REVIEW: ORANGE GOBLIN – “The Wolf Bites Back”
“Rise up, Sons of Salem! Your Mothers have cursed you at birth! The dead will inherit the earth!”
A band that stays true to the raw guts of what extreme music represents is the band that prevails, regardless of what they have to play. The fancy ol’ English chaps from the band Orange Goblin is set to loosing the hound on everybody with their 9th studio record, ‘The Wolf Bites Back.’ The album is honestly, packed what could be the band’s new flag bearing record; heavy, evil and catchy progressions, a palette of rock influences, and a chunk of the goblin groove!
The upcoming record also has an ample quantity of lyrical content ranting out about a wide spectrum of unspoken truths in today’s world. Combine the excellent variety of instrumental playing and the expressive vocal delivery of Ben Ward, what pops out is a monster of an album, with beer in its veins and metal in its heart!
The record kicks off with the track “Sons of Salem”, an intro calling an army of the dead out to the front of the mosh pit to headbang to that sick and filthy opening riff. ‘Suicide Division” on the opposite side of the rock spectrum with its “roundhouse kick slamming teeth out of your jaw” punk rock influences will actually be the reason behind people losing teeth in a live scenario. It clearly states that the extreme metal influences behind this band remains strong and potentially, trauma inducing. Also included is the instrumental piece “In Bocca Al Lupo”, which personally, has fantastic bluesy guitar work between Ben and Joe Hoare.
A few tracks definitely stand out. “Ghosts of the Primitives” is the second longest track in the album and alongside its impressive instrumental writing, smooth surf/funk rock inspired segments and its rebellious prophecy against religious establishment, it raises no questions as to why it deserves massive respect and appraise. Men of science will one day prove dogma meaningless and the ghosts of the primitive will be eradicated from such a world, let’s hope towards waking up to such days.
“The Stranger” and “Burn the Ships” are also two tracks deserving of massive kudos, the former being the ramblings of a confused, partially psychotic (possibly complete) individual, delivered through an eerie country-roll vibe. The latter rants about how society reigns itself authoritative upon the day to day individual lives of all of us, hypnotizing us into following a path sure to doom us for the rest of our miserable lives. Its easily a song that gets dark fast, and swiftly inflicts a heavy existential crisis upon the usual individual.
Towards the end of the album, with an n number of neck sprains, and the concluding emotional progressions of “Zeitgeist”, what only needs to be said is that the band has genuinely outdone itself, and delivered a well written and produced album. ‘The Wolf Bites Back’ is a powerful rock record, packed with a variety of rock-based styles, atmospheres, excellent guitar work, and thought provoking lyrical content, executed by a band that knows how to do what it does best; rock out, piss a few people off, and walk away like absolute badasses! Out via Candlelight/Spinefarm Records, June 15th!