New Orleans Is The New Vietnam
4.10 min • A389 Recordings • August 30, 2012
It’s been twelve years since Eyehategod released a full-length album (2000’s Confederacy of Ruined Lives) and seven years since the band released any new tracks (‘International Narcotic’, ’36 Beers and a Ball of String’ and ‘Turn Troubled Tables’ were featured on their 2005 compilation album Preaching the ‘End-Time’ Message). In that time the members have been involved with various side projects including Superjoint Ritual, Down, Arson Anthem and Outlaw Order. But now, after seven years, the band has begun to rise from the ashes and release this new single, a single-sided 7-inch from A389 Recordings (the flip side features an engraving of the EHG logo).
‘New Orleans is the New Vietnam’ is a track known to Eyehategod’s fan base, having floated around bootleg circles in live form for the last year or so, but here it is finally in official studio form.
The band sounds just as dirty as ever, vocalist Michael “Mike IX” Williams delivers in his trademark unintelligible growl. Now while unintelligible or barely-intelligible vocals are common in many forms of heavy metal, Williams’ voice is like no other; it’s not merely screaming or growling, his voice becomes an instrument in and of itself, his words blurring to become musical notes rather than something to sing along to. It’s the vocalization of a tortured soul in its purest form.
The accompaniment of the rest of the band is likewise stellar, particularly the guitar work of Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton. One of the hallmarks of Eyehategod’s sound is the thick as hell, wall of feedback guitar sound. Bower and Patton deliver walls of riffs so thick you could cut it with a pocketknife; this is deep-down South bluesy heavy metal smashed through a stage monitor at its finest.
Bassist Gary Mader and drummer Joe LaCaze keep the band welded together with Mader’s deep bass lines cutting through the mix, providing that thicker and heavier than Black Sabbath feel of Eyehategod and LaCaze’s drums, mixing equal parts Black Sabbath and Black Flag with a nearly swaying rhythm. One thing I’ve always admired about LaCaze’s drums is his schizophrenic fills during the “verse” parts of Eyehategod’s songs and his fills are on top with this track.
This single is a preview to Eyehategod’s upcoming new studio album (release date and title as yet unconfirmed), if this is a taste of things to come, sludge-heads and metal fans worldwide are in for a treat as Eyehategod sets out to prove that the musical sickness is far from over, even after more than twenty years of sonic abuse.