Released: 2016, Bonten Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
If for some reason you thought that one version of Eyehategod wasn’t enough, please allow me to introduce Sithter, a Japanese alternative that offers much of the same end result.
CHAOTIC FIEND is the follow up to 2014’s EVIL FUCKER (how awesome is that title?), and sounds like a hybrid of the NOLA sludge fellowship and Church of Misery’s Sabbath doom worship. Most of CHAOTIC FIEND follows a similar mantra of opiate induced fuzz as their heroes, and does so in a way that reeks more of homage than plagiarism - though it is a fine line.
Vocally, there’s a lot of Mike IX all over these IX tracks. Seriously, somebody owes somebody a royalty check, and Mike could use the help right now. Musically, there’s a lot of typical sludge doom; more melodic and concise than anything recent from EHG, but not too far removed either. “I Drink Your Blood” is an ugly, dirty retro outing, similar to the film that it’s named after, while “Smoke Demon” revels in the filthy psychedelia of the heroin logged ‘70s, and “Punisher #13” is the kind of beautifully gnarly grind that only Dan Lilker could appreciate.
Collectively, CHAOTIC FIEND makes for an enjoyable slab of ugly, groove infused doom that really only fills a void until some of the real stuff comes back along. But while Mike IX’s surviving a liver transplant and Phil Anselmo is busy mea culping for every freaking thing, Sithter might be the best you can get for a while. Take as needed for pain.