Review by Simon Edwards
It’s be a wild ride for Orange Goblin of late, since the last release way back in 2007. They’ve enjoyed a stellar headline tour of the United States followed by the “big 5” (words of vocalist, Ben Ward) headline show on the Jager stage of Sonisphere festival. Continuing onto 2012, the band have booked a 10 date tour of UK & Ireland in April to promote their first album in 4 years. So do good things come to those who wait?
The album instantly kicks off with mountains of groove. Ride Tide Rising is clearly the perfect way to start the album and will be a big hit with the fans. Currently streaming from their website, it’s the first taste of the album the band want you to experience and it tastes good! This is what you want and expect from Goblin and has you set up for the rest of the album.
Stand for Something has more of a strong chorus vibe that would is going to be enhanced by a big crowd singing along. Acid Trial then changes it up by laying down some darker sounding riffs. The Black Sabbath influence starts to be felt on this one, which is never a sour point. OG are not shy of their influences and they certainly have carved out a unique take on the stoner/doom genre.
The Filthy & The Few continues the classic Orange Gobin formula but is a little forgettable. Taking it down a step, Save Me From Myself is the closest thing you’ll get to an anthem. It would slot in nicely as a mid-set track or as the last track of side A (for those who will get this on vinyl). It’s great to hear something like this from OG and should feature in every live set from now on.
For a second it sounds like it could be a cover of Sabbath’s self titled track when The Fog kicks in. However the iconic storm opens into something quiet different and even slightly progy. Return to Mars is a short number for this album at just 151 seconds (seeing as nearly half of the album is 6 minutes or more!) but guitarist Joe Hoare somehow fits in some monster riffs into a very short space. Moving back to the heavier tone just like Acid Trial, the eighth track of the record Death of Aquarius is another moody song. The darker side of this album does feel like a reflection of the more groovy tunes, which helps keep the flow of the album fresh.
Straight back into Goblin’s the A game, The Bishop’s Wolf sets the stoner standard. Addition of keys somehow brings the feel of old school horror flicks, that are always predominant when Ben Ward is involved! The album comes to a conclusion on the title track, A Eulogy For The Damned. The longest track featured, clocking in at over 7 minutes it’s certainly more of a journey. The word epic is widely over used these days, so this goes has to go down as a heroic way to end.
As the last song starts to fade out, contemplation of A Eulogy for the Damned is a positive one. Clearly the opening track Red Tide Rising stands out from the crowd, but over all this is a very solid album. The movement between the dark and heavy sounding tunes to the upbeat groove riffs adds dynamic and texture to a genre that can easily become monotonous. This has definitely been a record worth waiting for, so get your beers in and listen to Orange Goblin!