Review Summary: A festering pinnacle of rage for Sludge and extreme music in general. Arguably EHG's best album to date and a classic of the genre.
Eyehategod is one of the bands whose sincerity is not doubted. Vocalist Mike Williams life has been through a ***storm of bad luck (E.g. parents died at early age) and bad decisions (drug addiction). Or at least that is the picture we get from the view of EHG. “Dopesick” is one of the finest examples of pure hatred and misery expressed in music. It’s one of, if not the best sludge albums created. If some southern styled detuned blues mixed with bursts of hardcore fury sounds nice to you, this is your album.
The “Sabbath crossed with Black Flag” analogy is the most popular when trying to explain EGH’s sound and for good reason. It still doesn’t do the band justice because they really have a more unique sound than that. “Dopesick” does have more of a hardcore feel than previous records and it may contain some of their most energetic tracks. Beginning with “My Name is God(I Hate You)”, we are greeted with feedback and the boiling rage of Williams screaming as he breaks a bottle against the ground. From that point the feedback rises and the bass line begins to creep in. It’s one ***ing hell of an opener, especially after reading about the studio experience. Supposedly Williams in a drunken stupor, ripped open his hand on the broken glass and smeared “Hell” across the glass in the recording studio. You can’t get much more sincere than that.
“Dog’s Holy Life” and “Peace Thru War (Thru Peace and War)” are some of the more hardcore paced tracks that bring a nice shift from the usual swamp creature crawls. Speaking of vile crawls, “Zero Nowhere” is probably EHG’s most unforgettable song. The sub harmonics are unreal and that slow cooking riff can really ignite the fire in your belly, like a shot of whiskey. “Methamphetamine” has the same effect, especially just as the vocals kick in over the distortion ridden blues licks. It seems kind of weird for music that is so infused with genuine hatred for nearly everything to be so enjoyable to listen to.
I’m sure it’s the catharsis of it; I can’t imagine a better way to release such raw energy. This album is a pinnacle in the history of Sludge and extreme music in general. It completely captures human negativity and frustration with all the power this art form can allow. It can be hard to choose a favorite between EHG’s albums but I would put this at number one. Anyone interested in this style needs “Dopesick”.