Orange Goblin: Back from the Abyss
One of the songs on this album is entitled "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." That title, as many readers already know, comes directly from one of H. P. Lovecraft's best and better known stories. I won't take the space to go over the necessary plot details. Those who haven't read the story should definitely discover it as soon as possible. Like many of Lovecraft's tales, this one centers on the anxiety that follows a significant challenge to conventional understanding. Certainty turns to uncertainty and once-cherished beliefs turn upside-down.
Even though Lovecraft and his story may not seem essential to enjoying Orange Goblin's new album, he should nevertheless not go completely overlooked. Lovecraft has influenced many metal bands, across a broad range of genres and styles. He also has an important influence on Orange Goblin. In a 2013 interview I conducted with Ben Ward, he told me that he and most of the band actively read Lovecraft. He also said that it's pretty easy to come up with a good song based on one of the stories. He's probably right, but I'd argue that the guys only make it look easy. The last album, A Eulogy for the Damned, opened with a terrific Cthulhu-inspired track called "Red Tide Rising." It's an awesome song.
As for the latest Lovecraft-inspired track, Orange Goblin's version of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" does not pack quite the same punch as "Red Tide Rising," but it's still pretty good. A short instrumental, the song starts out with a strong riff that sets up some nice, but all-too-brief, melodic guitar work.
I realize I've gone on too long about H. P. Lovecraft and his ties to the music. My excuse is that I already know that Orange Goblin is a great band and that it's fun to consider connections between popular pulp writers and heavy metal. But there's more to this album than "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and we need to move on.
To put it plainly, this album builds on the strengths of A Eulogy for the Damned beautifully. New fans will love the way the band delivers a new batch of songs that build on previous strengths without resorting to mere formulae. More seasoned fans will also enjoy the way Orange Goblin is not only growing in recognition but also in strength. This band has been around for a long time and has released a steady stream of good albums. The last year or so has been especially good, though. Eulogy for the Damned sold well and the band toured—a lot. The guys also quit their day jobs and decided to put their all into this heavy metal thing. I hope they find plenty of success.
I've always thought that Orange Goblin was best when the guys were playing fast. The mixture of speed, bluesy riffs, stoner doom, and a Lemmy-like rock and roll attitude blend well together. This album has plenty of highlights—"The Devil's Whip," the first track shared with the public, is classic Orange Goblin. But "The Devil's Whip" is only one of several highlights. Listeners should definitely check out "Sabbath Hex," "Mythical Knives," and "Bloodzilla." My favorite track, though, was easily "The Abyss," a loud and fast-paced romp into endlessness. Did I also mention "Demon Blues" and "The Blood of Them?" Yeah, there's a lot to recommend here. If you like Orange Goblin, this is for you; if you're new to Orange Goblin, this is also for you.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Sabbath Hex
3. The Devil's Whip
4. Demon Blues
5. Heavy Lies the Crown
6. Into the Arms of Morpheus
7. Mythical Knives
9. The Abyss
11. Blood of Them
12. The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Added: September 26th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: band website
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