Four years after Back From The Abyss rocked our ear-holes, UK metal legends Orange Goblin return with album number nine, The Wolf Bites Back. Some things may have changed in that time but one thing remains the same….the lads are still kicking more arse than a three legged man in an arse-kicking competition!
The Wolf Bites Back starts off with the full throttle romp that is “Sons Of Salem” and it’s immediately apparent that the band sound absolutely monstrous here….and a good deal of credit must go to producer Jaime “Gomez” Arrelano (Ghost, Cathedral, Paradise Lost). The drums are thunderous, the bass punches you in the gut, the guitars are raw and punchy while Ben Ward does what Ben Ward does best; roar his fucking head off! The pace then slows (slightly) for the title track before “Renegade” ups the ante again. So far, so Orange Goblin, right?
However, over the years the lads have rarely rested on their laurels and this time is no different.
Most notable is the range of influences Orange Goblin appear to pull from. Sure, they’re relatively obvious but, as opposed to previous albums, they’ve drawn from all of them to create a diverse set of uniformly brilliant songs. From Sabbath to Thin Lizzy, from the blues to punk, The Wolf Bites Back is categorically NOT just a stoner metal album but simply an exemplary heavy metal album.
“Suicide Division” is a punky blast that brings to mind Motörhead but with Venom’s Cronos handling vocals. “The Stranger” sees the band embracing the blues with aplomb while also throwing in some eerie spoken word vocals. The album then ends on a high with the mournful mid paced “Zeitgeist”, which has Joe Hoare giving us his finest guitar hero impression to date.
Over the course of their career, Orange Goblin have gone from being stoner-inspired upstarts to the best damn metal band in the UK and The Wolf Bites Back only further cements their lauded reputation. This is one wolf you won’t want to keep from your door.
Have Orange Goblin ever been better? Arguably, no! All hail Orange fucking Goblin baby, all hail! 9/10
The Wolf Bites Back is set for worldwide release by Candlelight/Spinefarm/