Goatsnake 1

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The influence of Black Sabbath is impossible to miss on Goatsnake 1, a blistering heavy metal project that found Obsessed members Greg Rogers (drums) and Guy Pinhas (bass) forming a quartet with singer Peter Stahl (who had been with Wool & Scream) and guitarist Greg Anderson. Ozzy Osbourne's twisted vocals have obviously had a major impact on Stahl, and Anderson's brutal guitar riffs owe a strong debt to Tony Iommi -- you can tell that Anderson is quite familiar with Sabbath classics like "Iron Man" and "War Pigs." But as derivative as this CD is, it would be a mistake to think of the Los Angeles band as an outright clone of Sabbath. The production techniques show an awareness of '90s alternative metal, and Goatsnake incorporates some interesting atmospherics that don't sound like something you'd find on a '70s Sabbath classic. Goatsnake 1 falls short of essential, but it's an album that headbangers will find enjoyable nonetheless.

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