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Eyehategod - A History of Nomadic Behavior Music Album Reviews

Eyehategod - A History of Nomadic Behavior Music Album Reviews
As the New Orleans sludge-metal icons clean up their act, Mike IX Williams’ once-indecipherable howls and Jimmy Bower’s detuned blues riffs come to the surface.

Take a moment to appreciate a few small miracles—Mike IX Williams is alive, he’s sober, and he’s singing on a new Eyehategod album. Five or six years ago, none of those outcomes would have seemed likely. “My whole agenda was getting wasted until the day I die,” Williams told Decibel’s Greg Pratt in 2017, shortly after receiving the liver transplant that saved his life. Post-transplant, Williams had to figure out a new way to live, and just as importantly, a new way to front one of the world’s most famously self-destructive metal bands. On A History of Nomadic Behavior, the first document of that effort, the New Orleans masters shift into a new, more sustainable mode.

Even when Eyehategod was essentially inventing sludge metal on feedback-drenched early albums like 1990’s In the Name of Suffering and 1993’s Take as Needed for Pain, they were fundamentally a blues band. A History of Nomadic Behavior emphasizes that fact more directly than any Eyehategod record to date. Though they’ve historically buried their songs in enough filth to leave you nauseous, the production on History is crisp and clear. Williams has honed his formerly indecipherable howl into a pointed weapon; he wants you to hear every word he’s singing. Jimmy Bower’s detuned blues riffs stand front and center alongside Williams, still full of his trademark bends and vibrato but now with far fewer deliberate feedback squalls to drown out the notes. If 1996’s Dopesick sounded like overhearing an entire band going through heroin withdrawals together, History sounds like those same dudes reuniting years later to jam at the local VFW hall on a Wednesday night.

Sadly, not everyone made it to the jam session. Drummer and founding member Joey LaCaze passed away shortly before the release of 2014’s Eyehategod, and longtime guitarist Brian Patton left the fold in 2018. History is the first Eyehategod full-length to feature Aaron Hill on drums; Patton wasn’t replaced, making the band a four-piece for the first time. That puts the spotlight even more squarely on Williams and Bower, now the only two original members remaining.

Williams’s newfound sobriety is an undercurrent that runs through the album. On “High Risk Trigger,” he shrieks about being “deaf, jagged, and prowling,” like a man who is just barely outrunning his demons. “Anytime I’ve been to rehab or AA or NA, any of that stuff, they always talk about triggers, which can be anything that makes you want to use again,” he writes in the liner notes. “In that way it’s almost the same as a trigger on a gun, because it’s just as dangerous.” Sobriety aside, Williams hasn’t lost the piss-and-vinegar nihilism that made him a hero to dropouts and deadbeats in the early ’90s. On closing track and album highlight “Every Thing, Every Day,” he repurposes the titular refrain of the Take as Needed for Pain classic “Kill Your Boss” as a fuck-everything climax. Just because he got a new liver doesn’t mean he’s punching his ticket for square society.

On early Eyehategod records, the songs, production style, and real-life depravity within the band were intertwined to the point of being indistinguishable. Likewise, it’s impossible to listen to A History of Nomadic Behavior without noting that Williams’ cleaned-up life has coincided with his band’s cleaned-up sound. For those who were drawn primarily to Eyehategod’s apocalyptic self-annihilation, History’s unadorned blues riffs and fully legible lyrics might be a bridge too far. For those of us who want Eyehategod to keep doing this for a long time to come, it’s a welcome evolution.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Eyehategod - A History of Nomadic Behavior Music Album Reviews Eyehategod - A History of Nomadic Behavior Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Rating: 5

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