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Orange Goblin: A Eulogy For The Damned - Album Of The Week Club review

British heavy metal stalwarts Orange Goblin released A Eulogy For The Damned in 2012 - and it changed their lives

Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned album artwork
(Image: © Candlelight Records)
Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned

Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned album artwork

(Image credit: Candlelight Records)

Red Tide Rising
Stand for Something
Acid Trial
The Filthy & the Few
Save Me from Myself
The Fog
Return to Mars
Death of Aquarius
The Bishops Wolf
A Eulogy for the Damned

After 18 years together, in 2012, Orange Goblin, those perennial upholders of the British heavy metal code, released a last-gasp album. It had an ironic title: A Eulogy For The Damned

The band had spent nearly two decades in the trenches, plying their wooly, wide-legged stoner-doom jams far and wide, always returning to London after a few weeks or months to labour at day jobs and dream big rock’n’roll dreams that never quite came true. They were middle-aged, bedraggled, at the end of their collective ropes.

And then the album came out, and all hell broke loose. It ranked third in Metal Hammer’s end-of-year poll, and the metal world at large was just as enthusiastic. Every single song, from the rampaging Red Tide Rising to the mesmerising, epic title track, was an absolute cast-iron belter, furiously running riot across the ears like a horde of zombie bikers on the windswept ride of their lives.

"If the album wasn’t a success, I think we probably would’ve ended it,” frontman Ben Ward told us. “We thought, ‘There are people out there who think a lot of Orange Goblin. Maybe we’re doing something right.’ The success of the album confirmed what we thought."

Every week, Album of the Week Club listens to and discusses the album in question, votes on how good it is, and publishes our findings, with the aim of giving people reliable reviews and the wider rock community the chance to contribute. 

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Other albums released in January 2012 

  • Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour
  • Voodoo Glow Skulls - Break The Spell
  • Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
  • Aborted - Global Flatline
  • Anneke van Giersbergen - Everything is Changing
  • Biohazard - Reborn In Defiance
  • Lacuna Coil - Dark Adrenaline
  • Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory
  • Foxy Shazam - The Church
  • Die Antwoord - Ten$ion
  • Ringo Starr - Ringo 2012
  • Aranda - Stop The World

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What they said...

"There's an unsteady, bar brawl quality to the riffs, as though they're drunkenly stumbling over each other while throwing aural haymakers. The energy is spot on, like a fight that ends with combatants buying each other a round, all bloody grins and missing teeth. Straightforward and simple, A Eulogy for the Damned isn't a work of great musical genius, but is refreshing in its bravado and simplicity." (Exclaim! (opens in new tab))

"Five years on from the smoking Healing Through Fire, any anxieties that Orange Goblin was struggling to retain its enthusiasm for straightforward heaving metal are trampled underfoot by its riff-filled squalid delights. A Eulogy for the Damned might not be innovative and it sure isn’t pretty, but you’d go a long way to find a better example of unembellished, unfalteringly grimy metal." (Pop Matters (opens in new tab))

"A Eulogy for the Damned is a pretty diverse set – maybe the most diverse of Orange Goblin's oeuvre – and while that hardly means they've turned into Faith No More, it does explain why lucky LP number seven arguably betters everything released by the group over the previous decade. Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat!" (AllMusic (opens in new tab))

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What you said...

Paul Hutchings: You either love OG or dislike them. They are unashamedly heavy metal. Best served live where they are fantastic and never fail. Music to drink beer to. I really like this album, full of raucous anthems and as others have said it doesn’t tail off at all. Very nice genuine guys too.

John Davidson: Opening with Red Tide Rising, Orange Goblin's Eulogy For the Damned is immediately summed up as Black Sabbath played by Motorhead. It's gruff and heavy but has a melodic core underneath the bluster.

Ben Ward's throaty shout is just the right side of growling and avoids the blandness of Foo Fighter front man Grohl.

The next few tracks are decent enough without making a huge impression. I perked up with the sludgy stoner blues of Save Me From Myself The rest of the album after that is back to pretty solid, unspectacular heavy rock other than closer Eulogy For The Damned which again returns us to slower, less fuzzy stoner rock for its opening section.

Overall, production is a bit muddy and there is a lot of splash in the midrange but I think thats just the style.

As an album I liked it and if it was on the radio I'd nod along, but its not an album I will be adding to my collection.

They will forever have my respect though because they showed such solidarity with the CR journalists and other workers when the magazine folded a few years back.

Brian Carr: Most of the other times the weekly Club choice was an album unknown to me, I actually had heard of the band. This time, however, Orange Goblin was an artist completely unknown to me, despite their involvement in the story of the near demise of this wonderful publication.

What I found is another example of my disdain for labelling or categorising music and musical artists. When I hear the phrase “stoner rock” I’m not really inspired to explore. I have a mental picture of slow, sludgy uninteresting music. 

This preconceived notion does not apply to the absolutely slamming A Eulogy For The Damned by Orange Goblin. Eulogy is filled with killer riffs and heavy grooves. As for the vocals, while they aren’t as melodic as my favourites, they’re a far cry from Cookie Monster screams which are guaranteed to turn me away no matter how stellar the music might be. I heard a bit of Dave Grohl’s heavier delivery in Ben Ward’s voice, or perhaps Pepper Keenan from Corrosion of Conformity. There’s plenty to like here.

