London, England's Orange Goblin specialize in harsh doom and stoner metal with deep space rock and blues underpinnings, striking a similar tone to greasy, groove-heavy outfits like Kyuss, Electric Wizard, Fu Manchu, and Witchfinder General. Originally operating under the name Our Haunted Kingdom, the band issued a split-single in 1996 (with Electric Wizard) via Rise Above Records, before adopting their current moniker. Beginning with 1997's frenzied Frequencies from Planet 10, Orange Goblin established themselves as both a formidable live act and a versatile studio band, delivering hefty sonic tomes that were built on a foundation of stoner metal and classic hard rock, but also bristled with nervy punk energy. After making significant waves in the underground, the band hit their commercial peak in 2012 with the release of their critically acclaimed seventh LP, A Eulogy for the Damned. Subsequent efforts like Back from the Abyss and The Wolf Bites Back continued to poke around the edges of the heavy music spectrum, but maintained the band's penchant for pairing seismic, Sabbathy riffage with fuzzed-out space rock and pungent groove-metal.
Founded in 1995 by vocalist Ben Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, rhythm guitarist Pete O'Malley, bassist Martyn Millard, and drummer Chris Turner, the band came together out of a shared love for noisemakers like Groundhogs, Motörhead, Thin Lizzy, Celtic Frost, Danzig, and Black Flag. A split 7" (as Our Haunted Kingdom) with Electric Wizard pre-dated the release of their 1997 full-length debut, Frequencies from Planet 10, which drew some of its lyrical inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings saga. Follow-up efforts Time Travelling Blues (1998) and The Big Black (2000) continued to hew toward traditional doom and stoner metal, but the arrival of Coup de Grace in 2002 signaled a slight sonic shift, with the band beginning to flex their punk muscles — the LP included guest spots from Kyuss' John Garcia and Nebula's Tom Davies. 2004's Thieving from the House of God featured a cover of ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid," and was the first Orange Goblin outing not to feature guitarist Pete O'Malley, who left to pursue a career in art — the band elected not to replace him and to continue on as a four-piece. They left Rise Above in 2007 and inked a deal with Sanctuary Records, who put out the band's sixth studio long-player, Healing Through the Fire, which, though not a straight-up concept album, used the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire that followed as inspiration. They moved to Candlelight Records for their next studio effort, 2012's A Eulogy for the Damned, which topped many metal critics' best year-end lists, and was followed by a massive world tour that saw the group playing 161 shows across 28 different countries. The concert LP A Eulogy for the Fans: Orange Goblin Live 2012 arrived ahead of the release of the quartet's next studio effort, 2014's Back from the Abyss. In 2018, the band issued their ninth full-length, The Wolf Bites Back, which was produced by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost, Paradise Lost), and featured a guest appearance from legendary Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell. ~ James Christopher Monger