Orange Goblin - Official Website - Interview

Back From The Abyss

United Kingdom Country of Origin: United Kingdom

1. Sabbath Hex
2. Ubermensch
3. The Devil's Whip
4. Demon Blues
5. Heavy Lies The Crown
6. Into The Arms Of Morpheus
7. Mythical Knives
8. Bloodzilla
9. The Abyss
10. Titan
11. Blood Of Them
12. The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Review by Rosh on October 29, 2021.

Although no one's ever come after me for it, I get the sense that my immense liking for Orange Goblin might be perceived as a bit tacky, considering they've continued to champion a genre that saw its own its rise and fall within just over a decade. I'm of course talking about stoner rock, which, as Riffipedia and every Dopesmoker fan reminds us, is a convoluted genre tag that correlates with many other styles from the heavy rock and doom ecosystem. Though this means that "pure" stoner rock is often hard to differentiate from stoner/doom, modern stoner-sludge, heavy psych, and what have you, Orange Goblin make themselves distinct by working tried and true heavy metal elements into their vintage stoner sound. The result is a truly classy heavy/stoner metal act who prove time and time again that it's not just a hipster's genre, and furthermore, that stoner stuff can be and is highly relevant to the heavy metal canon. Though often overlooked since its release, I see 2014's Back From The Abyss as being perhaps the best example of hook-based stoner rock meeting suitably accessible traditional metal in recent years.

Part of the reason for this success is that Orange Goblin are able to put the heavy metal in their sound first, often using colorful imagery and, as I've said, groovy hooks to create a stoner feel - something that makes the music come off as an authentic and essential heavy metal experience. This is especially true on this album as compared to their Rise Above Records albums which were, to be fair, more fuzzed-out and trippy than Back From The Abyss; this 2014 album has cleaner production as well which actually makes it more immediate to first-time Orange Goblin listeners. What's funny though, is Orange Goblin don't change their musical style considerably from album to album, and yet they have a discography that works wonders when weighing their catalog of albums against one another. It's always been hook-based, fun stuff with a palpable influence coming from the less doomed side of early Sabbath. Ben's slightly hoarse vocals, meanwhile, have always suited the music appropriately since it is balls-out stuff. He's a cross between Lee on the more upbeat Cathedral albums and John Garcia of Kyuss, which is a kick-ass combo for heavy/stoner metal.

I would say, though, that Back From The Abyss is a culmination of the songwriting put forth on its predecessor, 2012's A Eulogy For The Damned, this time making for a more coherent album. Orange Goblin's early writing peaks like Time Travelling Blues and The Big Black were remarkable for the more "stoner-oriented" style, and they're the only albums I own by the band other than this one, which as of right now is good enough for me. Reason being, this album is their third writing peak after those two consecutive Rise Above albums, and it's also the best that their newer era has to offer - The Wolf Bites Back from 2018 was awesome too but offers a more concise album approach as opposed to the larger than life tracklist here. At any rate, detailing the way Back From The Abyss fits into such a likable metal band's discography makes good foreground for discussing the tunes included on the album.

The opening suite of tracks is killer - groovy bangers like 'Ubermensch' pave the way for the tracks which are longer in length and bigger in scale like 'Heavy Lies The Crown' and 'Into The Arms Of Morpheus'. It's a killer formula that makes deep cuts like 'Mythical Knives' feel all the more welcome. Aside from the oddly placed instrumentals at the end (one is fine, but two of them are unnecessary and take away some momentum here), this is the textbook example of how to execute a longer album, and stoner, heavy, and doom metal bands should all take notes. 'Demon Blues' is a fantastic highlight from this album, as well. It starts off with a catchy and upbeat gallop, but quickly heads for bluesier territory. I would say that this track, especially due to where it's placed on the album, makes the listening experience as strong as it is. You can really tell that each of these songs, despite being more accessible in the metal world as a whole, would fit well into an Orange Goblin live set alongside songs these guys wrote long before. This might be one reason Orange Goblin are well-noted for their shows. I definitely want to see them pretty badly.

This album is certainly an example of a consistent band being consistent, but it's sadly overlooked in favor of their older stuff. I think this might have something to do with this album being a bit more heavy metal than stoner, but it is still a very good piece of heavy/stoner metal. It's got enough balls to satisfy fans of Motörhead, but it's also quite chilled out at other times. This is a good example of why I think Orange Goblin are a class-act and a formidable entity in heavy metal today.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Review by Adam M on September 28, 2017.

Orange Goblin has the power to perform strong stoner styled metal. The music is catchy and rollicking in nature. It is also very rooted in the stoner metal genre instead of doom, which makes it sort of distinctive in sound. The band seems to have a lot of fun performing these tracks, which is impressive.

Even though I haven’t heard this band live, I imagine this passion would translate well to this style of performance. The songs are very memorable and feature licks that one will want to remember. The problem with this music is that it would begin to sound the same and there certainly isn’t the same impact to be found with this album as with A Eulogy of the Damned. At the time, that album stormed out of the gates and completely captured my attention, while this work only captures my attention in a semi fashion. The very first song Sabbath Hex seems to be the most memorable of the bunch and get things off to a good start. Though the music is uplifting, I still felt more involved in the band’s Eulogy of the Damned.

This really is music to head bang along to, though and many of the moments of this disc made me want to do so. There is simply a pure enjoyment vibe to the band that is hard to pinpoint, but so much of a joy to listen to. The band is about as fun to listen to as Electric Wizard and though I’m comparing them to a doom band, both outfits seem to have an equal amount of fun producing their music. Fans of the band’s previous outings will no doubt enjoy this too, even though there isn’t much new to be found here. Back From The Abyss is still an enthusiastic good time.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10