In the Name of Suffering: Eyehategod

Rating: 85%

7209In 1990, and released in 1992, “In the Name of Suffering” by Eyehategod is the most primitive, doomy, muddy, and gritty sounding album that I’ve heard of in a long time. Many people skip over this important album for some reason. To me, this is one of Eyehategod’s most important albums in their catalog.

The musicianship is very tight. You have the tortured style screaming vocals done by Mike Williams. The ultra feedback, down-tuned, heavy, and distorted riff masters Jimmy Bower & Mark Schultz on guitar. Their sound alone is what makes this album sound gritty and muddy. Then you have bassist Steve Dale and drummer Joe LaCaze.

Musically, again the sound is very raw. The song tempos are drawn out which is why it gets the label Doom Metal. The timing and tempos set by the band are aggressive. Nothing like this was released up until Eyehategod did it. If you like Sludge Metal mixed with Doom Metal and you prefer the sound to be as raw as raw can get, then this is a good album to try. The guitar sound alone is very course and grainy. I do like the Hardcore Punk influences that you can hear, here and there.

Track listing:

1. “Depress” 4:58
2. “Man Is Too Ignorant to Exist” 2:37
3. “Shinobi” 5:15
4. “Pigs” 2:59
5. “Run It into the Ground” 3:10
6. “Godsong” 2:44
7. “Children of God” 3:10
8. “Left to Starve” 3:09
9. “Hostility Dose” 2:43
10. “Hit a Girl” 4:18

Paegan Terrorism Tactics: Acid Bath

Rating: 90%

220px-PaeganTerrorismTacticsIn 1996, Acid Bath released their second and last full length album “Paegan Terrorism Tactics.” To me this is a forgotten or very little known gem with regards to the Sludge Metal genre. It featured vocalist Dax Riggs, guitarists Mike Sanchez & Sammy “Pierre” Duet, bassist Audie Pitre, and drummer Jimmy Kyle.

I remember when I first heard these guys, which was this album here. I amazed at how good the vocals sound and how clear the distorted guitars were. It wasn’t as sludgy sounding as Sludge Metal should be. The heavy and mid tempo style basically had a Doom Metal structure, but there was a southern metal influence to it.

Musically, this is a dark album from the contents of the vocals to the overall song structure themselves. There is a creepy sense of humor to some of the song structures, “Graveflower” is one of those examples with the introduction and verse. There are some nice guitar riffs, followed by drumming. The sound and production is really clean. You can tell that these guys really put in the effort as there isn’t much filler within this album. It’s a shame that there isn’t more material out there on the band as these guys were part of the rise of Sludge Metal.

Track listing:

1. “Paegan Love Song” 5:40
2. “Bleed Me an Ocean” 6:15
3. “Graveflower” 6:07
4. “Diäb Soulé” 4:34
5. “Locust Spawning” 4:40
6. “Old Skin” 1:11
7. “New Death Sensation” 6:44
8. “Venus Blue” 4:42
9. “13 Fingers” 4:10
10. “New Corpse” 3:22
11. “Dead Girl” (ends at 7:23; hidden track “The Beautiful Downgrade” begins at 22:29) 24:08

The Pale Haunt Departure: Novembers Doom

Rating: 85%

The_Pale_Haunt_Departure.jpgI love the sound of traditional Death Metal. It reminds me of when I was growing up and had bands like Obituary and Death to listen to. But, Novembers Doom to me is directed toward a more modern sound and a more mainstream avenue vs. traditional Death Metal. But, not all is lost on this album. You see there are other influences playing a role into the sound of Novembers Doom. You have the rich Gothic and the elements of Doom Metal that are intertwined giving this album a rich taste.

Musicianship is good. Vocalist Paul Kuhr has a good voice when it comes to those harsh vocals and he’s can sing good on those clean vocal works. Both guitarists Vito Marchese and Larry Roberts produce some decent riffs and good solos. Bassist Mike Legros and drummer Joe Nunez do a great job at keeping the flow of the music going.

