Thursday, May 7, 2015

Goatsnake: "Black Age Blues"

Goatsnake is back for their first full length in 15 years. Featuring Greg Anderson from Sunn O ))) and members of the Obsessed you know it's going to be classic doom drenched  blues rock. The first song is heavier than expected, not that these guys were ever slouches. The guitar sound is thick as all hell. "Elevated Man" has a very Sabbath chug. Peter Stahl's vocals have a soulful croon that this go around is similar to Ian Astbury. Tonally the harmonica doesn't work with the low end wavelengths these guys are sailing and sounds like it was over dubbed as an after thought.

"Coffee & Whiskey" reminds me of the Badlands album when cock rock collided with grunge. There is a dirtier fuzz to this one and it rips up out of a tempo that boogies much faster than anything doomish. Leaving no question these guys are good at what they do the song writing on the title track doesn't break any new ground. They do however hit a sweet spot on "House of the Moon" the gospel tinged backing vocals help with this. The signer's lead vocals sound like he is just improvising for the most part through out the album. "Jimi's Gone" sounds like a heavy version of a Cult song mixed with Coverdale era Whitesnake.  The gospel backing vocals return to save the day when the song slows down into a sludge ridden pace.

I like the vocal melody on "Graves" , though I can't help but think the vocals are way too forward in the might and might have benefitted if  this was mixed more like a Kyuss record with the vocals pushed back some. the sheer fact that they not capable of passing through.  The lurching mammoth wall of Sabbath crunch crunches powerfully into "Grandpa Jones". The blues lays heavy on the backing vocals that are really making this album.There is even a lower vocal that sounds like Mark Lanegan. The "gonna wash my soul to the ground" chant in "Killing Blues" is the song's strongest moment. This album sounds great and the gospel vibe they inject into the genre is original, the song writing is a little haphazard, but this still should be rounded up to an 8.5.

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