Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behaviour (Century Media)

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Ever since In The Name Of Suffering levelled the playing field back in 1990, New Orleans sludge kings Eyehategod have consistently churned out slow heavy evil blues and though many have come close, nobody has had the impact on the scene that Eyehategod did. Embraced by punks, hardcore kids, stoner kids and everybody in between, NOLA’s most vicious, blurred the lines between several genres, but such was the nature of the band and the inner turmoil, drug issues, not to mention serious illness, there was always that feeling that they could implode at any moment. But here we are 21 years on from that debut and celebrating another monumental Eyehategod release A History Of Nomadic Behaviour.

That familiar guitar feedback that welcomes any Eyehategod release brings in Built Beneath The Lies, which I hate to report, somehow feels bit disjointed. Like a collection of riffs that don’t really mesh. Any doubts from the first track are swept away by the lurching Sabbath swagger of The Outer Banks. This is the band on fire and taking it right back to their roots, as the stomping main riff gives way to a breakneck Discharge stye finish. Mike Williams lyric and vocal style remain as potent and vicious as ever as Three Black Eyes can attest to. High Risk Trigger is classic EHG and has a groove and heaviness which harks back to their sound on the seminal Take As Needed For Pain album.

There’s an ugly crunch to the menace of The Day Felt Wrong whilea beautiful opening riff brings in The Trial Of Jonny Cancer, where Jimmy Bower gets to show off his guitar chops. It feels like this is a riff that would have been more at home in his other project Down, but once Williams brings that weapon of a voice to the table, it’s very, much the band at their bluesy best. This being an Eyehategod album there is of course the obligatory stoner jam, where it’s time to light up, kick back and listen while Bower does his thing, but then it’s back to business as Circle Of Nerves and Everything, Every Day bring the album to a ferocious climax.

The helped invent a genre and they are consistently reminding us who the kings are. They rarely deviate from their formula, but when the results are this good. Why would they? A History Of Nomadic Behaviour is a classic, lead heavy chunk of sludge metal. Nobody does it like Eyehategod… Chris Andrews

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