As I get older, I don’t tend to listen to as much heavier music as I did in my youth, for reasons of personal preference and consideration of people around me. Maybe I need to bust out the headphones a little more often and get back into the metal a little more often.

Gary Claydon: Stalwarts of the UK metal scene and all-round good guys, Orange Goblin are still, rather lazily, labelled as simply a stoner rock band by many. On Eulogy For The Damned, they show how far they progressed from a sub-genre which can get bogged down in, oft-repetetive, mid-tempo sludge.

If anything, Eulogy... has the feel of a hard rock album to it. Don't get me wrong, OG aren't pushing any boundaries here but it's groove-laden and riff-tastic from start to finish. The Heavy Metal punch of Red Tide Rising kicks-off proceedings in fine fashion and the band's stylistic-influences can be discerned elsewhere. 

A smattering of punk aggression here (The Filthy And The Few), a slice of southern boogie there (Stand For Something, Save Me From Myself). Sure, there are the inescapable tinges of stoner fuzz around the edges but there are also hints of prog metal and plenty of good ol' blues-rock. 

Ben Ward's vocals might be gruff and I'm not pretending he has any great range but he doesn't sacrifice melody and his delivery is well suited to the material. His lyrics are also worth scrutiny, playing a big part in making Eulogy... a pretty fun listen. Joe Hoare's guitar work is the star for me, excellent riffing and solos that are tight and to the point. The album closing title track encompasses everything that's good about Eulogy...

File Orange Goblin in the slot marked 'Bands that never let you down'. However, if you want to fully get to grips with them, you really should see them live because, although they are a very decent album band, that's where they truly excel.

Nigel Taylor: I can't lie, I have been a massive Orange Goblin fan for many years, travelling all over the place to see them live over the last 20+ years, and for me A Eulogy For The Damned is the album where all the stars aligned in the studio.

Firstly the production by Jamie Dodd was excellent capturing the power and chaos of a live show but giving it that accessibility without over polishing it, and then you get the songs.

This was the first Goblin album that really showed their full range of influences with the crushing Doom Of The Fog and Death Of Aquarius, the Maiden gallop of The Bishops Wolf, the frantic punky metal of The Filthy And The Few, the southern blues boogie of Save Me From Myself through to the Motorhead/Sabbath hybrid of the now classic Red Tide Rising.

The album really doesn't let up all the way through and then at it's conclusion you get the Icing on the cake, the title track which slowly builds up a superb atmosphere around it and ends far too soon!

Not only do you get an awesome set of songs you also get some great musicianship. Joe Hoare really is one of those great undiscovered gems and his guitar work throughout is superb never over doing it and playing with a real honesty and feel and the Martyn Millard/Chris Turner rhythm section is tight as hell and lays down an impressive foundation throughout. 

Ben Ward also deserves praise, not only for his gruff warts and all bellow, but for a fantastic set of lyrics, and never have the lines, "Step aside as we're coming through, we are the filthy and the few" been more apt.

Orange Goblin are so much more than just a drunken stoner rock band and this album really proved it. Orange Fucking Goblin Baby!

Alex Hayes: To be honest, Orange Goblin don't really strike me as the kind of band that would give two hoots either way what I, or anyone else for that matter, have to say about A Eulogy For The Damned.

Originally formed in 1995 as Our Haunted Kingdom (better name that, gotta say), Orange Goblin have been beavering away on the fringes of the UK music scene ever since, singularly committed to their personal brand of doom/stoner infused metal. Compromising their artistic vision doesn't ever seem to have been an option for the band. Here we have musicians without any concern for current musical trends or an apparent need to appease outsiders or non-believers.

The band didn't even turn full-time professional until 2012, after A Eulogy For The Damned ended up becoming so well received that it shifted their career up a few gears, allowing them to finally quit their day jobs. These guys are rock'n'roll lifers, committed to the music and lifestyle over anything else. Ultimately, that's gotta be respected.

And, with albums like A Eulogy For The Damned, why the hell not? It's not an album that was ever gonna send my world spinning off it's personal axis, but still comes recommended as a damn good listen. From the opening strains of Red Tide Rising, this album ably delivered on what I was pretty much expecting from it, quality songs powered by some weighty riffs and dripping with attitude. It's a relentless, turbocharged aural assault that actually gets better as it progresses.

Yeah, I'd say the most effective tracks on offer here are all from The Fog onwards, reaching a pinnacle with the highly commendable closing double-whammy of The Bishop's Wolf and the title track. Far from being front-loaded, A Eulogy For The Damned seems to almost foreshadow the band's imminent upturn in fortunes by raising it's own game midway through. I like albums like this, ones that take no prisoners and don't even appear to give a shit.

I'm not sure how popular this album will prove to be with the Club. I dug it though. It's an underdog album from an underdog band, and follows its own rules. If folk don't care, well, neither I suspect do Orange Goblin.

