Orange Goblin – ‘The Wolf Bites Back’ (Album Review)

Orange Goblin The Wolf Bites Back Review Album Review Sons Of Salem Renegade Swords Of Fire Ghosts Of The Primitives In Bocca Al Lupo Suicide Division The Stranger Burn The Ships Zeitgeist

When it comes to authentic, sweat-soaked rock, Orange Goblin have it nailed down. The Wolf Bites Back – Orange Goblin album number nine, no less – keeps their consistent streak of solid tracks almost unbroken.

It also sees them give fewer fucks than ever before.

Starting the whole thing with a thunderous drum intro, fast-paced 12/8 riff, and cry of “rise up, sons of Salem – your mothers cursed you at birth,” Orange Goblin clearly aren’t fucking around. No long-winded intro, no atmospheric weather samples – just balls-to-the-wall rock ‘n’ roll. Although Orange Goblin have taken a more serious tack for years now, old titles like Songs Of The Purple Mushroom Fish would never fit among this list of brain-wringing tracks.

The Wolf Bites Back is a rock trainspotter’s wet dream. From the title track’s pensive acoustic intro (which drops off promptly into a signature stoner-rock steamroller) to Renegade’s guitar-neck-strangling blues rock, Swords Of Fire’s Sabbath-hailing bass groove and filthy doom jamming, and even a dalliance with 3/4 time as Ghosts Of The Primitives fades out, Orange Goblin remain on top of all of it. Then Joe Satriani gets a quick nod during the instrumental In Bocca Al Lupo; Suicide Division sprints through a hardcore rampage; The Stranger boasts faint shades of Soundgarden; and Burn The Ships returns to familiar stoner rock regions. That all leaves Zeitgeist, which sounds like a bonus track due to surprisingly below-par production work and a general work-in-progress vibe.

Existing OG fans will love The Wolf Bites Back – and bar Zeitgeist, its only real downside is Orange Goblin’s reliance on extremely time-tested styles. Still, these guys have proven more than happy to stretch their boundaries. Perhaps next time they’ll unleash the full-blown über-proggy monstrosity they so clearly have barely hidden within them.


Pre-order The Wolf Bites Back (out June 15) on iTunes.

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Posted on 12 June 2018

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