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She Lived for Others... - 90%

merlot_brougham, September 30th, 2004

If you missed their debut album, Migration, let me sum it up for you. Three tracks, no song titles, 39 minutes. It is quite simply the soundtrack to the slow motion apocalypse. They are a lot like Pelican in the sprawling, constantly evolving nature of their songs with a healthy dose of Neurosis and Godflesh at their most vitriolic and hateful. And heavier than the mass of 1000 suns. The riffs don’t so much flow as knock the wind out of you, hang there in the air while they are waiting for you to catch your breath, and right when you realize what happened they aim right for the gut again. Brutal, ungodly, calculating heaviness like you’ve never heard before, I can promise that.

Their newest release is a 12” with a new song and a cover of Eyehategod’s “White Nigger” on one side and an absolutely beautiful etching by Stephen O’Malley on the other. I got the scoop on the cover art from a band member at Emissions from the Monolith. Apparently, one of the gentlemen in the picture is another band member’s great grandfather (the guy on the right I think). The picture was taken while he and the others in the picture were in medical school at the turn of the century. They are dissecting a body for anatomy study and the table the corpse lies on has painted or carved on it “She lived for others but died for us.” Since this is a tintype the picture is rendered in an eerie black and silver that makes the scene itself even more eerie. The artwork is printed on thick paper and it and the album come in a high quality plastic sleeve. This is an ideal argument for why vinyl will always be better; if this picture were scaled down at all it would lose the impact completely, as well as the etching.

The new track is untitled to continue the tradition created on Migration. It is just as heavy, although maybe just a bit slower than the debut. The unintelligible screaming is also present. Unlike most unintelligible screaming I find that it is an asset to the music. It accents the music quite well. And although he could be screaming about happy little flowers I can’t tell. The Eyehategod cover is just what you would expect. Guest vocalist Kevin Sharp (Venomous Concept, Brutal Truth) handles Mike Williams’ lyrics quite capably. The tempo is slightly slower and if you take away a bit of the groove of the song and replace it with more heaviness you’ll get the basic idea. In all honesty, the more I listen to this cover the more I like it better than the original. These are especially bold words from a guy who has listened to EHG for many years and has every release they have ever done.

In summary, the artwork, combined with the music, make this one of the best releases I have heard this year. The artwork is absolutely astounding and the music is nothing to sneeze about either. If you like any of the bands I listed before or stuff like Unearthly Trance pick up this and the debut.