Feb 23, 2012

Second Opinion: Orange Goblin - A Eulogy To The Damned ...

My personal opinion of Orange Goblin has always been torn and slightly controversial. While I recognize their essential role in the Stoner universe, and some of their albums I really love, I also found their latest albums to be a bit underwhelming.

Do not get me wrong: I adore Ben and his bunch of psychedelic fuzz-bandits. Love them with the type of admiring support that one could have for those bands that have contributed to shaping and forming the sound you love. And I would say without hesitation that both “Time Traveling Blues” and “The Big Black” might be two of the most shattering offers of Fuzz Rock that the scene produced. Yet a “Coup De Grace” and even more a “Healing through Fire” had something missing from the recipe. Still high quality but an ingredient was missing. They sounded a bit tame and by the numbers, maybe. Or just a bit tired. Hard to pin down exactly, but they ended up being played a couple of times and nothing more. Which is really sad for an Orange Goblin offering.

And this is what makes this new “Eluogy...” great. It's not only a very good Orange Goblin record, but one of the most entertainingly heavy and lively albums of the last few months.

I enjoy doom, sludge and generally focus a lot on the darker side of heaviness these days, but hearing the amazing kick these songs have, definitely won me over at the first listen.

The album, in its entirety, packs aggression. It's a tight, vicious, riff-filled beast that takes no prisoners and doesn't rest on easy basic stoner riffs (like “healing” did at times). It goes for the jugular, with heaviness, technical precision, a tight sound and an energy that a lot of less seasoned bands would love to have.

And it flies by, literally. The songs just hit you at a supreme speed, even the longer, slower numbers. It's an adrenalized piece of heavy rock that also calls for repeat listens, and might be one of their top albums yet. Welcome back.

Words: Andrea Contanzo

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