EYEHATEGOD || A History of Nomadic Behavior
Sobriety has changed Michael IX Williams – that and the liver transplant that saved his life. And it all has altered the outlook and sound of Eyehategod on “A History of Nomadic Behavior,” the seventh studio full-length from the Crescent City pioneers, if not founders, of nihilistic sludge metal.
“Behavior” is the band's first recording since the self-titled noise-orgy of 2014, which was yet another study in unrelenting chaos and doom. Nearly three years after its release, lead singer Williams got the 11th-hour organ transplant that spared him the same demise as the person who donated it.
That new lease on life came with rules and restrictions, like permanent sobriety. His attitude and lifestyle aren't the only thing that have taken a scrubbing. The band's music also bears a few signs of measured grooming, though likely not enough to dispirit loyal fans looking for another onslaught of hellfire swamp-blues. Songs feel more composed or crafted, yet manage to provide a steady diet of derangement,
Lyrically, “Behavior” is brimming with nonstop apocalyptic and anarchic tirades – battle cries of the marginalized and disenfranchised. “Everything, Everyday” detonates the hair-trigger anger of being stuck in a dead-end life: “Find your way to work, find your way to school / Every day, every day.” Then: “Kill your boss, kill your boss, kill your boss.”
Sobriety also provides fresh perspective. In an interview with Decibel, Williams said he had no regrets about his past but appreciates his newfound clarity. “I get out of bed and I'm not nauseous, nothing's aching. I feel great.”
On “Behavior,” he and the band sound grateful they're still together to mingle with the demons and discharge their feelings and observations in fits of molten distemper. You could say, “Life is a battle: good vs. evil and doom; might as well scream about it while you can.”