Goatsnake - Trampled Under Hoof - 2004 Southern Lord Records reviewed by: EC
1.Portraits Of Pain 2.Black Cat Bone 3.Juniors Jam 4.Burial At Sea 5.Hot Rod
This is my first venture into the doomy void that is Goatsnake. "Trampled Under Hoof" is the newest EP from these grinding doom bastards, with this release being the first new material from the band since the group's 2000 record "Flower Of Disease".
This new EP is certainly gold to these ears, with five very solid tracks making up the record. Goatsnake bring to mind the gloomy bliss of legendary doomers like Saint Vitus, Cathedral, and The Obsessed. Vocalist Pete Stahl hints at the melodic wail of Solitude Aeturnus frontman Robert Lowe, in fact this EP's opener, "Portraits Of Pain", recalls the mournful soul of Solitude Aeturnus. From the opening track, Goatsnake show me that they are more than just your average California stoner rock.
With "Portraits Of Pain", Goatsnake display a brilliant ode to the "non-groovy" aspect of doom metal. With so many bands concentrating on the bluesy, stoner rock riff, Goatsnake take a moment to sit back and indulge in some good old fashioned slow doom, with the opening track crossing Solitude Aeturnus musically with the bitter chill of Candlemass. The second track shifts gears completely, stirring the soul with an uptempo, footstomper called "Black Cat Bone", which is absolutely crushing in its delivery, calling to arms the mid-era of Cathedral. "Juniors Jam" is a nine-minute epic that involves much of the same gloomy vibe of the opener, mixed with animal sounds and a harmonica. Very odd, but intriguing nonetheless. This release features two well done cover tunes, a cover of Saint Vitus' "Burial At Sea" and "Hot Rod", from Black Oak Arkansas.
As I mentioned earlier, this is my first sampling of Goatsnake, and based on what I have heard here, I plan on picking up their previous works. "Trampled Under Hoof" is a must have for fans of Solitude Aeturnus, The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Cathedral, and even newer Clutch.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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