Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
…And it seems like it’s going to be a permanent situation. No harm there — C.O.C.‘s self-titled (review here) was killer and the subsequent Scion A/V EP, Megalodon, scratched a similar itch, so if the North Carolina stalwarts want to kick out another full-length as a trio on the quick, I’m not going to complain. The PR wire sends along word of the new album, recent touring, and an upcoming appearance at Metal Fest in Chile.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Writing New Material
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY has begun writing material for their next album, the follow-up to the well-received self-titled record released via Candlelight Records late February 2012, the reissue of their Eye For An Eye debut, and recently released Scion A/V EP Megalodon. The album, untitled at this time, will again feature the trio of vocalist/bassist Mike Dean, guitarist Woodroe Weatherman, and drummer Reed Mullin.
Last week the band announced their first live performance for the New Year at the annual Metal Fest Chile on April 13th. It will be the first CORROSION OF CONFORMITY appearance ever in Chile. Mike Dean comments, “We have been talking about going to South American forever and with Chile being a big source of so much of our Facebook traffic, I know it’s going to be epic. Another chance for us to do a festival with Down is always a very good thing.”
The festival follows the completion of the band’s recent US tour that concluded in southern California alongside High On Fire. The trio was also a featured participant on Barge From Hell that left Florida shores on December 7. Dean notes, “The cruise was pretty awesome. We had Rick and Jonathan from Torche masquerading as our crew and watching their antics alone was worth the trip. The seas were calm so there was no hurling over the bow.”
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY continues to promote the self-titled album in interviews with media as well spreading word on their recently released Megalodon EP. The EP, sponsored by the amazing folks at Scion A/V, is available for free now via various outlets. Dean says, “The EP was written, recorded, and released in two months time. It really challenged us in a good way. It feels good to get two releases out in one year and I expect that we will continue that level of productivity.” Continuing he shares, “The self-titled album is holding up very well for me. There is a wide variety of material there. It’s all definitely COC but at the same time everything is really a stretch for us. Within the realm of never being totally satisfied, I am very happy with how it came out.”
Formed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1982, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY quickly transformed heavy music. Politically charged and socially aware, the band has influenced countless others and today remains humble about their accomplishments. With over 1.1 million albums sold in the United States alone, the band continues to find new fans via non-stop touring.
Say what you want to about riffs — and Joe Hoare‘s got plenty of them, no doubt about it — for me, this song is all about Martyn Millard‘s bass line. The opening track from Orange Goblin‘s long-awaited A Eulogy for the Damned (review here) has one of the album’s best, and in the video below, it’s complemented by some righteous Lovecraft-based cartoons, some hallway guitar shredding, shaky-cam Ben Ward and the steady hands of drummer Chris Turner. You won’t hear me ask anything more of a music video, probably ever.
A Eulogy for the Damned is due out Feb. 14 on Candlelight.
Posted in Features on January 12th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
You have to understand, even if the forthcoming self-titled Corrosion of Conformity full-length wasn’t their first as a trio — as this trio — since 1985′s Animosity, the record would still be a landmark, just for the fact that it’s C.O.C. The stalwart North Carolinian heavy Southern rockers haven’t had a record since 2005′s In the Arms of God, mostly due to guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan‘s ongoing tenure with the supergroup Down, leaving bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and returned drummer Reed Mullin the task of picking the band back up and moving forward as a three-piece.
But the announcement yesterday that this lineup of C.O.C. will headline Sunday night, April 8, at the London Desertfest is just the latest endorsement it has earned. Dean, Weatherman and Mullin toured twice in 2011 with Clutch, including their New Year’s tour last month, and played the 2011 Maryland DeathFest and Roadburn festivals (among others), supporting the single Your Tomorrow on Southern Lord. The track “Your Tomorrow” would wind up as one of the strongest on the album Corrosion of Conformity as well, but the record does an excellent job meeting and surpassing any aesthetic expectations that could be put on it.
Because, hey, let’s face it, if you’ve got a trio lineup of C.O.C., they’ve got a lot to live up to. Animosity is a crossover classic, and coupled with everything the band was able to accomplish after Keenan joined, then Corrosion of Conformity needs to cover a lot of ground to be a success. The album’s greatest attribute, however, is that it seems to ignore all of that in favor of just rocking out on some killer songs. As a result, cuts like “Rat City” and “Leeches” and “What We Become” hone in on the band’s hardcore past without seeming like a put-on while “Psychic Vampire,” “The Moneychangers” and “Come Not Here” bring in elements of the riffy Sabbathian groove that was always present in their sound, however prevalent it may or may not have been.
