Personnel: Ben Ward (vocals); Joe Hoare (guitar, keyboards); Chris Turner (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Jamie Dodd.
Recording information: Mad Oak Studios, Boston, USA (08/12/2011-09/18/2011); The Animal Farm, London, UK (08/12/2011-09/18/2011).
Illustrator: James "Jimbob" Isaac.
For a while there, things looked pretty grim for lovable stoner metal stalwarts Orange Goblin...their sixth studio album, and third since branching out beyond their stoner/space rock foundations, 2007's Healing Through Fire, met with a rather lukewarm reception from both fans and critics (to put it kindly), and despite securing a new deal with Candlelight Records shortly after coming off the road, the band's recording of seventh LP A Eulogy for the Damned took place in fits and starts over the ensuing four years. To make a long story short, it appears that life (i.e., day jobs, parenthood, and other real-world responsibilities) essentially intruded upon Orange Goblin's personal rock & roll fantasy, and though this intrusion reportedly almost led to their demise at one particular low point, it seems the lengthy hiatus also gave the band more time to refine the songs contained herein. Mind you, there's nothing altogether unusual about opening heavy metal powerhouse "Red Tide Rising," the Fu Manchu-inspired big chorus of "The Filthy and the Few," or the malicious staccato apocalypse of "Death of Aquarius" -- except for an embarrassment of top-notch, bad-ass riffs that were clearly stockpiled during the protracted creative process. The memorable "Stand for Something" almost sounds like Mot”rhead at half speed (in a good way), and the band also shows a greater willingness to stretch, whether that means revisiting some of those early career doom and stoner vibes on "The Fog," or adopting a bluesy Southern rock approach for "Save Me from Myself," which is literally half ZZ Top, half Lynyrd Skynyrd (note the organ humming in the background). If these descriptions haven't made it obvious already, 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! ~ Eduardo Rivadavia