Once upon a time in a galaxy not too far away actually, someone took three chords and the truth and brought us that wonderful thing called heavy metal. Whether it’s in studio or live form we usually get our fixes from short sharp shocks. The CD box set is usually reserved for bands that have ended their careers or as a way for record companies to cash in on the gullibility of fans to buy anything or to recoup any losses for sales that haven’t actually materialised in the way one had imagined.
It’s therefore something of a curio to see UK based metalheads Orange Goblin release this vast five cd box set of their career to date. Luckily for us, this is no cash in or cheap shoddy work- far from it. What we have here is a pause for thought anthology, lovingly compiled by the band that sees the reissue of some long lost gems, a good re-mastering thanks to the brilliance of studio technology and an opportunity for fans old and new alike to renew their vows with one of the UK’s greasiest, dirtiest and sludgiest metal bands.
This five CD set, with extensive liner notes from vocalist Ben Ward has all the stuff that you love from their back catalogue and a few choice nuggets of alternate versions, b-sides etc that add to the richness of the overall product and build an even better understanding of the band.
It’s not something often commented on but there is a narrative and developmental arc to Orange Goblin should you want to sit down with a coffee or a beer and drink in the 67 tracks on offer here- equally, this is one of those box sets that you can pretty much go fishing anywhere and come up with something pretty special.
Whether it’s the psychedelic, patchouli scented debut, Frequencies from Planet Ten or the “Fuck you, we won’t do what you tell us” of Thieving from the House of God , this pretty much ticks all of the boxes in heavy metal heaven. And be under no illusion, Orange Goblin are a heavy metal band. You can please yourself and your desire to pigeonhole with labels like “stoner” or “doom” but, bottom line, Orange Goblin are a class A, no messing, lock up your daughters heavy metal outfit.
Highlights? Well, for starters, there’s the “we aren’t taking this so seriously, really” self-deprecating Song of the Purple Mushroom Fish which will always bring a smile to your face, the QOTSA esque Some you Win, Some You Lose, the belligerent brilliance of Scorpionica…oh look, I could go on for ages here- it’s got pretty much everything, ok? And, yes, it does have their fantastic cover version of the Damned’s New Rose as well. And yes-that’s brilliant too.
And there you pretty much have it. 67 tracks. All heavy. All metal. All ready and waiting. Come on in: the water is lovely…..