Preaching The End Time Message
posted on 1/2006 By:
It’s nice for a (sorta) hardworking metal reviewer to take a break from the torrent of metalcore releases once and a while, and it’s doubly nice to do so for the sake of an excellent and underappreciated band. NOLA greats Eyehategod are, obviously, back in the game, albeit via a slightly spotty odds’n’ends compilation. Preaching the End Time Message is composed of five assorted 7” and split EP tracks, two live recordings, and three brand new beatdown demos. Though it’s probably not the best starting place for EHG newcomers, this collection will probably be of value to veteran fans if for no other reason than the presence of the band’s first new material in years.
Those who’ve heard Eyehategod before will pretty much know what to expect here: a lethal dose of beer-soaked, lighter-scorched vitriol. Instead of attempting to intimidate with epic scope or bleak mood, as does most doom metal, these miscreants basically cut to the chase and get right in the listener’s face. The songs are slow but not glacial and the riffs are bluesy without ever hinting at bounciness; the Sabbathian lineage is clear, but Eyehategod owe just as much to the frothy-mouthed intensity of Black Flag (ever hear “Damaged I”?) and their ilk. The atmosphere here is generally one of extreme hostility, and when these guys kick up the tempo (opener “Methamphetamine,” which is actually a retitled “Peace Thru War”) the resultant thrashing and ranting is far more punk than anything else. This said, the vast bulk of the material here lurches or thunders along at paces designed to maximize ear damage, and it’ll damn sure make you bob your head against your will.
As for the songs themselves on Preaching the End Time Message, they’re almost all solid. Many of them will be familiar to the band’s longtime fans, like “Serving Time in the Middle of Nowhere” and “Sabbath Jam” (the latter for followers of the In These Black Days series). The biggest letdown here are the live takes; they’re certainly acceptable, but anyone who’s seen the band will attest that they don’t capture the ferocity or volume of Eyehategod’s performances. Of greatest interest are the three new songs present; anyone surprised that they’re trudging, furious, painful slugfests? Didn’t think so. The grooves here have gotten a little more complex than on past outings and the demo production renders the songs slightly less crushing, but I don’t doubt that Eyehategod’s upcoming full length will rip just as violently as their previous output.
Bottom line here is that if you like your metal punishing and you’ve not yet become acquainted with Eyehategod, now’s the time. Preaching the End Time Message might not be an ideal first exposure, but it’ll get the job done, and it’s a boon to hardcore fans.
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