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Rising from the ashes of stoner/doom legends Obsessed during the small genre's most fertile post-Kyuss period, Goatsnake helped define Southern California's low-and-slow metal scene during the late '90s. With releases on Hydrahead Records, Frank Kozik's famed Man's Ruin, and Southern Lord Records (co-owned by guitarist Greg Anderson) Goatsnake could be considered a quintessential stoner/doom band of their time. The group is only separated by two degrees with the inimitable Saint Vitus; Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder has performed with the band; and Southern Lord (while perhaps contributing to the end of Goatsnake by demanding the attention of bandleader Anderson) came into its own just about the time that stoner rock's California flagship label, Man's Ruin, went belly up, thereby maintaining an obscure West Coast rock tradition. Facts like these suggest that while Goatsnake might not have been the best Sabbath hounds to materialize after the circus (led by Kyuss) essentially left town, they were among the heartiest, and the most legitimate heirs to the California stoner throne. They were true believers.
In 1996, when Obsessed disbanded for good, the group's rhythm section (bassist Guy Pinhas and drummer Greg Rogers) began looking for a guitarist to jam with when a mutual friend suggested Greg Anderson (who had recently departed Seattle noise rockers Engine Kid). Anderson moved south to L.A., and the three musicians hit it off. After just a few tunes were completed, vocalist and desert-session regular Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?) was recruited, and the first Goatsnake incarnation was complete. In 1998, two 7" singles, IV and Man of Light, were released and the band also appeared on several metal compilations. Word spread in the stoner underground that a new heavyweight contender was emerging out of L.A. Despite all the attention, it wasn't until 1999 that the group's full-length debut, Goatsnake, Vol. I, appeared on Cathedral vocalist Lee Dorian's Rise Above record label. A highly anticipated album (especially in metal-obsessed Europe), Vol. I was moderately successful by stoner/doom standards. Anderson proved himself to be one of the genre's better six-string sludge-slingers, his bottom-heavy riffs offering a nice balance to Stahl's dynamic vocal workouts on Vol. I.
Goatsnake toured Europe in support of their debut, appearing with the likes of Unida, Fatso Jetson, and Euro doom rockers Electric Wizard. Things went well overseas, in 2000, and Anderson and company returned for a tour of the U.K. with Orange Goblin and Sunn 0))), an experimental dark ambient project featuring Anderson and Southern Lord/Burning Witch partner Stephen O'Malley. That year, Pinhas left Goatsnake and began working with Acid King. The bassist was replaced by Stuart Dahlquist, also of Burning Witch. Adding to their affiliation with Burning Witch, Goatsnake released a split CD with the band on Hydrahead Records. Also in 2000, Southern Lord put out the Dog Days EP. Neither of these releases captured the immediacy of Vol. I, and Goatsnake did little to support the recordings live, suggesting that the band was beginning to lose their drive.
In October, however, Goatsnake put any questions about their heart to rest by putting out their best (and last) full-length recording, Flower of Disease. More detailed, heavier, and yet more musical than anything they had done previously, this swan song is a fitting exclamation point at the end of Goatsnake's stoner/doom musical statement. Although the group's demise wasn't formally announced for almost a year, Dahlquist had left in late 2000 and there was little effort made in 2001 to either replace him or support Flower of Disease through touring. After the split was formalized, Anderson continued with Sunn 0))), Rampton and Thorr's Hammer.
Goatsnake is an American doom metal band from Los Angeles, California.
Goatsnake was formed in 1996 after the disbanding of The Obsessed. After The Obsessed's disbanding, the rhythm section consisting of Guy Pinhas (former bassist of the Dutch stonerband Beaver) on bass and Greg Rogers on drums began jamming with guitarist Greg Anderson (Thorr's Hammer, Burning Witch, Sunn O)))). They soon found a vocalist in Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?, Desert Sessions). Goatsnake recorded and released two 7" EPs in 1998 and were featured on several metal compilations. They released their debut full-length, , in 1999 on Man's Ruin Records/Rise Above Records.
Goatsnake toured Europe in support of their debut album and played with bands such as Unida, Fatso Jetson, and Electric Wizard. They returned in 2000 for a U.K. tour with Orange Goblin and Sunn O))), another Anderson project.
In 2000 Pinhas left Goatsnake to join Acid King and was replaced by Stuart Dahlquist of Burning Witch. Goatsnake released a split with Burning Witch on Hydra Head Records that same year. They also released the Dog Days EP on Anderson's Southern Lord Records that same year. Later that year they released their second album, Flower of Disease on Man's Ruin Records/Rise Above Records.
The band split up in 2001 and Anderson continued with Sunn O))) and played in Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine.
In 2004 the band reformed with Anderson and Stahl being joined by bassist Scott Reeder (The Obsessed, Kyuss) and drummer JR (Cave In). They recorded three songs which were released on the Trampled Under Hoof EP along with two previously vinyl-only tracks. This same year also saw the release of the compilation 1 + Dog Days by Southern Lord Records, which combines the first album and the Dog Days EP as well as a track from the Man of Light EP.
Goatsnake reunited with the original line up, headlining the Roadburn Festival, Thursday April 15, 2010. To coincide with the reunion, a re-issue of Flower of Disease came out around the same time.