I must say I quite enjoyed the Goblin’s last album when it came out, oh, some two-and-a-half years ago. I missed their headlining tour when it came through town (I was in Texas, incidentally), but caught ‘em when they opened for Clutch last year. Which has absolutely no bearing on this Orange Goblin recording, mind you, except to say that I was quite looking forward to it, too.
“Sabbath Hex” kicks it off with some solid blues riffage, the whole band coming in on a mid-paced stomp that showcases their signature southern-doom style. (I forget sometimes that they’re from the UK.) I’d say there’s a cleaner sound on this one, a brighter production that’s almost more rock—think Clutch—and less metal, not that there’s anything wrong with that. “Ubermensch” offers up some super-heavy riffs that kill facsists with its fast-paced attack. “The Devil’s Whip” picks up the pace even further, two-and-a-half minutes and a cloud of dust of pure Motorhead fury.
“Demon Blues” comes off like vintage OG—we’re talking the first couple albums here—while things take a mellower turn with the deceptively-titled “Heavy Lies the Crown,” another number than brings Clutch to mind. (Hey, they did tour together for a couple months there…) But that’s not to say this six-and-a-half-minute number isn’t without its twists and turns, getting progressively heavier as it bullrushes towards Mastodon territory with a touch of Viking metal thrown in for good measure!
“Into the Arms of Morpheus” is even longer—and trippier—at one second shy of seven-and-a-half. Another tune that screams classic Goblin, you could stick this one on Time Travelling Blues or The Big Black and it would not sound outta place. Same goes for the pirate-themed “Mystical Knives,” though this one sounds a touch more recent. Oh, and in case you haven’t figured it out by now, this is pretty much mandatory listening for heavy rockers near and far. Here’s hoping they hit the East Coast again in the new year!