If you’re interested, the full album review is here. Just prior to their heading out with Clutch to put 2011 to bed, Dean and I spoke about what brought C.O.C. back together in this form and how it was composing the new album without Keenan, recording it with longtime producer John Custer, his own process for composing lyrics, and much more. Like the music on the self-titled, he was honest and straightforward in his responses, as you can see in the interview that follows here.
–Special thanks to Candlelight Records for letting me give away THREE copies of the new C.O.C. album on vinyl! Enter to win by sending your name and address below. Contest runs until Jan. 20!
[Please note: This contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered.]
Posted in Reviews on January 5th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
From their teenage punker beginnings to being a Grammy-nominated major label darling to influencing a generation of heavy Southern bands, few acts can claim either the enduring relevance or creative scope of Corrosion of Conformity. The North Carolinian band, which passes its 30th year in 2012, and true enough to form, they do so with the beginning of a new age – or at very least, a bold new foray down a familiar path. 2010 saw C.O.C. regroup and tour with what was billed as the Animosity-era lineup, meaning the trio of guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and drummer Reed Mullin. They released the Your Tomorrow 7” and hit the road to much acclaim from traditionalists who’d been aching for some of C.O.C.’s earlier, crossover-style material. Absent from this mix was guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, who’d joined on guitar for 1991’s Blind and come to take the vocalist position as well, leading the band through their commercial peak on Columbia Records albums Deliverance (1994) and Wiseblood (1996). His ongoing tenure in the Southern metal supergroup Down seemed to be the stumbling block keeping C.O.C. from getting together to issue a follow-up to 2005’s excellent In the Arms of God (Down released their third album in 2007 and toured extensively to support it), and Dean, Weatherman and Mullin – the latter who didn’t play on the last record but was back in the fold after playing with Dean in his Righteous Fool side-project – eventually decided not to wait any longer. Their new album, Corrosion of Conformity (Candlelight Records), is the band’s first studio LP as a trio since 1985.
This in itself makes C.O.C.’s latest a landmark, but moreover, it’s the defiance of expectation that really sets Corrosion of Conformity apart. One might look at the fact that they chose to make it a self-titled as a kind of statement that this lineup is somehow definitive, maybe a subtle “fuck you” to Keenan, but I don’t think that’s the case. Rather, naming the record after the band feels appropriate for these songs because what these songs do is essentially distill 30 years of natural and genre-transcending progression into a cohesive set of 11 tracks that play out over 43 minutes. In every move they are C.O.C., and that seems to be more the basis of choosing the title rather than showing anyone up. I acknowledge that’s speculation and opinion on my part as a listener and a fan of the band, but I’d gladly offer the forward-looking development of these tracks as supporting argument. Dean, Weatherman and Mullin could easily have slopped together 35-40 minutes of crossover punk, called it Animosity 2 and ridden the coattails of their past glories to reunion-act glory, but they didn’t do that. Instead, with Corrosion of Conformity, they take the band’s past scope and form something cohesive and – most of all – new from it. Whatever else you take away from this review, take that. C.O.C. are not rehashing what they’ve done before. As much as these songs may be carved from a lineup dynamic that existed 27 years ago, the ensuing time has meant that the players are different people than they once were, and the album shows that right from the beginning of opener “Psychic Vampire.”
In a way, the first 40 seconds of Corrosion of Conformity tell the whole story, and even more so when one considers the efficiency and lack of pretense with which the album is executed front to back. It’s perhaps in that spirit that C.O.C. most capture the simplicity of their earliest days, but one can’t deny the grunt at the beginning of “Psychic Vampire” and the riff-led groove that ensues as epitomizing a side of the band, just as does the faster, more propulsive 10 seconds that follow and open into the verse groove. Without warning, Dean, Weatherman and Mullin have established much of the course of the record, which sets its dynamics through pacing changes and balances Southern heavy rock with unabashed punk-born fury. “Psychic Vampire” sets itself out among the strongest cuts on the album in doing so and is based in large part on these two opening riffs, which play out in juxtaposition as Dean takes the frontman/vocalist role for two distinct choruses that he keeps through much of the material, backed capably by Weatherman and Mullin. Where some other tracks, particularly later in the set, need time to sink in, the likes of “Psychic Vampire” and “River of Stone,” which follows, are more immediately memorable. Weatherman’s riffing, as captured by longtime C.O.C. producer John Custer’s excellent recording job, is part of that, keeping a tonal consistency with In the Arms of God while also capitalizing on the added rawness of having one six-stringer versus two.
