Orange Goblin

A Eulogy for the Damned

Written by: EW on 07/05/2012 15:47:04

Orange Goblin have been a regular act in the London rock/metal scene over the past decade plus, frequently appearing on doom/stoner bills or to be found at the bar when other big names are in town, and having witnessed a good number of their shows and being well-versed in their previous records I can testify for their ability to turn any occasion raucous however pleasant it may seem at first. From previous records "Healing Through Fire" and "Thieving From the House of God" back to their early stoner days OG have always shown the band as a pint-raising sweaty barroom act, but for the first time on "A Eulogy for the Damned" we see the band clean things up a bit which I'm afraid to say is having a negative effect on my perception of the album, however undoubtedly good most of the tracks here are.

For as solid as tracks like "Red Tide Rising" and "Acid Trial" are, I can't help but feeling "Save Me From Myself" and the lack of cutting edge found in the overall composition of the record when compared against the brilliant "Thieving…" stand up as strongly. On the positive side though, Ben Ward's recognisable gravelly vocals have stayed powerful through to this day, his impressionable physical size rendering him a man not to be reckoned with in a similar vein to how Pete Steele of Type O offered you no alternative but to surrender to his masculine command. Through "Death of Aquarius", "The Fog" and the title track in particular the doom aspects of OG take the upper hand in what has always been a continual battle of doom v stoner as to what best defines this lot; much to their benefit this been as OG have always been more than a stereotypical tribute band to the legacy of Black Sabbath, as so many of their ilk have tended to be. The musical performance of Ward's three cohorts is typically solid with the little flourishes of Joe Hoare's guitar adding a great deal of colour to the stoner vibe laid down by Martyn Millard's groovy bass lines.

However after many listens I can't help but thinking a bit of the grit that has found it's way into past productions would not go amiss here. Hoare's guitar tone and Ward's vocals are both restrained against the pure power that they can otherwise unleash and the effect is that the closing half of "A Eulogy"'s… 49 minutes begin to drag on like the effects of a particularly bad hangover. That said, this record is still a solid one and the provider of a number of tunes that would well suit an evening of drinks and smoking with your mates, so long as things don't turn too messy – that’s what you need the older material for.

Download: Red Tide Rising, Death of Aquarius
For The Fans Of: Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Firebird
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 13.02.2012
Candlelight Records

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