Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Orange Goblin - Back from the Abyss

Stoner metal monolith Orange Goblin are Back from the Abyss with their eighth studio release. In 2012 audiences were greeted with Eulogy of the Damned (reviewed here), a much anticipated issue from the United Kingdom based band after a harsh five year dry spell following 2007's Thieving from the House of God. Proving this time around that there were not to be any further daunting time gaps in their efforts, fans of the group were treated to the first ever live Orange Goblin album in 2013, Eulogy for the Fans (reviewed here). After about a year, our bellies are now hungry once more for the beefy tunes that these anti-blue collar stoner legends can conjure.

Genre: Stoner Metal
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
  1. Sabbath Hex
  2. Ubermensch
  3. The Devil's Whip
  4. Demon Blues
  5. Heavy Lies the Crown
  6. Into the Arms of Morpheus
  7. Mythical Knives
  8. Bloodzilla
  9. The Abyss
  10. Titan
  11. Blood of Them
  12. The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Total Playtime: 54 minutes, 10 seconds





Rating: 10/10




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Stoner metal monolith Orange Goblin are Back from the Abyss with their eighth studio release. In 2012 audiences were greeted with Eulogy of the Damned (reviewed here), a much anticipated issue from the United Kingdom based band after a harsh five year dry spell following 2007's Thieving from the House of God. Proving this time around that there were not to be any further daunting time gaps in their efforts, fans of the group were treated to the first ever live Orange Goblin album in 2013, Eulogy for the Fans (reviewed here). After about a year, our bellies are now hungry once more for the beefy tunes that these anti-blue collar stoner legends can conjure.

Orange Goblin are among the rare breed of bands that know their style, and subsequently know how to execute their sound in a manner of diversified ways without actually changing the heart and soul of their music. It's a feature that makes their entire catalog so entertaining for countless plays, but the listener will still know what to expect to some degree; Coupe De Grace is completely different from Time Traveling Blues, which is a radically separate experience from Eulogy of the Damned, which is in turn separate from The Big Black and so on. Regardless, each release carries that distinctive distortion and twanginess that is exclusively Orange Goblin. The same can be said for their latest discography entry, Back from the Abyss.

Essentially, the album is a grab bag of throw backs to previous releases; it's the same lovable Orange Goblin sound, set over the series of new groovin', anti-blue collar tracks that come with a conglomeration of themes. Aside from the obligatory drug and alcohol fueled paeans, listeners can expect to hear fantastic tales of pirates during "Mythical Knives", a hard rocking song that's doused in a fine mist of fantasy choirs and acoustic picking sections. Not to take one side or another, the band have also tipped their hats to the vikings during "Heavy Lies the Crown", which is one of many tracks that come along with an electrifying bass beginning and a mellow lead laid gently over top. The rhythm here is comparable to that of "Born with Big Hands" from Coupe De Grace, but less pugnacious; the latter half of this song switches up the entire composition and breaks out into a chant-along chorus that's impossible to avoid at least humming to. These two tracks are just the tip of the iceberg that is Back from the Abyss.


Every canticle has something to offer, whether it's a kick ass chorus or overall rhythm and composure that really makes the track stick with you. The band still put a heavy reliance on the bass, and it's one of the important features that gives their music its distinction. "Ubermensch" burdens the bassist with carrying nearly the entire track across his fretboard alone, the same can be said for the haunting and mysterious "Blood of Them". Much like "Heavy Lies the Crown", the main composition of "Into the Arms of Morpheus" is initially set by the bass and has a sleek little solo glazed over top. This track is the embodiment of who and what Orange Goblin are, it's a real laid back stoner song that's caressed in relaxing grooves and a memorable chorus that's irresistible to sing along to; "The arms of Morpheus will set me free, drifting into eternal sleep. Remember nights of insomnia, I slip away to euphoria. Praise the Valium!". As with past material, the bass here is the signature backbone of the album; heavy and wooden, with a southern twang that's impossible to mistake for any other.

The rhythm guitar is encased in a gritty mid-level distortion that allows it to execute chunky chords while still keeping its heaviness during singular notes, alternatively the lead guitar has a slightly altered tone that comes across metallic and dream-like. The material is about half and half when it comes to slower, toke worthy hymns versus fast rocking, fist pumping anthems like "Devil's Whip" and "Bloodzilla". The drums are completely fluid throughout the album, changing its beat on a whim with whatever curve the material throws; from fast punky thrash to general heavy metal beats and even a great tribal concoction during "Sabbath Hex" that comes along with a CKY feel. Overall, the architectures of the album are captivating and executed in a style that is unique to Orange Goblin; there's plenty of tempo changes and accentual elements embedded throughout the content to keep the listener bewitched for the almost hour long joyride.

Back from the Abyss proves to be yet another strong release from the masters of anti-blue collar, southern stoner metal. It's amazing how Orange Goblin are able to retain their familiar sound and style, all the while being able to craft genuinely unique tracks that fail to become stale or redundant; even despite a few reused riffs and rhythms during the album. There's something here for everyone, whether you're a fan of their older or newer material, Back from the Abyss is an amalgamation of the best elements from the Orange Goblin discography. One of the best releases of the year, and a must hear for old fans and those whose ears haven't yet been graced by the OG.

Digital Download Provided by: Earsplit PR

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