It’s June 12th it’s already hot as hell in Sofia. Tonight we’re about to see and experience EYEHATEGOD’s swampy, dirty sludge in Bulgaria for the very first time thanks to Rawk’n’Roll. It’s already a bit past 8 pm and there’s a small crowd gathering in the venue. Judging by the noise already coming, the last announced opening act is already on stage. I enter to find one man drone noise army krāllār in the right corner of the stage facing a full stack of Orange cabs and already deep in his distorted wall of guitar noise. The latter’s sporadically pierced by speech samples and pre-recorded noisescapes.
There are some tech issues, but they actually manage to contribute to the overall effect of this trashy and raw set. At some point Shentov (the main behind krāllār and a former КПД-0 member) leans his guitar on the cab and sits on the stage, fully emerged in his own sound. Guitar feedback is looped like a torturing synth line, ‘There is no hope’, a male voice repeats on uneven intervals and decreasing volume. People ask me ‘Do we clap now?’, I answer ‘No, you wait.’ In a bit he gets up, takes the guitar again and after a final noise outburst it’s all fading out. ‘There is no hope’ the voice says for the last time and yeah, then we clap.
After a short break UPYR come on stage. I’ve seen them tons of times but I think that’s one of my favorite live shows they have done. Not too much of their usual theatrical performance, just a bit chit-chat between the songs, but still perfect and mesmerising atmosphere. All five musicians are trapped in their own shared world. Tonight UPYR are playing two tracks from their demo and the two new pieces they’ve just recorded. They sound huge, especially that final track, which goes from extreme, I mean… really, extreme slow passages to primal black metal chaos. This band is heavy with their music coming right from the core of the Earth or should I put the depths of hell here?
Next on the bill are Them Frequencies, a chaotic sludge quartet from Sofia, which I doubt we have covered on DIYconspiracy before so maybe we gotta do it since they’ve just put out their second LP ‘Rise Then Fall’. You’ll make no mistake if you just click play below and listen to it since this is exactly what we get live.
Them Frequencies are flawless on stage and play like beasts. Not sure if the Bulgarian scene will ever fully get their insane mix of sludge and mathcore though, but I doubt that even matters since there’s a whole world to reach. For a song the band’s joined by Georgi from Expectations, he’s all over the place and the band’s boiling on stage, with energy that’s escalating and rising until the very last tone of the madness their music really is.
What happened next is something I still can’t really comprehend. EYEHATEGOD are basically one meter away from me. The New Orleans sludge kings are playing Sofia for a bit over 130 people, in a small, not too packed venue and they really are in front of our very fucking eyes. Mike IX Williams with a glass of water and fucking Jimmy Bower are right there, man. On the other guitar corner there’s Brian Patton juggling with two beer bottles, opening one with the other, smoking a cig in the same time, even though that’s banned here. But hey, that’s EYEHATEGOD they can do whatever the fuck they want. They’re all joking and talking shit before they start and between the songs, but when they play we realize why they are here. And that’s because nobody has their riffs, nobody has Mike’s destroyed voice and twisted lyrics. Because nobody does sludge the way they do – dirty and from the bottoms of their hearts.
EYEHATEGOD is a band about everything I hate in the world – drug abuse, violence, alcohol, hatred, addiction, incest, death, war – you name it. You can see all this shit etched deep in these guys’ faces and dripping from their music, like the blackest ever bile. In the same time they are there – on the stage, smiling and enjoying their mission – to bring that madness to us, to spill the venom that made their music what it is and leave it in our systems forever. And it feels good. They play a huge and long set – something between pleasure and torture, just like it should be. Then it’s over and they are gone, smiling again.
We will be in the swamps for a bit longer, I guess.
We all hate god.