Monday, 19 May 2014

CD Review: Confederacy Of Ruined Lives, by Eyehategod (2000)

The fourth studio album from New Orleans' Eyehategod is a masterclass in sludge metal. The appeal of Confederacy Of Ruined Lives starts and ends with tolerance for grand chords built on massive globs of distortion. Eyehategod helped to invent the sub-genre, and Confederacy Of Ruined Lives highlights both the strengths and limitations of the sound.

The album is stacked with slow, powerful, deliberate compositions, muscular in intent and more concerned with fortifying the basement than embellishing the facade. The guitars of Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton lay down a massive wall of noise that is never far from uncontrolled voltage channeled through rusted pipes. Danny Nick on the bass and Joe LaCaze's drums support by fortifying an ever deeper hole, while Mike Williams' vocals sound faraway and encased in concrete.

It's all very dense, and it's also repetitive and somewhat monotonal. There is only so much that can be done with a slow rumbling sound of doom, and while Eyehategod do it well, they eventually crash against impenetrable obstructions, where a lack of nimbleness prevents any one track from distinguishing itself enough to truly soar.  The final two cuts come closest. Both Last Year (She Wanted A Doll House) and Corruption Scheme evoke early Sabbath in their pure dedication to monstrous riffs, while loosening the sludge shackles ever so slightly to allow drops of fresh water to sprinkle over the derelict growing fields.

In contrast, with three minutes of nothing but screeching noise at the front end, .001% is classified as a serious candidate for worst track ever included on a professional heavy metal album.

Confederacy Of Ruined Lives plays by its own rules of aural destruction. The scope to innovate may be limited, but the ruins are often impressive.


Jimmy Bower – Guitar
Mike Williams – Vocals
Joe LaCaze – Drums
Danny Nick – Bass
Brian Patton – Guitar

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Revelation/Revolution - 8
2. Blood Money - 8
3. Jack Ass In The Will Of God - 8
4. Self Medication Blues - 8
5. The Concussion Machine Process - 7
6. Inferior And Full Of Anxiety - 7
7. .001% - 3
8. 99 Miles Of Bad Road - 7
9. Last Year (She Wanted A Doll House) - 9
10. Corruption Scheme - 9

Average: 7.40

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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