Goatsnake/Flower Of Disease

Flower of DiseaseGoatsnake is an American doom metal band from Los Angeles, California.

Goatsnake was formed in 1996 after the disbanding of The Obsessed. After The Obsessed’s disbanding, the rhythm section consisting of Guy Pinhas (former bassist of the Dutch stonerband Beaver) on bass and Greg Rogers on drums began jamming with guitarist Greg Anderson (Thorr’s Hammer, Burning Witch, Sunn O)))). They soon found a vocalist in Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?, Desert Sessions). Goatsnake recorded and released two 7″ EPs in 1998 and were featured on several metal compilations. They released their debut full-length, 1, in 1999 on Man’s Ruin Records/Rise Above Records.

Goatsnake toured Europe in support of their debut album and played with bands such as Unida, Fatso Jetson, and Electric Wizard. They returned in 2000 for a U.K. tour with Orange Goblin and Sunn O))), another Anderson project.[1]

In 2000 Pinhas left Goatsnake to join Acid King and was replaced by Stuart Dahlquist of Burning Witch. Goatsnake released a split with Burning Witch on Hydra Head Records that same year. They also released the Dog Days EP on Anderson’s Southern Lord Records that same year. Later that year they released their second album, Flower of Disease on Man’s Ruin Records/Rise Above Records.

The band split up in 2001 and Anderson continued with Sunn O))) and played in Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine.

In 2004 the band reformed with Anderson and Stahl being joined by bassist Scott Reeder (The Obsessed, Kyuss) and drummer JR (Cave In). They recorded three songs which were released on the Trampled Under Hoof EP along with two previously vinyl-only tracks. This same year also saw the release of the compilation 1 + Dog Days by Southern Lord Records, which combines the first album and the Dog Days EP as well as a track from the Man of Light EP.

Goatsnake will reunite with the original line up, headlining the Roadburn Festival, Thursday April 15th 2010. To coincide with the reunion, a re-issue of Flower of Disease is coming out around the same time. [Wikipedia]

Flower Of Disease—-This literally creeps up on you with an all-encompassing darkness and dirge….this is deeper and sludgier than Sabbath ever dreamed of being. The bass line in the song is like a massive hum that steers the direction of everything else happening. The vocal enters the fray, with a slight resemblance to Danzig and mutated Osbourne, this is great Doom/Stoner Metal that screams out for repeated plays.

Prayer For A Dying—-This is layered with darkness and intensity. When the vocal enters, you shake your head at how damn accessible this is. And you wonder why this is the first you are hearing of this band and why millions of others are not clamouring for this release. The voice is so damn accessible…at times, I swear this guy reminds me of early Wieland of Stone Temple Pilots. This is exquisite…this will be on my rotation for quite some time. I love the deep and dark fringes of the band while still maintaining relevance and accessibility. This is great!

Easy Greasy—-Beginning with a really great drum track and some electronics, the low hum of the deep sound of the band plays at the fringes before coming into the open. The sound of the band is surprisingly accessible and I really wonder how to best categorize this sound. This is definite Gloom Metal, but the potential of this band is huge…if they stay together and record more, I will be the first in line to grab up the next release. A new favorite band.

El Coyote—-Wow!!! This is brilliant….the song has a nice ‘elegant’ touch of blues that is accented with a remarkable harmonica set in from of plodding drums and huge bass lines. This is just remarkable. This is generally not my kind of music, but set to this tempo and the lazy but intense style of it all you can not help but fall in love with the whole damn thing. The vocal comes in and the song becomes this huge 70’s style blues rock romp through dark streets and dank bars. This is magnificent!!!

The Dealer—-With a tremendous deep hum that begins and runs through the entire song, this deep bass dirge and sllloooowww drum delivery is reminiscent of the best Sabbath ever. The vocal enters with a nice swirl of atmosphere that makes you want to dig out your most morose goth records and have a very black evening. This is incredible…I could not ask for anything else from this band…it all comes across as remarkably perfect.

A Truckload Of Mamma’s Muffins—-With just as much dirge, but a bit more present lead line, the song loses non of the intensity of earlier tracks despite that. This has huge blues overtones that again make me think of late 80’s/early 90’s Danzig. This is evil, dark and a bit of fun at the same time. I look for this band to continue and meet with some success if they finesse that which they do so well. This is excellent.

Live To Die—-Again at the onset, there is some slight electronic sound, followed by some ball busting harmonica and a drum track that sets the song off to a much faster pace than what you would have expected at this point. This is pretty 70’s influenced Blues Rock that sounds remarkable fresh and new. These are children of 70’s pot heads and the result is an amazing spawn…this is fun, raucous and delivered with practise and dedication. Remarkable!!!

The River—-This is more funeral than the ceremony for Alistair Crowley!!! The deep bass moves at the most pleasant excruciating slow pace possible…the vocal again makes me think of some of the very early Alternative Rock singers…specifically Weiland. This is beautiful, mysterious, maddening and glorious. This re-issue is a solid triumph. Check this one out guys!!!

****1/2 out of 5


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