Paul Hutchings gives the re-issue of Healing Through Fire the once over… yes it’s Orange Fuckin Goblin!!…..
Few bands kick so hard, so consistently as the UK legends that are Orange Goblin. Formed in 1995 under the name Our Haunted Kingdom, their first release was a seven-inch split with Electric Wizard. Their sound changed from the stoner blues style of their first three albums on 2002’s Coup De Grace and by the time they arrived at album number six, Healing Through Fire in 2007, the band had incorporated those original sounds into a much more aggressive and heavy sound. That’s not to say that those roots were ignored, as one can hear on tracks like The Ballad of Solomon Blues which opens the album or the sprawling almost psychedelic workout on Beginner’s Guide to Suicide which closes the album. The latter showing just what a brilliant guitarist Joe Hoare is.
Sandwiched between are some mighty slabs of heavy metal. There’s the biker size ten stomp of The Ale House Braves, the riff-laden Hot Knives and Open Sores and the bone crushing They Come Back (Harvest of Skulls) which remains in their setlist today.
This release contains the original album and a plethora of goodies that many fans will not have encountered before. The four tracks from the Radio 1 Rock Show session are as boisterous as you’d expect, with the inclusion of a monstrous Scorpionica from The Big Black and Blue Snow from 1998’s Time Travelling Blues. The three demos aren’t particularly of interest to me, but they show the huge sound the band achieve in the studio. And there’s a cover of The Damned’s New Rose which is given the Goblin once over as well.
The second CD contains Goblin in full live flow. Recorded at the Mean Fiddler in 2006, this is the audio recording of the DVD that accompanied the limited edition of Healing Through Fire when it was first released. The sound quality is dreadful, a muffled production suggesting the mixing desk was in the toilets, but it does capture the essence of the band in the environment they excel. If you’ve seen OFGB live, there are few surprises. Ben Ward is full on, cajouling and encouraging the audience to engage in “chaos, motherfuckers”. The band are heavier than the proverbial bag of anvils, and it sounds like a raging show. The track listing reflects the band at the time, with plenty of older songs spread through the 11-track set list. A selection of band commentaries has been spliced onto a couple of the songs, which I imagine is from the original DVD. (It doesn’t work particularly well on the audio version, disrupting the live flow of the gig.)
Overall, the rarities on disc one are probably of more interest, although live versions of Hot Magic, Red Planet and Round Up the Horses are well worth a listen. Ultimately, if you love Orange Goblin, you’ll be ordering this double CD. If you don’t, and I know one friend who famously said he’d rather “suck the sweat from a dead man’s balls” than watch OFGB, then Healing Through Fire probably won’t be on the shopping list.
Orange Goblin re-release Healing Through Fire via Cherry Red Records this Friday the 20th August
Back in 1989 German Thrash/Speed Metallers Paradox released the classic album Heresy, well they are back to continue the sage with Heresy II
Check out the video to the new single Mountains & Caves, and stay tuned for our full review before release day for the rest of the album…and read the label release (or some of it) below the video
When today’s Thrash Metal classic ‘Heresy’ was released in 1990, the world was different. The internet was nearly unknown. Mobiles were as big as buffalo bones. Wacken Open Air was a party for the village louts. These are stories from a long forgotten time. But Charly Steinhauer and his band Paradox are still here and release the upcoming thrash classic “Heresy II – End of a Legend” with a brand new line up.
Musically and lyrically, “Heresy II – End of a Legend“ starts where the first part ended in 1990.
After a longer lean period, fans can expect 75 minutes of finest melodic trash metal on “Heresy II – End of a Legend“ which sounds even in the year 2021 as fresh and new as in its commercial heydays at the end of the 1980s. On September, 24th the time has come: The Return of Thrash with Class!
You can pre-order (Digipak, ltd. Vinyl) here: https://shop.afm-records.de/paradox/
Hutch checks out the new EP from the masters of Teutonic thrash… have the German masters still got what it takes to wreck our necks…
Did you really need a reminder that Sodom were still alive and kicking? After last year’s brutally brilliant ‘Genesis XIX’ there can surely have been little doubt that the Germans were firing on all cylinders and ready to roll. But time isn’t wasted in Sodom HQ. The band had initially planned this three track EP to coincide with summer festivals but best laid plans and all that. With their gigs postponed Tom Angelripper and co decided to release the EP anyway, “as a signal to our fans: We’re still around! The story continues.”
