels like drowning in a pool of melt steel.
The totally fucked up lyrics, brought to you by the throat of Mike IX Williams, fulfill the picture of Eyehategod as a bunch of broke, wasted, drug-ridden bad asses. The song titles alone: Sister Fucker, White Nigger, Crimes against skin – it’s pretty obvious Eyehategod did not release this record to make friends.
Besides all the fucked-up-ness described here: TANFP contains only killer songs. Eyehategod change speeds, deliver more Sabbath’ish riffs than you thought could be possible and wrap it all up in songs you can distinguish from each other after listening to them for the first time. By the way, I think the speed changes happened more by accident than by purpose. But this makes a huge portion of the organic, muddy and, well, sludgy feeling of the record. You just can’t write kaputt masterpieces like this by using a drum computer.
If you don’t know TANFP you missed one of the best extreme metal records ever made. So if you don’t own it by now, better get your shit together and buy it right away or keep on listening to the Jonas Brothers.
Eyehategod – Take As Needed For Pain
Released November 22, 1993
Recorded Studio 13, New Orleans
Label Century Media
Last year, Rhode Island doom duo The Body released All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood, an album that totally smashed and reshaped everyone’s perception of the doom metal genre. It was an album that featured a full women’s choir, noise, sampling and electronics. All of these elements helped make Waters such a weirdly compelling listen. Underneath all the brain scrambling weirdness is the core of The Body; chest-caving drums, muddy distorted guitar and shrieking vocals. Take those three elements and combine them with the spacious, folky post-rock of North Carolina’s Braveyoung and you get Nothing Passes, The Body & Braveyoung’s new collaborative album. Essentially.
While there are moments on Nothing Passes where you can hear the unique styles of both bands, the overall vibe of the record is something entirely distinct from their past albums. The feel of the first three songs of this record is that of unsettling melody paired with distortion and harsh noise. The first song, the aptly titled ‘Song One’ opens the record with a harsh distorted drone, like the sound of an old generator struggling to power flickering lights. Eerie violin lines creep in and slither on top of the chugging drone. ‘Song Two’ is the only song on the album that harkens back to the last Body record. The 15 minute track is the only song on the record that employs The Body vocalist/guitarist Chip King’s trademark shriek, as well as the only song that has truly discernible riff. The choral elements present throughout Waters are used to great effect on this song.
The title track is a tempo-less dronescape. The first five minutes is made up of a distorted drone that is harshly contrasted by an eerie and repetitive xylophone melody. The drone eventually dwindles into beautiful volume swells and subdued synth passages. After the violence of ‘Song Two,’ the fine tuned ambience of title track assuages the listener and creates the impression that Nothing Passes is essentially a drone record, with one “rocker” song. When the title track ends is where the record does a complete 180. After the drone decays, the lightly strummed acoustic guitar and melodic female vocals kicks off album closer ‘The Vision.’ This is hands down the best song on the album, and one of the best songs of the year. The fact that it comes as the last song is too perfect. The Body & Braveyoung somehow managed to write a full fledged gospel song. The guitars strum and twang, the soulful voice sings about a vision of being visited by angels while the choir hums along. The harsh noise of the rest of the record is still present, but buried deep under all the layers.
Nothing Passes is out September 27th on At A Loss, and is an incredibly intriguing listen. Fans of either band should take note. It was an ample opportunity for The Body to experiment and collaborate before their next album, which I honestly hope is a gospel record.
