A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED
It took five long years, but seemingly those years were well spent away by Orange Goblin. Since HEALING THROUGH FIRE came out in 2007, the band has seemingly rediscovered themselves, which is a very good thing. That last album was almost the death of the band, as they nearly completely abandoned their stoner metal heritage and dumbed down their sound to become a typical metal band. Thankfully, those five years since then have seemingly reminded these guys of their roots. They are back with what might be the strongest album of their career.
From the second "Red Tide Rising" opens the disc, you realize that you are engulfed in an album that's brilliantly produced, has all the earmarks of the best stoner metal available, and yet has that harder core metal edge that a band like Down has made so successful over the last decade. In short, A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED is one of the best albums of this ilk in awhile.
Without question, the force behind this effort is guitarist Joe Hoare. His overall tone is thick and heavy, and yet his leads rip through each and every song. Listening to songs like "Acid Trial", you can't help but have your head bobbing and your tongue wagging along to the guitar line. It seems to have effected vocalist Ben Ward too, as he snarls right along with the riffs throughout. They reach back to their roots together on "Save Me From Myself"; an almost western metal sounding song that sounds a bit like an outtake from a Raging Slab song (albeit a heavy one). Ward's dirty end vocal here before launching into a snarl on the chorus is fantastic, and portrays the shifting of emotion in the song that he was going for. Add to that Hoare's great guitar lines here, and you quickly figure out why this song stands as one of the best in the band's entire career.
Equally up to the task on this effort is the rhythm section. Bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner make their mark throughout without ever overstepping Ward and Hoare. In short, the bottom end is think, steady and powerful. Turner is especially solid; nothing fancy but strong beats and a great drum sound that perfectly fits the rest of the music.
PITRIFF RATING - 95/100 - For me, probably the best Orange Goblin album they've done to date. At a minimum, the best one they've done since THE BIG BLACK, and that was 12 years and 4 albums ago. Heavy, thick and an amalgamation of stoner metal and more traditional metal, A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED is one of the best releases from any band of this ilk in recent memory.