Goatsnake

Flower of Disease

Southern Lord Records 2010

Southern Lord have finally managed to rerelease this L.A. doom outfit's 2000 sophomore album originally unveiled on Man's Ruin.  And I am so glad they did.  The title-track gets things underway with backwards masked cymbals and juicy stoner slabs of guitar and the track stands defiantly on the middleground between Sabbath and Zepplin (especiall the bluesy harmonica).  Pete Stahl's dry and frail vocals fit the ominous mood of the track.  Like a revving motorcycle engine, the riffs on Prayer for a Dying rumble and chug with a steady precision, and rock sensibilities clutch (or is it Clutch) onto the songwriting for the track like it is pumping oil and blood.  The goofy titled Easy Greasy is a laidback rock trip into fields of psychedelic drunkenness for the first half but a megalithic stomp develops over the course of the second half.  The Dealer is a super slow-motion crusher with dragging riffs and vocals that almost don't fit the song.  Picking up the tempo slightly and adding a dose of whimsy is the Sabbathy gloom of A Truckload of Mamma's Muffins.  The whole track has a live jam sort of feeling to it.  This also takes the cake for silliest lyrics, most assuredly conjured during bouts of chemical induced mind-expansion.  The album closes on a dour note, with monstrously heavy riffage, like an eternal stream flowing slowly out to sea, on the aptly titled The River.  Flower of Disease is a journey on familiar and comforting doom territory that is a clenched fist of confidence that is wielded with stoner lethargy.  Nothing new, but still powerful all the same and certainly worth the attention this album is now receiving as a rerelease.