Orange Goblin: Ben Ward (vocals); Pete O'Malley, Joe Hoari (guitar); Duncan "Fred" Gibbs (organ, keyboards, samples); Chris Turner (drums).
Recorded at Rhythm Studios, Stratford, England; The Square Center, Nottingham, England between 1996 & 1997.
Upon first listen, Orange Goblin's interestingly named Frequencies From Planet Ten was a remarkably professional-sounding debut, but a closer look quickly revealed that the band's sonic identity was still maturing. Opener "The Astral Project" serves as their de facto resum, covering the band's entire stylistic repertoire, including doomy riffs, psychedelic melodies, spacey jams, stoner grooves, and even, occasionally, jazzy accents. Most of the songs that follow revisit these elements -- all of them -- at once! And that's where the boys' bluff is called. While they obviously worked their butts off trying to please all the camps, the disc's best songs are usually those where they stop trying to be so damn eclectic and just get down to some serious head banging. For proof, check out the killer intro and minor chord perfection of "Land of Secret Dreams" (arguably the album's best offering) and the all-out pummeling of the excellent "Aquatic Fanatic." They also have a little fun exploring their healthy fetish for J.R.R. Tolkien on tracks like "Saruman's Wish" and "Lothlorian," as well as their very name, of course. All things considered, this was a solid first effort, and while they would subsequently suffer the expected growing pains, Orange Goblin was on their way to bigger and better things. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia