Various For the Sick: A Tribute to Eyehategod

If tribute albums are recorded to honour a band’s passing, then For the Sick must be simply an homage to New Orleans’ sludge-metal pioneers, because Eyehategod aren’t dead yet. The 35 bands that contributed to this two-CD set, however, perform the valiant deed of covering nearly every EHG song in their catalogue, especially from the first three records. Like most albums of this ilk, the tunes range from top-shelf renderings (Watch Them Die, Kylesa, Halo of Locusts, Byzantine) to fair-to-middling (Mouth of the Architect, Kill the Client, Cable, Alabama Thunderpussy, Brutal Truth) to sloppy seconds (Ramesses, the Mighty Nimbus, Unearthly Trance, Rue, the Esoteric) and a few stabs that are so unconventional that they’re just "out there” (Minsk, Bloody Panda and the Unholy 3’s "Take as Needed For Pain”). Diamonds in the muck are "Man Is Too Ignorant to Exist” by Japan’s Dot(.), sounding as if they turned their amps to negative levels, "Southern Discomfort” by Detroit’s Left in Ruin, with clean vocal harmonies and wicked mouth harp, and "Torn Between Suicide and Breakfast” by Nashville’s the Unholy 3 (aka Hank Williams III), which is almost a Johnny Cash rip-off with acoustic guitars and warble-y voice. With some careful editing, For the Sick could be the most gut-wrenchingly enjoyable single disc tribute ever, though even the dreadful bands excel in serving time in the middle of nowhere. (Emetic)