Mullin distinguishes himself right away on “River of Stone,” which is the longest song on Corrosion of Conformity at 6:12. His double-bass drumming is consistent throughout the first part of the track, but not rushed in terms of pace. The song opens in its chorus, but is mostly head-down forward motion, playing off some of the faster crossover elements that were hinted at with “Psychic Vampire” and are brought to the fore on “Leeches” still to come. Most of the song’s extra length comes from a break at 3:20 wherein Dean’s bass, soaked in wah, leads to a solo from Weatherman that carries the song back to its verse and chorus. Again, they show tempo flexibility and establish a solid flow, and Custer makes his presence felt as a shout rises in the mix to transition back into the verse that leads to the chorus finale. Dean’s vocals surprise in their capability to carry the song, and though it’s not a shock C.O.C. would want to establish this early, he impresses throughout the album in both arrangement and occasionally deceptively melodic execution. Not, however, on “Leeches,” which is two-plus minutes of crossover rawness that goes directly to the Animosity roots. It’s the shortest song on the album, and possibly the rawest, though Weatherman rips several leads worthy of the band’s legacy, and Mullin handles the changes fluidly while the vocals trade off leads and backing shouts. “Rat City,” which arrives just before closer “Time of Trials,” works in a similar vein, but “Leeches” is more outwardly aggressive, making the interlude that comes with “El Lamento de las Cabras” feel well earned.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you missed Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward‘s weekly studio updates on the creation of the band’s new album, check them out here. Today, the band announced a February 2012 release for A Eulogy for the Damned, which will be their long-awaited Candlelight Records debut. I can’t fucking wait.
Supporting Orange Goblin on their UK run will be Grifter, who are on board for all but the Irish shows.
This comes right off the PR wire:
Orange Goblin will release their brand new studio album, A Eulogy for the Damned, on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 in the UK/rest of world and Feb. 14, 2012, in the US. This date is the same day as BlackSabbath released their self-titled debut album in 1970!
A Eulogy For The Damned is the band’s seventh studio album but first for new label home, CandlelightRecords. The 10-track offering was recorded at TheAnimalFarm studio in SouthLondon, UK, produced and engineered by JamieDodd and mastered by two-time Grammy-nominated PinkFloyd engineer AndyJackson at TubeMastering. A Eulogy For The Damned will be released on CD and limited edition colored vinyl in gatefold sleeve.
A Eulogy for the Damned Track Listing: 1. Red Tide Rising 2. Stand for Something 3. Acid Trial 4. The Filthy & the Few 5. Save Me From Myself 6. The Fog 7. Return To Mars 8. Death of Aquarius 9. The Bishop’s Wolf 10. A Eulogy for the Damned
To celebrate the release of the new album, Orange Goblin will hit the road in April 2012 for the A Eulogy for the Damned UK & IrelandTour. Dates for this are as follows:
04/07 Desertfest @ The Underworld London 04/08 The Fleece Bristol 04/09 The Old Bell Derby 04/10 Classic Grand Glasgow 04/11 Sound Control Manchester 04/12 The Garage Swansea 04/13 The White Rabbit Plymouth 04/14 o2 Academy Oxford 04/20 The Pint Dublin 04/21 Spring & Airbrake Belfast
Orange Goblin will also be appearing live at the following locations later this year (with more festivals to be announced soon):
11/13/2011 Candlefest Moho Live, Manchester 12/03/2011 Hard Rock Hell V Prestatyn, North Wales 12/17/2011 The Underworld Camden, London 01/14/2012 Club Zeljeznicar Zagreb, Croatia 6/15–17/2012 Hellfest Clisson, France (Exact date TBA) 8/11/2012 Bloodstock Open Air Fest Derbyshire
Posted in Features on September 22nd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
The thought occurred to me to make the parenthetical headline for this post, “In Which Ben Ward Recounts and Summarizes Orange Goblin‘s Sundry Misadventures During the Recording Sessions for Their New Album,” but I think “The Grand Finale” works just as well. Given the much-appreciated effort on Mr. Ward‘s side in sending over these updates each week for the last month and a half, “Grand” seems like just the right word.
