• Take as Needed for Pain

Legendary New Orleans metal act Eyehategod is in town this weekend, playing back-to-back Cobra Lounge shows this Saturday and Sunday. The band formed in 1988, creating a doomy, molasses-slow sludge metal racket that was as heavy and intense as it was terrifying. Highly publicized drug addictions and criminal records made the band’s loathsome and misanthropic moods and lyrics seem all the more raw and real—a friend of mine who caught them at Fireside Bowl in the mid-90’s said that he was legitimately scared of the band. In his words, they made “Neurosis look like the Promise Ring.” It seems like over the past few years, more attention has been paid to Eyehategod’s several side projects than to the band itself—guitarist Jimmy Bower plays drums in the Phil Anselmo-fronted Down and vocalist Mike IX Williams plays in the experimental industrial act Corrections House with Chicago boys Bruce Lamont and Sanford Parker—and while said offshoots are totally great and brutal in their own right, nothing comes close to the pure sonic punishment that is the full-on core lineup of Eyehategod. The band was dealt a tragic blow back in August when drummer Joey LaCaze died of respiratory failure just two days after his 42nd birthday. They bounced back quickly, though, playing in Austin last weekend with special guest drummer Dale Crover (of a little band called the Melvins), and today they officially announced a new full-time basher, Aaron Hill, another NOLA metal vet. In anticipation of this weekend’s shows, today’s 12 O’Clock Track is “Blank” off of Eyehategod’s 1993 LP Take as Needed for Pain, my favorite release of theirs. The album’s opener kind of sets up the vibe for what’s to come: volume, filth, lead-heavy sludge metal.

On Saturday, Eyehategod will be playing with Plague Bringer, Sweet Cobra, the Repos, and Witchbanger. On Sunday, they’re going to be with Black Tusk, Inter Arma, and Bloodyminded.