Having been stalwarts of the metal scene for some 18 years now, Orange Goblin seemed to prick up a fair few ears of fans old and new with last year’s magnificent “A Eulogy For The Damned”. Crystallising all that is great about their sound into one huge platter of riffs, frenzy and madness, it was an album that harked back to the days of the “Big Black” and “Time Travelling Blues” whilst planting its feet firmly in 2012.
This then is their showcase – the album that demonstrates what they are really all about – the live experience. Having seen Goblin perform a dozen times or so over the years, I can honestly say that Bloodstock was one of their finest performances (pipped only by their set at Hellfest which, pleasingly, is the bonus DVD with this here album) and proved to a rammed tent of tired, drunk lunatics that although you may think you have no energy left at the end of a long festival day, Orange Goblin are like a hit of speed, a shot of tequila and a kick in the head all at the same time. No fucker is sitting down or going home early when these boys hit the stage.
From the opening salvo of ‘Red Tide Rising’, through a host of classics to the closing favourite ‘Scorpionica’, the quartet keep the pace frenetic and the metal dirty as Ben Ward proves himself to be one of the most engaging frontmen around. His enthusiasm and exuberance is infectious and his wild-eyed call to arms inspires any crowd to come together like one big family for a shout-along evening of headbanging and air-guitaring.
With bass maestro Martyn Millard a whirling mass of hair and tattoos, locking into a solid groove with Chris Turner (a criminally underrated drummer who is always a delight to watch) the foundations are laid for Joe Hoare to peel out riff after riff of effortless swagger and power. I honestly find it hard to sum up the Orange Goblin live experience but it’s like having a wall of noise make sweet beautiful love to your ears. Bloodstock felt like the culmination of what they have been working towards for nearly two decades and since then it has been hugely gratifying to see them going on to even bigger and better things with Australia and the USA really taking them to heart as they blaze a trail over there.
If you love metal and you’ve never seen Orange Goblin live then you’re a massive idiot and I should slap you. However, you can be forgiven this grave sin by getting hold of a copy of this album, although full redemption will only occur if you get your arse to see them in the flesh when they next (dis)grace your town. If you’ve seen them live before you still need to own this trophy as a happy reminder of what it’s like to finish work, get some beers in, forget your troubles and go a bit loopy in a field to the sounds of the cosmic bozos from London town.
Let’s face it – an Orange Goblin gig is pretty much the most fun you can have with your pants on (and any rumours that I was running around the tent without any on are defintiely untrue) and this album almost manages to capture the full joy of being there in that Derbyshire field in a marquee full of metal brethren. A fine eulogy for an increasing army of fans.