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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Orange Goblin

A Eulogy For The Damned

Review by Mike Korn

Orange Goblin have been a dependable force in the British heavy metal scene for many years now, churning out quality efforts on a very reliable basis. How to describe these guys? They've been labeled as part of the stoner/doom metal scene. They've been called punk influenced metal and even the bastard offspring of Black Sabbath and Motorhead. None of this really does them justice, so why don't we just call them straight up heavy metal and be done with it?

A Eulogy For The Damned performs the tricky task of being faithful to every one of Orange Goblin's past records while still managing to plow into new territories. The record is their most professionally and cleanly produced and may lose some points with sludge purists because of this. But the power of their riffs is unchanged and the clarity brings out aspects of the band that weren't apparent before, especially in the rugged singing of frontman Ben Ward.

Bottom line: A Eulogy For The Damned should please every long time Goblin fan and if you've never ridden with these guys before, now is the time to hop on board and head to hell.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Red Tide Rising

If you imagined the perfect chugging cross between Motorhead and Black Sabbath, it would be something like the riffing that leads off this track. But soon more complexity arises and we have a hard driving, aggressive metal tune with some juicy stoner rock touches. The song is about Cthulhu rising from the sea and bringing armies of the dead with him. All the Great Old One would need to raise the dead would be this song.

Stand For Something
This is a standard mid-tempo, groovy banger with some 70s rock touches. It's a nice song, but in the context of this album, the most forgettable on show. The band is capable of better and heavier.
Acid Trial
A nervous sounding cascade of guitar arpeggios kicks off this unusual song, but soon a nice fat Sabbath-style riff arises. This is one song where the clearer guitar sound gives the band a much different but still heavy sound. There's a real awesome Celtic sounding riff in the middle that sounds a little Thin Lizzy-ish. These guys are not afraid to tip their hats to their influences.
The Filthy and the Few
This one kicks off with the legendary biker speech from "The Wild Angels" (I think). This is a killer "hit the road" song that rocks like hell from the get go and it's my favorite cut on the album. There's a trace of Motorhead to this one, but the Goblin makes it their own. If you can keep driving the speed limit on a summer day while listening to this one, you're better than me.
Save Me from Myself
Here the band gets down and dirty with a real greasy, bluesy Southern rock feel that wouldn't be out of place on a Molly Hatchet album. Singer Ben Ward really shows how far he's come over the years, as he uses a more restrained, melodic approach here. The chorus is totally infectious and there's even some laid back harmony vocals. Even though this tune is bluesy and melodic, it still packs a heavy metal punch.
The Fog
A tribute to the classic John Carpenter flick, this is Orange Goblin at their doomiest...a lumbering epic with the dour overtones of Witchfinder General, Electric Wizard and of course, Black Sabbath. The riffing is awesome and occasionally picks up to a quicker pace. By this point in the album, you realize that though the band is not flashy, they are incredibly tight and work together like a machine. This is one of the album's best.
Return To Mars
The 70s rock influences are very strong in this punchy rocker. There's even a touch of funk to this reminiscent of some of Cathedral's groovier works and Ben Ward even sounds a little like Lee Dorrian. Cowbell lovers should definitely get the fever after hearing this cut, which actually seems to be a little too short for its own good.
Death of Aquarius
This kicks off with a very mean, grinding riff, which morphs into something more bouncy but still on the ominous side. This is another doomy, very "metal" song in the classic Orange Goblin tradition. There's a real cool change in riff about half way through that is brilliantly pulled off, accompanied by a catchy chant.
Bishop's Wolf
The pace really picks up for this fast, aggressive rocker, which features a lot of screaming guitar. This is the kind of song where, even though you know it's not original, you just have to headbang along with it. One really neat addition is the touch of Hammond organ that adds some atmosphere to the song and gives it a retro feel.
A Eulogy To The Damned
This tune might surprise older fans of the band with its laid-back, psychedelic feel. Ward's low-key vocals really cause the song to resemble Monster Magnet and Dave Wyndorf in spots. But mixed with those laid back sections is more hard-hitting Orange Goblin stoner rock. I can only describe the great repeating riff that ends the track as being hard and mellow at the same time, with a druggy, spaced out touch and some smoking guitar soloing. This is a very different kind of tune for Orange Goblin and a very successful one, I think.
 
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