Goatsnake - LIVE: The Forum, London 2011

Supporting Godflesh
London - June 16
Capacity 2,000

Since getting back together to headline the 2010 Roadburn Festival in Tilburg Goatsnake have limited their touring activity to selected shows and festival appearances without so far committing to any kind of lengthy tour or new material.

But finally, after so many years, one of those selected appearances brought them to London as special guests to industrial pioneers Godflesh, with D.R.I. opening. Such was the length of the wait for Goatsnake to return, and the cult status that has developed in their absence, a sizeable proportion of the crowd for the show were clearly there just for them.

And those faithful were rewarded as Goatsnake were somewhat unexpectedly allowed a full hour on stage to play more or less the same set Roadburn attendees were treated to last year. This set comprised entirely cuts from their two full-length albums Flower of Disease, recently re-released in 2010, and their self-titled debut, with nothing from either of their EPs Dog Days or Trampled Under Hoof.

First and foremost Goatsnake were unutterably, crushingly heavy. With just the standard guitar-bass-drums arrangement they comfortably out-heavied countless other posturing bands with no effort at all for one of the best doom metal performances of the year so far. Lively and slightly eccentric, suited front-man Pete Stahl poured emotion into the songs as he wandered around the stage, leaving Greg Anderson and Guy Pinhas to stand towards the back in front of their respective amps and grind out the slow riffs in the relative shadows.

Spells in front of the stage standing on the security barriers, and mixing with the crowd later in the set further fueled the energy Stahl was exchanging with the fans and when they finally delivered Easy Greasy one song from the end the sweat was dripping from his head as the audience responded with their biggest cheer of the hour.

This appearance should have gone some way to proving that Goatsnake now have a following far greater than when they petered out and that there is definitely capacity for a new album and a proper tour.

“ unutterably, crushingly heavy ”

Setlist: Flower of Disease / Innocent / IV / The Orphan / Slippin' The Stealth / El Coyote / Lord of Los Feliz / Trower / Easy Greasy / The Dealer

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Doom Metal, Gigs,

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