Review Summary: The only thing that makes reality is death.
If it's not obvious by just about every picture and song title on this thing, this shi
t is fu
cking miserable. I don't know how else to put it, but I was driving through the rural parts of Sanford, Maine today during golden hour with this album on, and I could not stop laughing at just how sharp the contrast was between the weather and the tones coming through my distorted car-stereo. What's contained within here is not for the faint of heart; almost zero-melody, screeching feedback, undecipherable lyrics, and songs that trudge along at a crusty, junkie pace. I'd hesitate to characterize an album with a title like In the Name of Suffering
as enjoyable, since it's likely that the background to what we're hearing thrown at us is among the most unpleasant experiences one can experience in the deep south of the US of A. Did I mention it's miserable?
Eyehategod are not a very welcoming bunch. I vividly remember being scared the first time I heard their 3rd album, Dopesick
, which starts with vocalist, Mike IX Williams, breaking a bottle and screaming. Comparatively, Suffering
is an almost infantile Eyehategod. The riffs are barely even riffs on a lot of this album, more so just power chords that change with the bass drum and snare. In a weird way, the guitars on this album almost feel like rhythmic instruments instead of melodic instruments. The most you're gonna get is some squealing feedback and then a chromatic sludgefest; this is not a bad thing. Mike's vocals are at their most tortured here, and this is before he really mastered the vomit-sounding screams on their future releases. Here, he resembles a dilapidated hardcore vocalist who got no sleep all week prior to recording. Speaking of hardcore, this album is by far the band's most hardcore-oriented release. Songs such as "Depress", "Run It Into the Ground", and "Hit a Girl", all have really tasteful hardcore parts, which slowly exited the band's sound as they progressed.
There is a reason this is perhaps the least-referenced Eyehategod release, and that's simply because they had yet to master the groove that they're known for in songs like "Blank" or "Revelation/Revolution". Generally, this album runs a sharp line between their ultra-slow stuff, and the hardcore parts that they rarely visit anymore. Parts of the album can just feel like breakdowns that run for too long. On top of this, the production can be described as muddy at best, and primitive at worst. The album feels very thin, with the guitars not having any high-end at all, to the point that the riffs are incomprehensible; it's hard to remember which song is which, to give you an idea.
It's a good thing this is their shortest release, and this actually makes it one of my more frequently played metal albums. It may be their least-good album, but it still hits a certain spot. Primitive Eyehategod is still better than a lot of bands ever become, and quite frankly, the hardcore parts are what keep me coming back to this. There's something appealing to me about them being an infantile My War
-styled band, and it's a nice little dose of misery after work or something. Long live these miserable fu