Sad as I am to see this series end, I’ll take my comfort in knowing we’re that much closer to the next Orange Goblin record. What follows is a summary of the band’s time in the studio. Thanks again to Ward for putting these updates together, and to Candlelight Records for making it happen. This is already one of my most anticipated releases of 2012.
If you want to see the now-complete series in its entirety, click here. Orange Goblin is Ward on vocals, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner.
Thanks for reading:
Orange Goblin – Studio Summary
Well, here we are. Six weeks on from when we first set foot in The Animal Farm recording studio in Bermondsey, London and we have another OrangeGoblin long-player in the can. It’s been a very different, almost relaxed affair and the breaks between sessions have been great, allowing us to take the songs away and scrutinise them before going back and adding to them or changing them where we saw fit.
I think we’ll all miss the studio a bit. It became our little haven for those six weeks and a chance to get away from the real world! A place where it became acceptable to drink five beers before lunchtime and eat cold pizza until you felt nauseous! A place where we heard tales of how often BrainHarvey (ex-East17 numbskull!) farts, how amazing the “Guitarminator” is and how we should never, ever ask the producer for a “laptop mix!” I certainly won’t miss the stress of trying to get the songs finished and writing the lyrics though… That can wait another five years now!!!
I have to take the opportunity to say a massive thank you to Jamie [Dodd], Ville and Mat [Leppanen] at the studio for their understanding and letting us come and go as we have done, without them this album would never have happened. Here are a few of the highs and lows of the last 6 weeks recording the album:
1 – Getting all the rhythm tracks done within the first five days of recording. Not that this wasn’t expected as Chris has never taken more than a couple of days and Martyn is usually pretty spot on too. We afforded ourselves a bit more time for the drums and bass this time though as writing the songs was only completed on the day before Jamie first hit ‘record.’ Anyway, spurred on by silly amounts of Boddingtons and steak-flavoured crisps (chips to the Americans!) the rhythm section got the job done and to celebrate we all went out for a victory drink in honour!! This meant an all night session in the Crobar, far too may beers and sambucas, a massive dent in all our wallets and an even bigger hangover the day after!!!
2 – Guitars and vocals going as smoothly as they did. What with all the coming and going of various people at various time, Joe and I managed to keep focus and get our parts done in time too. We set up a routine of him doing a track, then me doing one, so neither of us got weighed down with too much and we both got a regular break. Jamie was great in this respect as it meant him having to go back and forth with setting up the guitars and the vocal booth but it worked out in the end. We didn’t do anything in particular to celebrate but had a constant supply of cider, red wine, lager and whiskey, which always helps! I have to give special mention to the afternoon I locked myself away in a different room with the sole intention of completing lyrics for one of the songs. An hour later Joe burst into the room to find me fast asleep with absolutely nothing written!!
3 – The day of the photo-shoot. I can’t remember the exact date but the shoot went really well and it was a nice, sunny day (rare in London during the summer!). What was amazing was the number of screaming, teenage girls that had gathered at the studio gates who we joked must be waiting for us! We later discovered that they were there for a teenage boy band that were rehearsing (miming into their hairbrushes!) next door. As I left the complex in my car that afternoon a couple of young girls asked if I would smuggle them into the studio in the boot (trunk to the Americans!) of my car… I’ll leave you to make your own sick joke up here!! PS – I didn’t!
4 – PIZZA DICE!!! This was an absolute godsend!! It was established in the first couple of days of recording that there were only two local pizza companies that were prepared to deliver to a recording studio on the fourth floor of an industrial complex so we decided to try them both. The first was Tower Pizza, who didn’t make a very good impression by bringing us completely the wrong order, not that we complained as it meant we got more. That was until we opened the box and tasted it!! I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was the worst pizza I have ever had. All four of us were starving but we threw 90 percent of the order away as it was so bad. I’m pretty sure chicken isn’t supposed to be green! Next day we tried Pizza Dice and hey presto, it was fantastic!! The order was right (always a good start!) the pizza tasted fresh and the chicken wings were not green! Plus, they also sent ice cold Coca-Cola, which went perfect with the whiskey!!