Mike Canoe: I enjoy stoner metal. It's generally a lot smarter than it's chuggin' and druggin' moniker would suggest. And so it goes with Orange Goblin's Eulogy of the Damned. The heaviness of Black Sabbath with the attitude of Hawkwind plus the lyrical savvy of both. What's not to like?

I can understand how Ben Ward's bark and growl might be off putting to some but it suits this kind of music well. It sounds like he just parked his motorbike outside and walked up to the mic and started hollering away. The band backs him up with plenty of power, heft, and more power.

I generally like the lyrics too, like "My only master is the man I see in the mirror, he's done me more harm than he knows" from Stand For Something.

If there is a knock with Eulogy For The Damned, and stoner metal in general, it's that it can start to sound samey over the course of the album. Fortunately Orange Goblin saves the absolute honey of a title track for the finale.

Ironically I've owned the band's third album, The Big Black, almost as long as it's been out but never really embraced it beyond the excellent lead-off track, Scorpionica. I would note whenever they released a new album and be happy that they were still together but never felt the need to explore further. Eulogy Of The Damned suggests some rediscovery is in order.

Adam Ranger: I have heard of Orange Goblin of course, but never really listened to them. Wow, my bad. This album is Glorious! It's all about the riffs (what few guitar "solos" there are generally fit around that riff) and all driven by bass and drums, vocals are gruff rather than soaring but always audible. This is metal that nods to Sabbath and Motorhead rather than say Maiden. But, and here's the killer for me, although the tracks all mainly follow the same formula, they are never boring. There are more than enough differences to keep you listening.

Favourite tracks are A Eulogy For The Dammed, The Fog (which is as relentless as its theme) and the almost southern rock sounding Save Me From Myself.

I shall be listening to a lot more Orange Goblin from now on.

Erik Mooney: A lot of the Stoner Rock bands can come across as slow and repetitive, but Orange Goblin are far from that. They've perfectly blended all the elements of stoner/doom metal and give it a lot more energy, bringing in a more hard rock approach. Even including some elements of punk and blues.

Douglas Mackenzie: I saw them a long time ago supporting Danzig at London Astoria. They were quite rightly a support band, and, quite rightly forgotten beneath the greater majesty of Danzig. 

Just given Eulogy a spin and have to say that it is utterly mediocre. Not bad, exactly, just not in any way great. One of the vast numbers of bands that, rightly so, didn't rise into the lofty hallows of the top 40.

Even the production is lame, tinny, mashed guitars all together. No clarity, Just a waste of time really. 5/10.

Bill Griffin: Not bad. I wouldn't clamour for someone to change the record if they played it but Ward's vocals are not appealing to my ears. I just don't like being growled at. I did think only one track actually stood out, the opener Red Tide Rising but, as I said, it's not a bad record but could use some actual singing. Ronnie James Dio would be awesome with this material. Not that it means anything, but I much prefer their original name, Our Haunted Kingdom.

Greg Schwepe: There are a gazillion metal genres and metal bands available in our new digital music world. I could’ve ventured into the “Metal” search bar on Spotify and never ran into this week’s Orange Goblin selection; A Eulogy For The Damned. But thanks to this being selected, I got to encounter yet another surprise for a band and album I’d never heard of.

Again, my usual MO for these is to not read other comments, reviews, or go internet sleuthing until I’ve listened to the album. The only clues I have are the description provided in the post announcing the album. “OK, more metal this week, hope it’s better than Dream Theater…”

Album kicks off with Red Tide Rising, Stand For Something, and Acid Trail. And what I hear is “Typical Metal I Like” which is a category only I understand! No need to fast forward, no need to hit the pause button, no need to bail out on the selection. What I’m hearing so far is a vibe very similar (to my ears) to Black Label Society (a band I really like).

We then get to the middle third of the album featuring probably my three favourite songs on the album. The Filthy & The Few begins with a spoken word snippet from the late 60s/early 70s featuring a guy bemoaning the fact that the cops beat up his hippie friends. Great song. Great riffs.

After that we get to the “Sabbath meets Skynyrd” song; Save Me From Myself. Multi-layered guitars reminiscent of southern rock songs. Probably the most different song on the album. Even the vocals have a Southern Rock flavour. Last in the middle third is The Fog, which has a sludge-y Sabbath groove to it.

The final four songs on the album end with the title track. And a fitting way to send off the album. Clean-ish chorused guitars for the intro, that give way to a slower pace. But then just shy of the two-minute mark, we’re back to metal mode.

This was a nice find. After the final track ended, I immediately went back and listened to several songs again, because there was mental traction with them the first time I heard them. Good enough to listen to again!

8 out of 10 on a band that I just “favourited” and will find its way onto my running playlists when I need something to help me power through a long run.

John Davidson: First listen through and surprised to find I am enjoying this.

I had Orange Goblin down as also-rans, albeit ones who did a great thing a few years back when they galvanised support for Classic Rock magazine when it folded and left the staff high and dry over Christmas. Thankfully that ended better than it might have. Now back to the music.

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Final Score: 7.12 (47 votes cast, with a total score of 335)

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