Ask any member of the American Sludge/Doom quintet EYEHATEGOD what their favorite album from the band’s discography is, and it’s guaranteed they’ll roll out 1993’s “Take as Needed for Pain” as a definite highlight for everyone involved. Then make your way to the local metal store, and ask anyone who knows anything about Doom what their five favorite albums are, and this gem will be somewhere in the list; also guaranteed.
In some ways, Doom is very much the musical equivalent of Batman, with countless artists stepping in to give their own interpretations of the subject matter; each interpretation differing according to the artist’s own style and personality. But of course, it would be highly ignorant of me to simply call “Take as Needed for Pain” Doom metal, or even Sludge Doom, because EYEHATEGOD have put such a spin on the conventional sound that it’s only satisfactory to say that it sounds like nothing else before it.
Within the first five seconds of the opening track “Bland,” you’re treated to a yummy earful of feedback followed by a rolling, bass-heavy riff, giving the impression that the band is trapped under rubble. Then Mike Williams’ truly venomous vocals emerge, and the initial alcohol soaked filthiness extends to more of an Irish orgy in a paddy field.
The band seems to switch between two major song structures throughout the album. The first and most common is that traditional EYEHATEGOD slow’n’sludgy sound, which emanates from such tracks as “Shop Lift” and “White Nigger.” Then we have the faster, more Hardcore-oriented sound on tracks like “Sister Fucker, Pt. 1” and “Take as Needed for Pain.”
Suffice to say, these transitions certainly do keep the album engaging, as opposed to many other slower bands that seem to fail in keeping the listener’s attention after a few songs; the constant battling between bluesy, slime-drenched riffage and rhythmic galloping makes each track just as fresh as the last.
If you are in any way interested in bands like CORROSION OF CONFORMITY or MELVINS, you’ve probably heard “Take as Needed for Pain” already. If not, then you are in for a treat. It’s EYEHATEGOD’s masterwork and it shouldn’t be missed for the world. Truly indispensable.
(Online February 9, 2011)