Orange Goblin – The Wolf Bites Back

As the Elder Gods of Metal die or retire, we need new legends to fill the void left in their sonic wake: Orange Goblin are one such band. They’ve earned it, putting in the hard work live and on vinyl. Indeed their headlining performance at last year’s Siege of Limerick is itself becoming legendary. The Wolf Bites Back successfully melds Orange Goblin’s live firepower with the best song-writing they’ve created thus far.

“Sons of Salem” is an instant metal anthem. Having being in Salem one memorable Halloween, I can say Orange Goblin have really captured the atmosphere of that unhallowed place!

Title track, “The Wolf Bites Back” is a NWOBHM/Thrash hybrid, and really is a statement of intent from Orange Goblin. Metal is for life, and those that love it and really want bands of the quality and commitment of Orange Goblin.

I like the fact the band dedicate “Renegade” to Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Phil Taylor. Motorhead for life!

Yet, Orange Goblin always have more than one string to their bows; for instance, “The Stranger” is a moving, moody piece that harkens back to their legendary Rise Above years.

Final track, ‘Zeitgeist’ is my favourite, really original, and a direction I could see Orange Goblin pursuing successfully in the future.

All of the band are performing to the peak of their abilities here (all the road work has really paid off!). Joe Hoare is a truly great guitarist, always serving the song. Chris Turner is a gifted and powerful drummer, and bassist Martyn Millard gives a huge Lemmy-like power to his playing. As for Ben Ward, the Gentle Giant – he’s a legend, plain and simple.

The production by Jamie Gomez Arrelano is spot on, warm, analogue and powerful. And at just over 40 minutes long, this album is the perfect length, old school, quality above excessive quantity. Lovely artwork too: it will look great on a t-shirt.

Get out and support Orange Goblin on vinyl and on stage – they deserve it and so do you.

(Spinefarm Records)

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Steve Earles

Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (http://toendallwarscomic.wordpress.com/writers/).

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