"Southern Discomfort" (Century Media; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Like a cancerous tumor that can't be eradicated, the music of Eyehategod is a vociferous reminder of the impact that the original doom-laden sound of Black Sabbath has had on music. Eyehategod's cult-like status precedes their legacy because they've got so much going against them when it comes to achieving 'popular' success.

"Southern Discomfort" is a collection of hard to find material recorded throughout the band's three disc career that never seemed to make it onto official releases. Century Media has collected these sludgy gems into one complete treasury. Call this collection of tracks what you want: Sabcore, sludge-core, hate-core - just don't call it lame. Hate spews forth from each track like a viciously rabid animal ready to pounce on its intimidated victim. 

Alternate takes of previously released material includes "Ruptured Heart Theory," "Peace Thru War (Thru Peace And War)," "Bland/Shoplift," and "Depress." Unreleased tracks include "Story Of The Eye," "Southern Discomfort," "Serving Time In The Middle Of Nowhere," "Lack Of Almost Everything," and "Dopesick Jam." Eyehategod's crusty sound, not unlike fingernails scraped across a chalkboard, is concentrated indignation for all things. 

"Story Of The Eye" is the best here as it has a Black Sabbath vibe and melody that cannot be denied. "Dopesick Jam" is also particularly interesting; although this track clocks in at 17 minutes it shows the band at its creative and sickening best as it rumbles through a variety of relentless riffs and overcast moods. 

Regardless of what history proves, Eyehategod is an indelible stain on the fabric of music - Eyehategod are not easily forgotten. "Southern Discomfort" couldn't have come at a better time. As I'm rediscovering the power of Black Sabbath it takes a band like Eyehategod to make me realize that new interpretations of the Sabbath legacy need not be boring or pure imitation. 

Retrospective compilation discs like "Southern Discomfort" are usually harbingers of a band's eventual breakup; however, the band insists that rumors of its demise are untrue. Eyehategod's devoted following are chomping at the bit to hear these tracks. Simply sit back and enjoy the sludge of Louisiana's pit of hate. 

Eyehategod is Michael D. Williams on vocals, guitarist Jimmy Bower, bassist Brian Patton, and Joe LaCaze on drums. 

For more information visit http://www.eyehategod.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 17 Jul 2022 13:29:13 -0400.