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Orange Goblin – Healing Through Fire (Deluxe Edition)

Orange Goblin
Healing Through Fire (Deluxe Edition)
by Paul LaPlaca at 26 October 2021, 1:42 PM

ORANGE GOBLIN has been around since 1995 and they are cut from the same cloth as ‘70’s classics such as LED ZEPPELIN, AEROSMITH, and early RUSH. Blues-infused and riff-based, these songs could have easily been recorded in that decade, in fact the production perfectly captures the raw, organic sound of those classics without any of the modern hype or sheen that comes with modern production. Unfortunately, what is missing here is the hook drenched songwriting of a PAGE or PERRY. JOE HOARE lays down some seriously catchy guitar lines and has the technical ability to be considered in the same breath as those masters but rarely provides a memorable, melodic, guitar hook that you can sing along with. Everyone can sing you, “Black Dog”, “Walk This Way”, or “Iron Man” because the main guitar part is infectious and it’s just not happening here. Add the phlegmy low tenor of vocalist BEN WARD and there’s no way to get out of that hole.

The band was originally called OUR HAUNTED KINGDOM and it’s my guess that whoever made the decision to change the name to ORANGE GOBLIN is probably responsible for the other flaws. If you can get beyond these issues, there is actually a lot to like about the band and this mix. Each player is rock solid, particularly bassist MARTYN MILLARD who brings a nasally, buzzy, distorted bass tone to many tracks that perfectly meshes with the guitar. The highpoint of the album is track 9, “Beginners Guide To Suicide” a smokey blues number with clean slide guitar. Also, the instrumental track 7, “Mortlake” is a tasty classical influenced piece that is a nice change of pace. The production and engineering is pretty remarkable in that is a perfect time machine back to a rich analog sound and live to 2-track feel.

This album can also be viewed as a missing link between 70’s classics and grunge in that it is a more muscular sound than the earlier stuff but not as deconstructed as the Seattle movement. There are also several bonus demo tracks and a live album as well but the mix on that is less than inspiring.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Ballad of Solomon Eagle
2. Vagrant Stomp
3. The Ale House Braves
4. Cities of Frost
5. Hot Knives and Open Sores
6. Hot Knives and Open Sores
7. Mortlake (Dead Water)
8. They Come Back (Harvest of Skulls)
9. Beginners Guide to Suicide
10. Some You Win, Some You Lose
11. Quincy the Pig Boy
12. Getting High on the Bad Times
13. The Ballad of Solomon Eagle"
14. Hot Magic Red Planet
15. Round Up the Horses
16. They Come Back
17. Your World Will Hate This
18. Blue Snow
19. Scorpionica
Ben Ward  - Vocals
Joe Hoare - Guitar
Martyn Millard - Bass
Chris Turner  - Drums
Record Label: Cherry Red Records


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