Last week, NOLA sludge icons Eyehategod made their triumphant return to Brooklyn’s hallowed hall of metallic majesty, Saint Vitus Bar. Returning for the first time since January of 2018, on May 4th (with the same lineup also playing the night after) they headlined a four-band offering featuring a smattering of very different bands that all channeled tremendous live energy. Read on for a live report plus some photos.

Opening things up was Escuela Grind from Massachusetts; the quartet’s raucous brand of power-violence was there to wake up the still arriving crowd and they did so with aplomb. Playing several tracks off of their Indoctrination LP as well as some death metal styled offerings from a yet to be released EP, the band gave the crowd the jolt of energy necessary after a hump day hike to Greenpoint.

Up next were longstanding sludge collective Come To Grief. Formed by two members of the influential sludge band Grief, the group is set to drop their own debut When The World Dies May 29th via Translation Loss Records. Their grim take on substantially slow metal meets hardcore and blues follows a similar trajectory to one of their fellow touring bands, however it places a greater emphasis on moving at a glacial pace. The songs played here were a mix of old and new Grief tracks plus material only recorded in their most recent form. Opening with the lead track off of the new album, “Our End Begins,” their set flattened the now-energized crowd into a vat of ooze, moving only to acknowledge each riff being struck by their bearded axe duo. Their slow set continued a trend of start-and-stop madness for the entire show’s 4 band bill. Props to Terry Savastano as well, since he might well be one of the politest musicians I have ever spent time around.

Richmond riffers Bat followed, featuring members of Municipal Waste, namely Ryan Waste on bass and vocals and guitarist Chris Poulos. Sounding as if the band fell directly out of the initial speed metal wave from the 1980s, thrashing and high velocity shenanigans were the name of the game. Bat's last album Wings of Chains dropped back in 2016, with a yet-to-be-named sophomore follow up coming soon. Heshers of varying ages got down to tunes like “Rule of the Beast,” “Code Rude,” and some new tracks like the police-brutality-focused “Bastardized Force”. Peeling off track after track made for an excellent palate cleaner for the final act.

That final act, of course, was Eyehategod with the inimitable Mike IX Williams at the front, headlining their first show at Saint Vitus in over 4 years. Williams started the set by having a back-and-forth with a barking fan who he noted would get “really fucking annoying, really fast,” and the back-and-forth banter between Williams and fans was a theme throughout their set. Touring after their History of Nomadic Behavior album in 2021, the band didn’t play anything from the album, instead playing a smattering of everything from their classic era of Take As Needed For Pain and Dopesick to the single New Orleans Is The New Vietnam, leaving very few stones unturned throughout their set. Highlights included “30$ Bag”, “Medicine Noose”, “Agitation! Propaganda!” and “Dixie Whiskey”. It was a punishing show, aurally and physically, with nary a concertgoer leaving unscathed. This was a sold-out showing intended to blast a hole right in the middle of your pathetic week.

EHG @ Saint Vitus Bar 5-4-2022

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