Sunday, February 12, 2012
Orange Goblin A Eulogy For The Damned
Orange Goblin A Eulogy for the Damned
Review By: Chris Davison
Finally, we see the release of the new Orange Goblin album. It's really no exaggeration to say that Orange Goblin are one of my favourite bands, with a long discography of quality albums, each with a unique flavour and take on their inspirations. Starting out as a desperately mediocre doom band named Our Haunted Kingdom, their first album as Orange Goblin, Frequencies From Planet Ten, was a strange, psychedelic take on doom metal. Time Travelling Blues injected some biker-rock into the mix, and by the time The Big Black hit the shops, Orange Goblin were a heady mix of filthy Motörhead, greasy Black Sabbath, and Lynyrd Skynyrd- esque southern rock.
Coup De Grace saw a slight dip in quality with a more garage rock vibe, while Thieving From The House of God witnessed the return of doom rock. It was on 2007's triumphant Healing Through Fire - a fictionalised historical take on the Great Fire of London, that they finally had the confidence to be comfortable in their own shoes, and penned some stone cold classic tunes.
A Eulogy For The Damned is an amazing album, filled as it is with tracks not only equalling the best of their career, but topping them. “Red Tide Rising” erupts, with Ben Ward sounding like Lemmy, only with more of a swagger. The bruising romp of “Stand For Something” romps out of the speakers next, with a real anthemic vibe bringing to mind the self-assured songwriting of Saxon, only channelled through a stoner filter. “Acid Trial” has an almost progressive feel to it, with intricate spiralling guitar passages that bring to mind post-black metal in places, before settling back into a more familiar stomp. “The Filthy And The Few”, starting with the obligatory pro-hippie/ anti-police soundbite has a free-wheeling gallop to it that brings to mind expansive highways, desert sun and roaring motorcycles. “Save Me From Myself” has a languid southern rock vibe, with a somewhat more than usual introspective character from Orange Goblin. “The Fog” has a sound of crawling menace, as befits the subject title, while “Return To Mars” brings back the slightly crazy feel of their first couple of albums. “Death Of Aquarius” has a bad-ass mid-tempo thrash feel to it, while “Bishop's Wolf” brings the bad-time boogie of ZZ Top to its illogical, heavier-than-thou conclusion. The title track has the most accomplished arrangement of all, at parts being almost Led Zeppelin like, with Rush-ian progressive elements before giving way to the most hand-clapping, foot-stomping chorus of the whole album.
You can't really fault Orange Goblin at any level here – the music is better than they've produced before, with the same warm, clear production that their last album held. Motörhead aren't going to last forever, neither are Black Sabbath. Having seen a lack lustre performance from Lemmy and co. on the last couple of their gigs I went to, I can only compare them to the always triumphant performances of Orange Goblin. This may well be their Ace Of Spades, and this should be their time to ascend to the top of the rock n' roll tree in their native blighty. The Goblin is back, stronger than ever.