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Goatsnake | Flower of Disease | review | doom | stoner | rock | Lollipop

Goatsnake

Flower of Disease (Man's Ruin)
by Brian Varney

It seems this is a pretty highly-anticipated release. I wasn't particularly excited about it, but then I wasn't much of a fan of the first full-length or the Dog Days EP. However, as I sit and play Flower of Disease for the third consecutive time, I wonder what in the hell my problem was...

Though this falls into the "doom" sub-genre with a bunch of bands I don't like, it stands above all of those bands because it avoids the pitfalls and art-fueled dead-ends which damn so many of them to art-wank-plod-hell. Yeah, this is heavy music played slowly, but (and here's the important thing) it still functions as rock music. Flower of Disease swings like a good rock record should, it just does it very slowly. Throw in some tasty harp and the singer's pipes (yeah, he can actually sing) and a song like "Easy Greasy" becomes a sick, heavy-as-fuck "fire coming down the mountain" blues rocker, something I've been waiting for more of since I played Monster Magnet's "Third Alternative" a few thousand times.

No matter how sludgy this may get (large parts of the record are, to paraphrase a Rolling Stone review of an early Black Sabbath record, "like watching a brontosaurus trapped in a tar pit"), it remains musical sludge, sludge whose main goal in life is to bring the rock. And if you can find fault with that, I guess you're smarter than I am.
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