Musically, Novembers Doom produces some decent Death Metal riffs that are surrounded by more atmospheric and melodic styles that blend Doom and Goth together. Lot’s of great guitar work that can be crunchy one minute and soft the next. There’s a good ballad on this album called “Autumn Reflection.” This song breaks up the mood and flow of the faster material.

Song structures are in good order. Lot’s of strong riffs, good drumming and heavy bass. I love the piano work on “Autumn Reflection.” The main verses feature a more harsh vocal style, while the chorus is more clean vocal work. There’s a lot of great song writing here that shows how original the band is. I love the concept on this album. It deals with the passing of a father who comes back to watch over his son. It’s good to have originality back into music and that is exactly what Novembers Doom does here. Great album all around and a great listening experience.

Track listing:

1. “The Pale Haunt Departure” 05:44
2. “Swallowed by the Moon” 05:57
3. “Autumn Reflection” 06:06
4. “Dark World Burden” 06:09
5. “In the Absence of Grace” 08:09
6. “The Dead Leaf Echo” 07:30
7. “Through a Child’s Eyes” 05:32
8. “Collapse of the Falling Throe” 06:36

Dopethrone: Electric Wizard

Rating: 90%

1530.jpgIn 2000, Electric Wizard released “Dopethrone.” “Dopethrone” is a Doom Metal album that features Jus Oborn on vocals, guitars and all effects, bassist Tim Bagshaw, and drummer Mark Greening. This is regarded as their best album.

The sound of Electric Wizard can be best described as sludgy, gritty, fuzzy, spacey and downright muddy. This is what makes Electric Wizard in my opinion, a great Doom Metal band. They take elements of Sludge Metal and Stoner Metal, combining those styles with traditional Doom Metal. The end result is an album that sounds raw with a big gritty finish to it.

The song structures are long and drawn out as they should be for this genre of music. There’s lots of audio clips and weird sound effects that gives this a more modern sound to the music vs. the traditional Doom Metal bands like Trouble and Candlemass. To best describe the overall sound, song structures, and production, I would almost use the words fuzzy, gritting, dirty, muddy, and thick. Lyrically, the album is well constructed.

Musicianship is very well thought out by the band. The guitar work has a ton of heavy, slow crunching, and heavily distorted riffs. There’s nothing polished with regards to the guitar. There are some solos and fill ins which do help to break the rhythm from bogging down.

Setting the tempo and timing of the music is the bass and drums. The bass is deep and heavy riding along side of the guitar. I has a thick sound like almost tar and is surprising clearly heard and not being drowned out.

The drums are complex using a ton of off beats staying course with a more atmospheric Doom style. The drums lines, still with the usual slower timing gives the band a major boost with regards to that thick and heavy sound. I will agree that at times, the drums seem to be almost drowned out by the guitar and bass.

The vocals are amazingly clean and polished. Although, they seem to be placed further in the background of the final mix. They have a pretty grimy sound to it as if they were submerged in mud. The vocals are an even keel of clean and screams, but without the harshness that one would expect to hear in modern Metal.

Track listing:

1. “Vinum Sabbathi” 3:05
2. “Funeralopolis” 8:43
3. “Weird Tales””Electric Frost””Golgotha””Altar of Melektaus” 15:05
4. “Barbarian” 6:29
5. “I, The Witchfinder Aka Las Torturas de la Inquisicion” 11:04
6. “The Hills Have Eyes” 0:46
7. “We Hate You” 5:08
8. “Dopethrone” 20:48

Of Stone, Wind and Pillor: Agalloch

Rating: 75%

of_stone_wind_and_pillorIn 2001, Agalloch released their EP “Of Stone, Wind and Pillor. This album is a decent collection of folk and atmospheric hard rock that boarders Heavy Metal. It’s also a unique blend of electric and acoustic instrumentation and clean and dirty vocals. It does pull some influences from Black Metal or at least the first song,  “Of Stone, Wind and Pillor.”

The musicianship is pretty tight. John Haughm’s vocals, guitars, and drums sounds pretty good. He provides much tempo to the band. Don Anderson’s guitars are pretty decent. Bassist Jason William Walton and keyboardist Shane Breyer also does a fine job at their posts.

