Release Date: Jun 2, 2015
Record label: Southern Lord Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Stoner Metal, Sludge Metal
Greg Anderson must know a thing or two about meditation. As one-half of the pioneering drone metal outfit Sunn O))), the guitarist certainly has an understanding of how patience and discipline can take us higher. That band’s long, trance-inducing epics lull us with painterly calm before cleansing us with noise. Now Anderson has revived his pre-Sunn O))) group, the stoner doom riff monster that is Goatsnake.
The expectations were impossibly high for Goatsnake's first full-length album in 15 years. Their Roadburn reunion gig in 2010 whet appetites, but it took another half decade for schedules, ambition, and creative drives to gel for Black Age Blues, produced by Nick Raskulinecz. The lineup is vocalist Pete Stahl, guitarist Greg Anderson, and drummer Greg Rogers, with new bassist Scott Renner from Sourvein joining the fold.
With Greg Anderson so tied up with destroying the eardrums of audiences around the world with drone behemoths Sunn O))) it seems as if there’s just not been time enough in the day for him to explore the joy of the riff. It’s been 15 years since Goatsnake last released an album (although the Trampled Under Hoof EP emerged in 2004), and, apart from an occasional live appearance in recent years, the band has been on ice. Black Age Blues thankfully sees the end of the hiatus, and it is clearly apparent that Anderson has been stockpiling masses of killer riffs over the years, waiting for the right time and place to unleash them.
“At the end of the day/As the light begins to fade… Y’know, tomorrow’s not promised to anyone. ” A Southern-drenched muck launched from guitarist Greg Anderson’s fret board travels at a hiker’s stride beneath singer Pete Stahl, the song Another River To Cross introducing the first piece of recorded anything from sludge metal pioneers Goatsnake in about eleven years. With acoustic help from Slint’s David Pajo, the influence of folk, blues and gospel that courses through Goatsnake’s new album, Black Age Blues, is quietly addressed in the album’s opening act before Anderson plugs in, his six-string strangulation an immediate gift.
During their decade-plus long disappearance, the supergroup status of the doom band Goatsnake grew. When the quartet released their last album, 2000’s Flower of Disease, the new project of guitarist Greg Anderson, an amplifier-worship duo he called Sunn O))), had issued its debut LP only months earlier. Scream—the childhood hardcore Virginia crew and talent crucible of Goatsnake singer Pete Stahl—had yet to reunite.
Cult Californian stoner squad rise again. Though they never officially disbanded, Goatsnake have been dormant as a creative entity for 15 years, reuniting only for sporadic festival appearances.. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads.
BB King is dead, a bad moon is rising, and we've all got the Black Age Blues. Cult supergroup Goatsnake return for the first time in over a decade: bigger, brighter, groovier and heavier than before. When guitarist Greg Anderson moved to Los Angeles from Seattle in the late 90s, he transplanted his roaring Sunn O))) amp engine into The Obsessed's rhythm section chassis, and put Pete Stahl at the wheel.
The next time you’re tripping on acid and riding a stolen Harley through the Mojave Desert, you should listen to Goatsnake. Formed in 1996, the L.A. doom lords broke up in 2001 and briefly reunited in ’04 to release the Trampled Under Hoof EP. Throughout 2010 and ’11, Goatsnake played a few festivals, but Black Age Blues marks the official end of the band’s 11-year hiatus.