Eyehategod @ Daniel Street Club

MILTON, CT—After Black Sabbath no band has been more important to the development of doom and sludge metal than New Orleans-based misanthropes, Eyehategod. Having endured several hiatuses over the years due to activity from the member’s other bands and vocalist Mike Williams’ legendary struggles with heroin addiction and alcoholism, Eyehategod only started touring again in 2008, the year of their 20th anniversary.

Having been unable to make the band’s Brooklyn appearance over the weekend, coupled with the fear that Williams’ body might not withstand much more substance abuse (he is supposedly clean now, more on that later), I had no problem driving a couple hours up I-95 to suburban Milton, Connecticut, to watch them slaughter the Daniel Street Club on a Monday night.

We arrived early enough to see the first band, a decent local hardcore act called Iron Fist. Next was a local black metal trio called Ipsissimus who were celebrating recently signing a record deal. Their music was good though their stage presence was lackluster.

Touring with Eyehategod were Howl and Nachtmystium. Howl is an excellent doom band from Rhode Island that put on a really fun show. Nachtmystium is a black metal band from Illinois. I have seen them once before and been unimpressed, tonight however, they seemed more comfortable in the personal atmosphere of the club an as a result, put on an exciting show.

Eyehategod took the stage, the five men each appearing reasonably intoxicated. No one more so than Williams, who had a bottle of vodka and a bottle of orange juice in tow. Before the band played a note of their first song, Williams jokingly (at least I think so) collapsed onto a monitor. Once he was back on his feet and able to continue they opened up with “Jack Ass In The Will Of God” from 2000’s Confederacy Of Ruined Lives. After the song Williams uttered, “Monday is a great day to commit suicide,” a phrase that met with further cheers from the raucous 200 or so in attendance. Other than that, most of the tracks that garnered the greatest reaction were those from 1996’s Dopesick, with the conspicuous absence of that record’s first track “My Name Is God (I Hate You)” which the band did not play in spite of the crowd’s pleas.

By far the most shocking episode of the evening was when Williams asked, “Can anyone here get me some heroin?” Though he seems like the type to poke fun at his addiction, it did not stop a crowd member from setting a hypodermic needle at his feet moments later. Thankfully Williams did not accept the gift.

All things considered, this was by far one of the most memorable shows I have ever been to. The venue was a nicely laid out and a good environment, plus you could leave the club and re-enter whenever you wanted. Each band had something to offer and Eyehategod provided a spectacle that surpassed all expectations.