A recording of the classic Bombenhagel from 1987’s Persecution Mania kicks things off. For those familiar with the original, there may be a few surprises, including a blistering solo from Harris Johns, who as producer guested on the original. Angelripper’s scream of “Harris” signals the solo, whilst Angelripper’s fat bass drives the track. It’s extended by over a minute on the original, and the current line up (completed by Frank Blackfire – guitars, Yorck Segatz – guitars and Toni Merkel – drums) do the song total justice with a full-fat version.
Two new songs follow. The first is Coup De Grace which Angelripper describes as “a true thrash sensation”. It certainly contains everything you want from Sodom with a no hold barred aural assault. The lyrics are about the death blow delivered by a hunter to his wounded prey but from the view of humanity administering the blow to itself. A reflection on the self-inflicted carnage man has brought about, Angelripper calls it Sodom’s “attempt to rouse people and urge them to act more thoughtfully”.
The final track has a definite old school feel to it with a vicious hook and powerful driving riff. ‘Pestiferous Posse’ features low-tuned guitars, Angelripper’s demonic growling delivery and more headbanging opportunities than an entire Anthrax show. It’s a heavyweight beast, featuring the stories of one of the most famous gunfights in the American Wild West history at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in October 1881. The historic fight between the Wyatt brothers, Morgan and Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday, and the local cattle and horse rustlers and outlaws, known as the Cowboys. Drawing parallels between then and the current battle in American politics, Angelripper is once more using history to make comparisons with current situations.
With the band celebrating their 40th anniversary next year, there are few signs of Sodom slowing down. The two new tracks may be typical Sodom, but there’s many bands who’d give their right nut to be as consistent and well respected as the Germans. With the promise of new music in 2022, this is a welcome stopgap and another reminder, if one was needed, that this band are still a vital cog in the global thrash wheel.
Sodom release the new Bombenhagel EP on the 20th August via Steamhammer/SPV
Hardcore….what is it good for…. power chords and D beats of course!! Asa checks out the new release from Danish HC band Rot Away, here’s what he thinks of Nothing Is Good…
Rot Away are a Hardcore band from Copenhagen, Denmark. The line-up (Jonathan Albrechtsen on Vocals, Christian Mattesen on Guitars, Ole Schwartz on Bass and Andreas Albrechtsen on Drums) are essentially a Danish Hardcore supergroup, with the members being quite prolific in their scene. Rot Away may be a new name, but the members have plenty of prior experience within the scene. They released their first self-titled E.P in 2019, followed by a single (‘Time Bider’) and a short live E.P, both released in 2020. Since then, the band have been working on their debut album, appropriately titled ‘Nothing Is Good’, and it’s pretty evident from the moment it starts that these guys are pissed off.
The album starts with squealing feedback and the building of drums as heavy, savage riffs fill your ears. These are the type of riffs that would get any Hardcore fan two-stepping in the pit. The song, ‘Rot Away’, is short, with a few gang shouts and Jonathan’s angry bellows occasionally exploding over the instrumentals. ‘Deadfriends’ kicks in out of nowhere, with a classic d-beat and open chords ringing out. The chord-based riff is fast, energetic and would get bodies flailing in an instant. It’s less than a minute long, charging headlong into sheer brute force before feedback greets us once more, leading into ‘Bad Way’, which has a slightly thrashier edge. Frantic riffing gets the blood pumping as the drums pound into your skull. The pace slows down as mammoth grooves get necks snapping before one final explosion of turbocharged riff work closes things out.
