Orange Goblin – A Eulogy For the Damned (Candlelight Records)

Sunday, 24th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Based on association and geography alone, Orange Goblin are often slotted in with the lazy-as-all-hell stoner/doom scene that in some people’s eyes, begins and ends with Electric Wizard. It’s a mindless comparison, made because both bands are from the U.K. and have a penchant for distortion. There’s nothing else to it, especially when you stack up OG’s lumberjack metal versus EW’s bereft-of-ideas metal. Orange Goblin wipes the floor with those guys. And a lot of other stoner/doom bands they get lumped in with.

Returning after a five-year layoff with A Eulogy for the Damned, OG’s sound (in the purest form) is simply LOUD. Even when played through mid-range computer speakers (which Blistering uses), A Eulogy for the Damned has the sonic stomp that would probably leave one’s eardrums begging for mercy in the live arena. On record, though, they’re suitably heavy and clear, allowing those smarting biker metal riffs to take full flight on opener “Red Tide Rising,” and the most-excellent “The Filthy and the Few.”

There’s no real trick to what Orange Goblin does; their riff choices plow through the line like a fullback (we shouldn’t be referencing American football for a band from the U.K., but whatever), oftentimes creating momentous runs, like on “The Fog,” the albums’ centerpiece. Vocalist Ben Ward sings like he has a beer in his hand – albeit not a crappy one – preferring to throw his vocal girth around via the catchy choruses on “Stand For Something,” “Return to Mars,” and “The Bishops Wolf.”

If anything, A Eulogy for the Damned is a total pure-bred metal album. There’s not a trace of fluff or even a sideways idea to be found, which makes its execution all the more impressive. While none of this is a surprise (OG has been skirting the stoner bounds for years), it’s simply refreshing. Probably like the high-end beer Ward drinks…we think.

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