London, England’s heavy rock wizard Orange Goblin returns after a painful absence with A Eulogy for the Damned. The band’s sonic trajectory over the past fifteen years has seen it shift from a purveyor of hallucinogenic fuzz to the greasy, groovy stoner warrior it is today. On its latest release, Orange Goblin digs even further into the morass of dirty blues and unaffected shit-kicker metal.
Guitarist Joe Hoare throws out the grubby riffs on opener “Red Tide Rising”. Meanwhile, Ben Ward’s gruff and grit-laden vocals, Chris Turner’s pounding percussion and Martyn Millard’s rampant bass all serve to remind us that Orange Goblin is back, loud and God damn proud. While the tunes aren’t exactly pushing any musical boundaries—not that fans would ever expect that—“The Fog”, “The Filthy & the Few” and “Save Me from Myself” all roll along atop a vintage bedrock slathered in an impressively thick production. With break-out solos and churning instrumental passages galore, A Eulogy for the Damned sounds exactly like Corrosion of Conformity’s Southern swagger running headfirst into Motorhead’s biting workmanlike metal. Although you could never accuse Orange Goblin of stealing anyone else’s thunder—this band is a whirlwind unto itself.
Five years on from the smoking Healing Through Fire, any anxieties that Orange Goblin was struggling to retain its enthusiasm for straightforward heaving metal are trampled underfoot by its riff-filled squalid delights. A Eulogy for the Damned might not be innovative and it sure isn’t pretty, but you’d go a long way to find a better example of unembellished, unfalteringly grimy metal.