1 – Tower Pizza. (see above)
2 – Joe waking me up. (see above)
3 – The crowds of teenage girls NOT being into OrangeGoblin. (see above)
4 – The studio being based on the fourth floor and having a no-smoking policy, which meant treks downstairs and outside every time we needed a cigarette! At least it gave us a chance to work off the beer and pizza!
It’s been fun writing these updates for The Obelisk and I’d like to thank JJ for posting them each week. All that remains now is for us to get the final mixes, master the damned thing and get it out there for the world to hear! It will be out by the end of March 2012 and I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait! Thanks for reading!
Posted in Features on September 16th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Earlier this week, Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward described sending tracks across the Atlantic to Roadsaw singer Craig Riggs so he could record a vocal guest appearance. I took that as a cue to hit up Riggs (who also tour managed Orange Goblin on their recent American tour), to see if he had anything to say about the process. The resulting couple paragraphs comprise what I’m thinking of as a bonus track to this whole series, snuck in just before the conclusion this coming week.
Hope you enjoy. To see all the updates on Orange Goblin‘s recording progress, click here. Thanks to Riggs for taking the time out:
After joking in the public eye (Facebook) with Mr. Ward about having me sing some backups on the new OG record, I was pleased to see an email that contained 10 fresh tracks from the band. Ben gave me few instructions on just what they wanted and which songs to sing on. “Focus on these two,” he said. So I went into Mad Oak Recording Studio (I know the owner) with engineer Joe Slibia. We worked on the two songs, and worked on a few more. I put backups on five songs and sent them back UK way. I let Ben know that I was going to lay down as much as I could in the day and the band could use what they wanted and toss out the rest. They seemed pretty happy with most of the stuff, and went onto mixing. So I will soon find out what made the cut, and what hit the floor. I for one am very excited.
This new OG record is going to kick ass! from what I gathered, it’s like a perfect blend of Iron Maiden, Motörhead, LynyrdSkynyrd, yet remains completely OrangeGoblin. There is some great melodies and a fine mix of tempos. Even the rough mixes I heard sound killer. Everyone hit this shit at the top of their game. I got excited about the latest Lo-Pan record when I first heard it. I feel the same way about this OG record. I can’t wait till everyone can hear the fuckin’ rock that is OrangeGoblin.
Posted in Features on September 14th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
This week, Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward reveals that tracking for the band’s new album (no title revealed yet) is complete and that mixing has begun. As such, it’s sad to say, but the series of studio updates is coming to a close. One more next week, and then we’ll actually have to sit and wait for the record to come out next March, which suddenly feels a really long time away.
Thanks once again to Ward for sending in these updates and photos. If you’ve missed past installments, you can find them here. Orange Goblin is Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner. The new album is being produced by Jaime Dodd at The Animal Farm studio in South London. Here’s the latest:
Orange Goblin – Album Recording – Week 5
OK, so these blogs are getting harder and harder to write as week by week we get less and less to do and there is more and more sitting around whilst Jamie [Dodd, engineer] starts setting up mixes. So this week I’m gonna take you back to last Tuesday when I sent the recorded files off to Craig Riggs from Roadsaw at his studio in Boston. We’d all been very keen to have Riggs involved in this album with some backing vocals so when he agreed, we couldn’t wait to hear what he’d done. By Friday evening he’d starting returning the files and I have to say we were all blown away by what he’d done. It sounds great! First thing Saturday morning and Jamie had uploaded all of Riggs’ work into the mix and everything was right with the world! It was just Joe and I at the studio again as Martyn has flown out to Egypt for a two week holiday with his girlfriend and Chris was at home looking after his boys.
Both Joe and I got to work and I finished the last vocal track (“Return to Mars”) and Joe put all the finishing touches to his guitar parts so we were all done tracking!! This led to a mini-celebration involving large amounts of cider, beer and that dreaded pizza again (which isn’t so bad after said amounts of cider!). As we started getting ready for mixing, there was much swearing and shouting at the TV as Liverpool crashed to their first defeat of the season in the football. I think this was all a little bit odd for the photographer that turned up to do some shots for a Terrorizer magazine studio report and the guy from Jagermeister who turned up to interview Joe and I about the recording process so far! Despite this we all went home happy and ready to start recording keyboards first thing on Sunday morning.
