Goatsnake - Flower Of Disease
Southern Lord
Stoner Doom
8 songs (44:09)
Release year: 2010
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Goat

One of those many, many excellent Doom projects that generally goes unnoticed by the Metalhead mainstream, it’s fair to also call Goatsnake a bit of a supergroup. Although vocalist Pete Stahl was and is a bit of an unknown, guitarist Greg Anderson will be familiar to many from his dronelord persona in Sunn O))), not to mention being a vital part of Thorr’s Hammer, Ascend, Burning Witch, and the underrated Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine. Meanwhile, rhythm section Greg Rogers and G Stuart Dahlquist, drums and bass respectively, were part of The Obsessed, the latter sharing time in Burning Witch and Sunn O))) (briefly) with Anderson. And despite the disparities, the band together are excellent, Rogers and Dahlquist a powerful backing to Anderson’s Iommi-esque churning and Stahl’s rather brilliant vocals.

Kudos to Southern Lord for getting this one out of the archive, as it’s worth another outing. The songwriting is pretty great all around, Stahl indulging in moments of Ozzyriffic harmonica that fit in well with the blissful guitar tone, especially on El Coyote – yet even without, moments like the already brilliant slow-motion stomp of the title track are excellent. It’s impossible not to be grooved by the catchy chorus to Prayer For A Dying, and the swirling downtuned riffs of Easy Greasy are awesome. I tend not to listen to lots of Stoner bands, since a lot are rather samey, but Goatsnake are up there with the best, even regulating the album’s length so that those drowsy riffs don’t have too soporific an effect on you. It also helps that the songs are, again, great, a personal favourite being the snail-paced The Dealer, although the lightly Southern-baked A Truckload Of Mamma’s Muffins comes close. Live To Die is a nice three-minute rocker, whilst the closing eight-minuter The River slows the pace to near-drone speed, a slow ballad that gets intense towards the end with wailing female vocals.

Flower Of Disease was Goatsnake’s second full-length, and although the band split up a few years later, they got back together last year for select live dates with the original line-up. They’re still playing live now, so hopefully we’ll see some new material at some point. In the meantime, Flower Of Disease will please any Stoner fan in search of some good metal.

Killing Songs :
Flower Of Disease, Prayer For A Dying, The Dealer, The River
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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