I found Godsnake accidentally in some Telegram channel, dedicated heavy music: someone had posted their video from the debut album Poison Thorn with acrimonious words “Metallica should find such prodigy like this and take them to the musical slavery” (such a lovely jackal tendency to kick an old wolf). The music seemed to me quite good so I asked for a promo.
I searched for some information a little bit but still I can’t say when Godsnake was formed. What I know for sure is that the band is from Hamburg, Germany and their first EP Hellbound Ride was released in 2014. Next years the band performs in clubs, festivals, goes to a tour with Motorjesus and in 2020 releases a debut longplay. To date, Godsnake is: Torger (vocals), Malt (guitar), Stevo (guitar), Walt (bass) and Sidney (drums).
The band describes their music as “straight, hard, riff orientated modern Heavy Metal, which is not lacking of catchiness and hookiness”. At the same time some people stubbornly say that the band plays Melodic Thrash Metal. In a whole, Thrash, Heavy and Groove elements indeed present in Godsnake‘s music, even in a modern perception. But on the other hand it sees that the band has some aspiration to write hits, which means some, let’s say it gently, radio-friendly songwriting approach. Nevertheless, first thing’s first.
What can’t be denied is the band’s skill of writing and merging riffs. Moreover, even some simple or a little bit trivial riffs delivered in a good way, so the question “where have I heard it already?” appears only after third or fourth listening. “We Disagree” starts indeed starts with some oldschool Thrash Metal riff (in a way) and such riffs can be also heard in “Darkness” and “Blood Brotherhood”. Dynamic “Hellbound Ride” goes more to Chrome Division‘s Heavy Rock-‘n’-roll (with some reservations, of course); “Sound Of The Broken” and the ending “This Is The End” (Captain Obvious have his biggest smile here) have strong Groove Metal elements Sidney’s drumming adds the heaviness to the music also: his no-frills playing is solid. And guitarist Stevo and Malt in their turn joy the listeners with some interesting solo: for example, in “Blood Brotherhood” the solo alternates melody and some Tom Morello’s techniques.
Comparison to Metallica in the beginning of this review was mentioned for a reason: Torger’s voice reminds young James Hetfield and I must to say that he use this similarity widely, copying some things including James’ famous “Yeah!” However, I should commend, Torger knows to sing low and aggressively as well. But it’s not only about the voice, when we talk about Metallica similarity: the main “You Gotta Pay” riff sounds like a, let’s say, variation on “Enter Sandman” and fast riff in already mentioned here “Blood Brotherhood” reminds “Damage Inc.”
Nevertheless, the main problem of Poison Thorn is not the similarity but Godsnake‘s craving for radio-friendly choruses. They are melodic, some of them are pretty catchy and there’s nothing bad if we take only the chorus itself. But if we listen to the whole song, it’s the chorus that usually reduces the tempo and whittles the aggression almost entirely. In other words, what started like Trivium or Hellyeah, turns in the middle into Godsmack or Skillet in the best of cases and that happens almost in every song.
Anyway, let’s not forget that Poison Thorn is a debut album, where musicians wanted to give the fans everything they got. And I must admit, there are more good and interesting moments here than bad ones, so I hope it will be a little more certainty with the genre of the music and less such “musical seesaws”, especially with the potential that Godsnake definitely have.
Poison Thorn was released on October, 23 via Massacre Records.
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