20 November 2014

Orange Goblin - Back From The Abyss

Sometimes it takes me an awful long time to review a band; not that I hide from reviews that often, it is just that there is so many album in the world and only one Eddie.  Sometime earlier this year (might have even been last December), I was asked by a good friend to check out a band called Orange Goblin.  Now Orange Goblin are a band that I have heard of over the years, even when they first started off as Our Haunted Kingdom when they released a split 7" with Electric Wizard.  Over the years since forming in 1995, Orange Goblin have been making a name for themselves with many tours and they have released eight albums (with this one being the latest) and five EP's/split singles.  Now from what I remember I have only heard a few of their songs over the year and have enjoyed what I have hear, it is good and honest metal with a stoner leaning; but it was not enough for me to go out and purchase an album, or see them at shows when they have clashed with other bands I have wanted to see more.  Nothing against the band, but it was that they were the choices I was making at the time.  However, I have just found out that they have released a new album and with the end of year poll looming, it seemed like a good time to actually keep my promise to my friend and actually check out what this band are currently doing.

Starting with "Sabbath Hex" you have a stoner riff that just seems to fall with ease from the band, the pace is very good and the song bounces along with a positive energy that is great to see in a band that are nineteen years into their career.  It sounds as if the fire is still in the belly after all this time, something that you sometimes do not see in other bands who have only been around for a few years.  This opening is a great reminder of what can be made by four people in a room hammering out a room with a producer who knows how to handle a Sabbath-esque riff.  Second track "Ubermensch" is a song that reminders of Clutch in many ways (another band it took me a while to listen to), there is a groove to the riff that is revealed to the world on this song and whilst "Sabbath Hex" was a good opener "Ubermensch" is a brilliant song; that riff is the sort of riff that can get stuck in your head for days on end.  Once again it owes a lot of its existence to Black Sabbath and some other bands, but what a fucking song.  "The Devil's Whip" is a Motorhead tune in all but name, it is fast stomping metal and that is fine by me.  It is fast, in your face and it does not give a damn about the world or the hell basket it is currently riding.  You find yourself starting to want to head bang to it as it keeps going, the energy of the song is infectious and should probably come with a health warning.  "Demon Blues" starts slower, but no less heavy; what you have here is the band that can take Catherdral's place in the metal community that needs to be filled.  It is at a slower pace and once again you have a groove, sludge element that lynches the song to a riff that towers over the song. 

“Heavy Lies The Crown” brings a new element to the tune and my experience of Orange Goblin (albeit not a surprising one), with a blues heavy intro the six minute epic.  This is easily one of the songs of the album; it gives the listen a lot of time to invest in the song and its old school metal/heavy rock/blues hybrid creation is truly a joy to behold in this day and age when people like Taylor Swift are seen as rebels.  I love the line about Odin’s ravens, cheesy but quality lyrics which some people would mock; but here at ATTIWLTMOWOS we love that sort of thing.  Following on is the even longer “Into The Arms Of Morpheus”, this continues the blues/heavy rock section of the album.  It is a much slower, sleazier number in places; the fact it did the obvious with the faster paced bridge section for the solo was a tad predictable, but it does not take away from the fact this is a really good tune with a killer guitar solo.  “Mythical Knives” starts off with a sway of acoustic guitar and gentle build from the drums, bass and a little solo before the main riff kicks in for the band to follow on.  There is a story telling element to this band which I had not appreciated in the tunes I had heard over the years before listening to this album, it is best shown in this number for me.  It might be old fashion, but it is also well played and sometimes it is good to get lost in this sort of number.  Following on is the wonderfully silly titled “Bloodzilla”, after a few slower numbers it is back to the Motorhead sound.  It is the sort of song that if it was a tin of paint, it would do what it says on the tin – it is here to rock, shake your booty and get the hell out of dodge.  It is very straight forward and over in the blink of an eye.

“The Abyss” starts off with an ominous sound that has the right playing in the back ground at a distance, before the rest of the band join in again.  Once again, the band have crafted a very good song and it is played well; the solos, the riffs, bass thumping and drumming are all done beautifully.  But it does not quiet work for me, sometimes I get this when a song I should like is playing and for some reason which I do not know, it just does not do much for me.  But I can see why this will be a popular number and it is not the band’s fault, just me being picky I think.  “Titian” is the shortest song of the album at two minutes, but for those two minutes you are treated to an instrumental solo of epic proportions.  This leads onto the penultimate track, the bass introduced “Blood Of Them”; this is old school heavy rock being give a new twist.  I have read a lot of people comparing these guys to Clutch and on this number I can see the comparison – it has that feeling of four guys battling the world and coming up with their own sound.  The lyrics are very interesting again, referencing the desert, mother earth and other images that give a sense of taking a more natural/magical look at the world, all they need is the blood of their enemies (note to self, do not piss them off).  Ending the album is “The Shadow Of Innsmouth” which brings this album to a doom-leaded conclusion, invoking the old school Sabbath sound once again for this sub three minute instrumental/solo to bring the album to a close.

So how has the album shaped up?  Well, let’s get the negatives out of the way first – in some places I was reminded a little of other bands a bit too much, it is something that I always find in rock/metal and it is not the bands fault; there is only so many chords, notes and styles to go around.  Also, I think maybe one instrumental near the end would have been better than two; but once again this is me just looking for faults and is not really a problem.  Overall I found the album to be very good, full of energy and a sense that the band could take anyone on in either the live environment or when making a record.  It might not be to my tastes as whom I am now, but I would also say that they are doing music that I would like to hear again in the future.  If you are looking for a British based heavy rock/metal band, you really should check these guys out. 

7.5 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out

Top track – Heavy Lies The Crown

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Orange Goblin website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Alternatively, you can listen to the album on Deezer here

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