‘Hang Low’ is a slower affair, with a monstrous main riff that is infectious in all the right ways. The chorus is also equally catchy, with it’s easy to follow lyrics and simplistic phrasing making it a real earworm. The song gradually builds towards a disgustingly savage breakdown at the end that will no doubt cause utter carnage in a live environment. ‘No Apology’ goes straight for the jugular with a faster tempo during the verse and mid-paced grooves in between, providing plenty of forward momentum for the album and contrasting perfectly with the slower songs. The halfway point is marked by ‘Atlas Fracture’ which has dissonant feedback, menacing open chords and pounding toms to slowly build us into the whiplash-inducing riffs that will surely cause lifelong neck issues if you aren’t careful. Things pick up a little towards the end before the earth-shattering breakdown deals a piledriver to the face.
‘Graves’ is the longest track on the album, clocking in at a little over 4 and a half minutes. There’s an unease to the overdriven chords during the intro that are slightly disturbing yet despairing. It’s wildly different from everything that you’ve come to expect by now, packing an emotional heft when everything fully kicks in. Jonathan’s performance sounds like that of a man in dire desperation. There’s a haunting quality that permeates throughout, with layers of guitar creating a dense, and often intense, listening experience. However, don’t worry if you think that there’s no more slabs of brutal Hardcore left as ‘Timebider’ grabs you by your throat and doesn’t let go. Dissonant notes ring out and are quickly vanquished by the skull-crushing grooves that make up the body of the track. There’s even some time for the bass to shine, with its gritty, crisp rumbling adding serious girth to the riffs. The slamming breakdown at the end has enough force to permanently contort the faces of anyone in a 10-mile radius.
The penultimate track, ‘Spitshine’ brings back some of the Thrash-infused vibes during the verse riff, something that wouldn’t feel all that out of place on a Power Trip or Enforced record. The song traverses its thrashy terrain with ease, leading to a ferocious two-stepper, monolithic in both size and sheer heaviness. The final track is ‘Prøv Igen’, a song that is no-holds-barred attack on the senses, with blistering d-beats and frenetic power-chord riff work claiming supremacy over your body. There’s a little more Thrash spice to add some additional flavour to this already-delicious slice of Hardcore savagery. All the trappings of classic HxC are on display, in all their delightfully menacing glee. One final show of dominant brute force erupts from the last two-step fueled breakdown and it’s over.
‘Nothing Is Good’ isn’t a completely accurate name as I know one thing for certain that is good, and it’s this album. Yeah sure, it’s not reinventing the Hardcore wheel, but Hardcore doesn’t need reinvention. What it needs are d-beats, tom builds, power-chord slammers, breakdowns, two-steps, a pissed off vocalist and a hearty dose of energy. ‘Nothing Is Good’ has all of this in spades. It’s 25 minutes of unrelenting, visceral mayhem with riffs that tear your skin clean off your face, leaving a bloodied, unidentifiable mess of mass behind. That isn’t to say there isn’t a little something extra here, as ‘Graves’ proves. The band can do a little more with the Hardcore formula if they please and they can execute that just as well as the usual suspects. The performances are all top notch, with everything being tight as hell. The guitars have plenty of crunch to add the appropriate level of devastation to the riffs, the bass is dirty and helps to beef up the guitars and lock in with the drums, the drums are crisp and provide the artillery bombardment to add to the destruction and the vocals are as angry and shouty as you could hope for from an album like this. The mix is also impressive, with everything sitting just right, allowing everything room to breathe if needed but locking in tight to keep things cohesive. Theirs’s no clashing of frequencies or drowning other things out, all the elements can be heard in all their glory.
In conclusion, Rot Away have provided a stellar debut album that provides all the thrills that makes Hardcore so fun to listen to. Put they do occasionally throw something new into the mix and that willingness to experiment takes them a slight notch above most of their peers. If you’re not a fan of HxC then this album won’t really do much to change your mind. However, if you’re like me and love d-beats, two-steps and gargantuan grooves then Rot Away have the perfect album for you. I’m looking forward to seeing what else these guys have in store for us, and so should you. Check out this album right now, you won’t be disappointed.
Rot Away – Nothing Is Good is Out Today – 13th August on Last Mile Records
Author of the book about your favourite artist.. Joel McIver joins Jon for a great chat about writing for a living, and everything else
Plus we have killer Thrash from
Tempashot – Afterburner
Haksaw – M.T.S.
Grave Altar – Hells Necromancer