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Goatsnake / Burning Witch Split CD Reviews

 

Aversion Online

First up is Goatsnake with some downtuned as fuck tunes. This shit is so heavy you feel it your bowels. Excellent production with a mix as clear as glass, so much so that you can totally hear the strings grating and struggling to stay on the guitars! They should have been required to print instructions on just how they can tune so low without losing all string tension! The opener is a long, slow instrumental - total doom, followed by a St. Vitus cover. The vocals on the cover song are truly impressive, complete rock singing very reminiscent of The Cult! Goatsnake continue to churn out overdriven, bass throttled, southern influenced metal. Not bad at all.

 

Kerrang! by Dom Lawson

If you're not yet familiar with the awesome groove monster that is Goatsnake then this is probably not the best place to start. Eschewing the more accessible flavours of the "I" debut, Goatsnake's contributions to this EP are both gargantuan slabs of drawn out, sludgy doom. Impossibly heavy and curiously hypnotic in a claustrophobic, oppressive kind of way, both 'Raw Curtains' and 'Burial at Sea' (originally by St Vitus) show a nastier, more intense side to the usual cheery rock scene.

 

Roadburn by Drew

Goatsnake are the authors of one of 1999's heaviest records, "I". Burning Witch have taken low and slow to places that other bands have only dream of with their magnum opus "Crippled Lucifer" and the devastating "Towers". Put these two bands together on one cd, and you have the possibility of a black hole forming in your disc player. Too much mass to be supported by the space/time continuum.

First up, Goatsnake with "Raw Curtains". Greg Anderson's signature Sunn guitar sound is dripping all over this song, which sees the 'snake expanding their slow riff rock with more atmospheric elements and heavier drone. Vocalist Pete Stahl adds ethereal (almost gregorian) chanted vocals which are mixed so they sound like an instrument, and bassist Guy Pinhas (since replaced by ex-Burning Witch member G. Stuart Dahlquist) and drummer Greg Rogers chug along in slow motion lock-step. The outro sounds very much like Extra-Capsular Extraction-era Earth. Song two is "Burial At Sea", a mammoth cover of a St. Vitus song. Stahl has never sounded better than he does on this track, and the band plays with every ounce of love and respect that Vitus commands. This begs to be played at an enomous volume. After hearing these new songs, I can not wait to hear the Goatsnake full-length, since they seem destined for greatness.

 

Ultimate Metal by Chris Barnes

It would be hard to find a bigger fan of Goatsnake than I. Their Sabbath meets Bad Company approach to Rock n' Roll has always been tops in my book.  Accolades aside, this is a band who happens to have a unique talent in vocalist Pete Stahl and to waste one out of two songs on a mediocre instrumental track like "Raw Curtains" is a little disappointing to a Goathead like me.  

The second 'Snake song is a rendition of the St. Vitus chestnut, "Burial at Sea", and trust me folks, the 'Snake pull out all the stops on this one, making a classic even better than the lo-fi charm of the original.  None of the St. Vitus "Slower is Better" work ethic is sacrificed here, and from the opening bass line you know that you are about to be hit with a sludge-riff that is befitting of the Davey Jones' Locker lyrical material.

The real treat is the up-tempo breakdown in the middle, and Pete lets 'er rip with those pipes before settling into back into the sludge.  Drummer Greg Rodgers must be given props here, because he does a phenomenal job of building the backbone of this song.