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The misanthropic sludge metal outfit Eyehategod was formed in New Orleans in 1988, and became an important part of a Southern sludgecore scene that included bands like Crowbar and Down, all of whom were heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, Black Flag, and the Melvins. Eyehategod was the brainchild of guitarist Jimmy Bower and drummer Joe LaCaze; the two recruited vocalist Michael D. Williams, lead guitarist Brian Patton, and bassist Steve Dale, and debuted in 1992 with the album In the Name of Suffering. 1993's Take As Needed for Pain was recorded with new bassist Mark Schultz, after which the band went on an unofficial hiatus. Bower joined Crowbar (as a drummer) and also played in the Southern metal supergroup Down, Patton played in the more death metal-ish Soilent Green, and Williams worked as a writer for Metal Maniacs magazine. In 1996, Eyehategod reconvened (with Vince LeBlanc on bass) for Dopesick; however, the band fell largely silent for some time afterward. Bower returned to Crowbar for their 1998 album, Odd Fellows Rest, but left soon after to return to Eyehategod, who recorded several 7" singles on small independent labels. These were eventually collected on 2000's Southern Discomfort, along with several live tracks and outtakes from the Dopesick sessions. Southern Discomfort also served to prime the pump for another Eyehategod full-length; Confederacy of Ruined Lives was released later that year, with Daniel Nick filling the revolving-door bass slot.