Eyehategod, Ringworm, Enabler, Shitkill
Brooklyn, New York
June 7, 2014
This past weekend, the mega-festival Governors Ball hit hard in NYC. People from all over the world were ferrying up to Randall’s Island to catch acts like Outkast, The Strokes, Interpol, and Skrillex. For many tri-state area citizens and Madonna, it was an exciting weekend to be alive.
Well what about the metal-loving civilians in the area? Except for Deafheaven and Interpol (who are apparently as “scary” as Deafheaven), Gov. Ball’s lineup wasn’t dour enough to attract many metalheads. Fortunately, there was an alternative: Eyehategod at Club Europa. The monumental sludge-punk quintet ruled the Brooklyn venue on Saturday, June 7, with the help of Ringworm, Enabler, and Shitkill.
An hour before anyone took the stage, my friend Carrigan and I lounged on a decrepit couch as grimy, shady Eyehategod-fans gradually filled the venue. There were Viking-looking men, dominatrix-attired women, and enough tattoos to make Rick Genest go, “Damn!”
Carrigan and I found the sets of thrash metallers Shitkill and crust punks Enabler to both be very entertaining. Shitkill was loaded with vigor and Enabler’s sound was balls-deep vicious.
Metalcore ensemble Ringworm was the final opener. Lead vocalist James Bulloch’s sobriquet, “Human Furnace,” was 100% compatible: he stomped with absolute fury across the stage, howling his guts out and sinisterly planting his foot upon the monitors. The wrath and rage of Ringworm’s latest LP Hammer Of The Witch was present onstage.
12:15 a.m. saw Eyehategod initiate their mighty set full of thundering, meaty riffs and screeching amplifier feedback. The band rocked through parent-friendly classics like “White Nigger” and “Sister Fucker.” Tracks performed from their eponymous 2014 album - the group’s first full-length in 14 years - were definitely more uptempo and hardcore than their earlier catalogue. “It’s ‘cause they kicked heroin,” said Carrigan.
After seeing them live, I have a new, burning passion for Eyehategod. The doom metal instrumentations of Saint Vitus and the grit of Black Flag are clearly manifest in the band’s material. Eyehategod’s wonderful combination of these classic bands’ styles has enabled them to be one of the most prevalent sludge acts of the past 20 years.
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