I can ‘t speak for everyone, but I know that I dig soul music, no matter what the genre is, it must have soul. What I’m trying to say is that I want to hear honesty & I want the music to make me feel some kind of emotion, or maybe that what I’m listening to can act as some sort of time machine that transports my thoughts to a new mental space. Then there is music that has been able to uplift my broken dreams from this cesspool of reality called life, and paint my grey skies with brighter shades of grey. A band that has the power to change the way I feel when I listen to them is Woods of Desolation – their album Torn Beyond Reason, out now via Northern-Silence, is just full of awesome black magic. You know labeling music is a very tricky thing, because you you might see a band being labeled something, & you might get put off or expect something different then what the band delivers. Well Woods of Desolation is called Depressive Black Metal, which does not make any sense to me, because this band’s music really injects my spirit with a strong belief in self, plus these are the kind of sounds I want to hear while navigating through this society constructed of lies! Black lights of hope shine off of every song on Torn Beyond Reason. When songs like “The Inevitable End” are blasting out of your speakers, there is no way that you will be able to avoid the thoughts running through your brain, saying the the world is mine & nothing or no one can stop me from achieving what I want to. The songwriting on this epic album is fucking spot on, it’s so rad to hear so much epic melody on every tune, but at no time does it ever seem cheesy. Part of Woods of Desolation’s secret when it come to the way that they use melody is they dip it into huge barrels of real honest emotion, which keeps every tone or beat that this band creates legit. “Darker Days” is sick as fuck – it starts off with a rad guitar riff, before being swept off into a vortex percussive rhythm. I’m also really impressed with the vocal range of the singer, who can go from a cold, shrill scream to an ethereal, passionate whisper. That brings me to this point: many of the songs on Torn Beyond Reason have this cold ancient feeling to them, but for some reason they also make me think of the summer. Woods of Desolation is a perfect example that from the darkness comes the light!
Woods of Desolation : The Inevitable End
Woods of Desolation : Darker Days
The San Francisco stop of Southern Lord’s Power of the Riff was split into two nights at two separate venues. I was fortunate enough to attend both nights with my camera in an attempt to document the heaviest tour of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get both nights off of work, so on Tuesday night I had to jam over to The Mezzanine on my bike to catch as much of Day Two as possible. The Mezzanine is located on a small side street in the SOMA district of San Francisco. Tuesday’s venue was way bigger than the Elbo Room, and does not normally host metal shows. I saw the Metalliance tour with Saint Vitus there back in Spring, but this was only the second time I’d been there.
I arrived and everything checked out on the guest list (which is always a relief) and I caught literally the last 90 seconds of Early Graves, a band I was really looking forward to seeing. I also missed Baptists and Æges, but that’s ok because the other four bands I did catch ruled. Masakari took the stage and set up under cool blue lights. The band didn’t start playing so much as they exploded into unbridled energy. Band members were pacing all over the stage as they ripped through track after blistering track from their EP, full length and split with their tourmates, Alpinist. I had never seen or heard Masakari before tonight, but I was really impressed by them and they were the surprise highlight for me.
Read the rest of this gig review and see a full gallery of Power of the Riff day two at The Mezzanine after the jump!
Today CVLT Nation is stoked to be debuting the new 12″ from LOW PLACES, one of our favorite bands. We reviewed Spiritual Treatment back in mid-July, and here is a taste of what you have coming to you when you listen to the full album, streaming here today.
They start the record off with hateful sludge that sounds borderline cyco…By the second song, the band is all up in your face in attack mode, with some craze damaged hardcore that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand to attention…With Spiritual Treatment, the band really lived up to their name, because this record does take you to some very LOW PLACES. You can hear this constant groove of danger on every song, no matter how slow or how fast.
Take a listen to this epic record, coming out on A389 Records next week…you can also get it on cassette via Work In Shadows. And rumor has it LOW PLACES might be hitting the East Coast for a tour soon…
Full Of Hell could be described as the ultimate of extreme music: Take all the rawest, dirtiest and heaviest bits of Hardcore, Punk, extreme Metal, Grindcore, Sludge and even Power Electronics, give them to a bunch of young, angry and extremely motivated sickos and get wrecked. Read the interview I’ve done with these guys earlier to see what Full Of Hell are all about. They’ve already proven themselves with an EP, a split 7“ and countless shows, but with Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home (what an amazing title btw) they’ve built a monument of extremity, a manifest of heavy music. Sounds exaggerated? Listen to this record, fool!