Song structures seem to be lacking a bit on “A Poem by Yeats.” But the first four tracks are great. The melodies of each song is different and presented in classic Agalloch way. There are some weird guitar parts and beats which holds my attention. The entire album features many different styles of music influences from Black Metal to acoustical folk music. If your looking into this band, I would go with another album instead of jumping right into this one.

Track listing:

  1. “Of Stone, Wind and Pillor”   6:59
  2. “Foliorum Viridium”   2:43
  3. “Haunting Birds”   3:45
  4. “Kneel to the Cross”   5:54
  5. “A Poem by Yeats”   8:39

Danzig IV: Danzig

Rating: 100%

Danzig4palbumIn 1994, Danzig released what could be his best record. But, it’s a record that also caused some line up changes. It’s a bitter sweet pill to swallow. Shortly before this album was released, drummer Chuck Biscuits left the band to fill in for his brother who was killed, drumming in the Four Horsemen. He was eventually replaced by Joey Castillo. Bassist Eerie Von and guitarist John Christ would leave the band after the tour was over.

This album is a lot different than the previous three records. It’s a bit more jazzy in some spots, but also introduces some of the Industrial Metal movement that was entering into the music scene by groups like Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie. “Sadistikal”is a good example of the experimentation. Danzig V would exploit that sound as a new level for the Glenn himself.

The music itself is a lot slower in tempo. It still retains some of the heaviness of the previous Danzig records which is heard in the first two tracks. One will also notice that Glenn Danzig is establishing himself more as a vocalist.  “Going Down to Die”, “Stalker Song”, and “Let It Be Captured” are three great examples of Glenn’s powerful vocal work. The album is very dark in nature and lacks the Blues influence but does a great job of bridging the other three records together with regards to the sound and musical style. Lyrically, Danzig still retains themes surrounded by the Cult, Death, Pain, Religion and yes, Sex.

The band, is tighter than ever. The music structure is more complex. This album has some great riffs, lacking the major power chords, but john Christ’s jazz roots and influences are shinning through which is why the guitar work is so good. His chording is excellent. His guitar solos are great. The drumming on this album is very good. Eerie’s bass work is excellent.

This album is the last Danzig album that gets the rating of 100%. All of the other album that follow afterward to me are good, but, they lack the standards of the first four records.

Track listing:

1. “Brand New God” 4:29
2. “Little Whip” 5:10
3. “Cantspeak” 4:06
4. “Going Down to Die” 4:59
5. “Until You Call on the Dark” 4:24
6. “Dominion” 4:13
7. “Bringer of Death” 4:40
8. “Sadistikal” 5:07
9. “Son of the Morning Star” 5:04
10. “I Don’t Mind the Pain” 4:45
11. “Stalker Song” 5:48
12. “Let It Be Captured” 5:16
66. “Invocation” 2:59

How The Gods Kill: Danzig III

Rating: 95%

1129Danzig III was released in 1992. This record is among my favorite Danzig records of all time. This time we see Danzig still using a little of Blues element, but it’s a bit heavier than the previous releases.  The album is also a more darker album, retaining much of the themes centered religion, sex and darkness. This album was a nice follow up to Danzig II which was released two years prior in 1990.

The band is still very solid and at the top of their field. Musically, this album is much heavier, a bit slower in tempo on many of the songs, while keeping the melody together and production is much clearer. Eerie Von on bass,  Chuck Biscuits on drums, John Christ on guitars and vocalist and pianist Glenn Danzig have proven themselves once again with putting together a great sound and quality record. It retains some great riffs and classic John Christ leads. Glenn’s vocals on all of the tracks are amazing, especially on  tracks 1,2,3,7 and 8. He’s proving himself as a singer and songwriter and the band itself has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the heavy metal world.  Bottom line, this is a perfect record that features that classic Danzig lineup.

Track listing:

1. Godless 06:51
2. Anything 04:49
3. Bodies 04:25
4. How the Gods Kill 05:57
5. Dirty Black Summer 05:14
6. Left Hand Black 04:30
7. Heart of the Devil 04:40
8. Sistinas 04:25
9. Do You Wear the Mark? 04:47
10. When the Dying Calls 03:31