Photo Gallery: Eyehategod and Church Of Misery – The Fleece Bristol

It has not been an easy time for Church of Misery with a constant rotation of members, but tonight they return to kick ass. Notably, with a majority of the original members from their humble beginnings in 1995.  Meanwhile Louisiana’s Eyehategod have had their own turbulent times but if recent appearances are anything to go by tonight should be set to its own tumultuous affair in and to every sense.  

The sold-out Fleece (even on a Tuesday) in Bristol is packed for a groove laden night of stoner doom and sludge with a congregation come to worship at the altar of the serial killer obsessed, 70’s flare and Black Sabbath devotees Church of Misery then tear it all down to the dulcet sounds of miserable nihilists Eyehategod.   As the unmistakable bass line hooks El Padrino kicks in the excited crowd erupt into a frenzy of moshing and grooving to the rumbling bass line wielded as low as ever by founder Tatsu Mikami.

The serial killer obsessed Black Sabbath Worshipper continue their ceremony and Kazuhiro Asaeda   entices the faithful with wild gestures of trippy dance moves and unhinged vocals. The set is rife with the ubiquitous Wah and of  course, the holy, fuzzy riffs which are set off by  the thunderous drums, picking up pace to a galloping rhythm and continuing in this fashion until Closing with new rock ‘n’ roll track off last year’s release, Born Under A Mad Sign the aptly named “Freeway Madness Boogie”  keeps the party grooving, and despite all their problems, it is clear they have still got it. 

A dense fog of intense anticipation hangs in the air for the Southern sludge legends Eyehategod, and if the crowd are not already chaotic enough then hold your horses, because things are about to take a far wider turn. Sure enough, as soon as first notes of Jimmy Bowers fuzzy guitar start off the barrage of punishingly heavy, churning bluesy and moody riffs and cymbal crashes in ‘Take as Needed for Pain’ – the crowd erupts once more with a renewed, rabid, vigour. Mike Williams rips the vocals right out of his throat with oppressive howls and snarls, sending out endearing heart hand gestures, then flipping off the crowd with a shy, cheeky grin behind his wild mop of hair.  

There is a stream of crowd surfers, and one cheeky chap decides to fix their shoelace on stage. The fuzzy drawn out “New Orleans is a Dying Whore” alongside ‘Sister Fucker” are highlights and, judging by their reaction – crowd favourites but the whole set is tight as fuck and when it seems they are approaching the closing track they just keep churning out more pain. A suitably misery drenched trudge through the infamous sludgy quagmire they are known for. Overall, the whole is a wild and boisterous affair that is bound to result in a few bruises and a certain bang over – but is certainly a cacophonous treat for masochistic ears 

Words and images – Abi Coulson // Darktones Photography

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