Tapping into their British roots and pulling strands from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motörhead, Orange Goblin’s 8th full length, Back From The Abyss (Candlelight Records)adds melodic guitar moments, roughened lyrics and driving beats to tell the listener a story, taking them under their arm like the newest member of the Hell’s Angels. Recorded in London, produced by Jamie Dodd (The Skints, One Night Only) and mastered at Turan Audio by Tim Turan, the album is refined to a roughened T. Out on October 6th, 2014 on Candlelight Records, Back from the Abyss is more of a rock & roll biker album than the metal force of their last record, A Eulogy For The Damned in 2012. Since their start in 1995, you can slowly see the accumulation of their influences, simmering into one metamorphic mixing pot to bring you this sleazy, speed filled injection.
Kicking off the album with ‘Sabbath Hex,’ rocking guitar hits you from the left, chasing up your groove to the brim, with the band kicking in from the right. Ben Ward’s retro, melodic vocals charm your pants off till you’re naked in the middle of your favourite rock club, swaying to the ever-changing rhythm. The centre bridge dips down in tempo, scavenging for energy to built the charge back up and storm back with a vengeance. The best part of the track is the last 35 seconds. Man, does Joe Hoare’s guitar ever wail. Smooth and bluesy, Martyn Millard’s bass injected life into the track, like a speedball never could.
‘Übermensch’ was a bit too far on the rock side of the stoner spectrum for me. A mid-tempo, triumphant and alcohol-fuelled manly anthem I can’t say I could relate to.
‘The Devil’s Whip’ snaps you into shape quick. A self-described “old school banger,” This rocking piece of rumbling momentum reminds me of the vigour I felt when I first heard Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ and it blasts through things just as quickly. A momentousus jolt of riffage, fired up from hell, with wailing guitar solos and rough, bad boy vocals.
Adding some psychedelia to the mix, for anyone into Acid King or Clutch, this might be the track to get you started. ‘Demon Blues’ presents the classic stoner rock persona morphed to fit today’s favourite monster. A vampire with speed in his veins and a loaded shot gun ain’t takin’ no shit. Sorry ladies but this rustic heart throb is a time bomb waiting to explode. The track’s lyrics are solid and tell an interesting tale, not to mention Joe Hoare’s solo at the end is killer.
‘Heavy Lies The Crown’ gets into a down and dirty groove that may just make James Brown rise from the grave. I feel the Hendrix in Hoare’sguitar work as vocals are lathered in whiskey. The bass keeps the groove low while the drumming is simple, yet powerful, leading the story forward into war. Just when you think the end has come, a surge flows back through their amps and their out of the gates again for another round.
Other notable tracks are ‘Bloodzilla’, with the intensity of a thrash band, yet matured and rough around the edges. From the speed of lightning fist pounding to the head nodding groove of a stoner outro, this track has everything you could ever ask for. ‘The Abyss’ is one that welcomes you in with caution. My favourite on the album, it adds mystique to the powerful, confident outlaw this album portrays and I can’t help but fall for the tale of such place which could draw you into the black.
It seems impossible for Orange Goblin to disappoint. Back from the Abyss keeps the power in your hands and a drink to your lips. As commanding as the stories they tell, any album of theirs could be a gateway drug into their world. This is a must listen stoner album for the year. Watch out for their upcoming European tour with Saint Vitus starting October 9th in France.