Chris was back today but Joe wasn’t around as he had to attend a Christening. We were expecting to get the keyboards down today but unfortunately, Matt, the keyboard player couldn’t make it (he’s coming in to do it next weekend now!), so Chris and I sat around very, very bored whilst Jamie went over and over the same song adjusting snare drums sounds, cymbals, kick drums and all that kind of stuff!! We didn’t hang around too long, preferring to leave it in Jamie’s capable hands. We have one more full weekend of mixing to do next week (and the keyboards) and then it will be complete. I think a week away from these songs will do us all good now as we are bordering on overkill at the moment. So, next week will be the last report and then the process of mastering and preparing the artwork and planning a marketing campaign begins, all leading up to the release of this album in March, 2012!
Posted in Features on September 6th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Looks like things are starting to wind down for our heroes The Goblins. As vocalist Ben Ward reports, the recording is almost finished for the band’s as-yet-untitled seventh studio album, and once that’s completed, it’s on to mixing and glory. It’s been great keeping up with Ward‘s reports, and this one’s no exception. In it, he details wrapping up the guitars, vocal recording, a pride-bursting photo shoot, and much more.
If you missed past installments, click here. Orange Goblin is Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner. Please enjoy this latest update:
Orange Goblin — Album Recording – Week 4
We’d had another week to prepare for the recording again and we all arrived bright and early Saturday morning ready for a photo shoot. Our good friend OranTarjan turned up to take the shots and we spent a few hours around the studio complex doing shoots in various locations. As the day wore on a massive crowd of teenage girls had gathered at the studio gates and we were convinced they must all be there to catch a glimpse of their heroes OrangeGoblin! It was only a bit later on that we found out that a young boy-band were shooting a video in the studio next door and they weren’t waiting for our autographs after all! With our egos in tatters, Joe set about getting a large chunk of his work done before I got down to some work, allowing the rest of the band to make suggestions for certain parts and we ended up with two more songs finished, both of which are very different from my normal vocal delivery. This album is really taking shape and it’s dawning on us all that there is some stuff that we have never really tried before but all agree that it works really well and I think the OG fans will like it too. Chris finished all his percussion parts (MORE COWBELL!!!) and we resisted the urge to order yet another nasty pizza from the only place in South East London willing to deliver to us, in favour of finishing early and going home for a decent meal! This seemed like a great idea until Joe, my son Max and I got stuck in massive traffic jams due to some rioters clashing with the police in Mile End and all the roads being closed. At least my son had fun counting the police riot vans rushing to the scene! We eventually got home and A LOT of ice cold beer soon helped me forget the traffic misery!
Sunday was more of the same, really, so not a great deal to report, except that Chris wasn’t in as he was celebrating his seventh wedding anniversary by taking his wife out for the day and Martyn showed up before heading off to a party which was also being attended by Su Pollard of Hi-De-Hi fame (…don’t ask!) During Martyn’s brief stay he did crack us up with his tales of woe which involved ranting about inappropriate party attire, overpriced, deflated balloons and a very expensive melted birthday cake. Joe and I eventually managed to regain composure to get within a whisker of being finished with the aid of some cheap lager and Scotch whiskey! Producer Jamie [Dodd] burned us some CDs to take home and listen to and we arranged some rough mixes to be sent to a good friend of ours in Boston who will be supplying some guest vocals on a few tracks this week. I have to say at this stage that everything is sounding better than ever and apart from the odd verse here and there (which I plan to re-sing this weekend), the vocals sound great! By the end of this Saturday (10th) we should have everything recorded and mixing will start first thing on Sunday!
So another weekend gone and we’re another few steps closer to having the album finished! A few important lessons have been learned this week, important things about recording techniques and ways we can improve our performance in the studio and on stage. But, I think the most important thing we learned is this – DO NOT get MartynMillard to organise a surprise birthday party!
Posted in Features on August 30th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Things are starting to take shape in London as Orange Goblin continue working on their new album. This week, Ben Ward sends an update as the process of recording his vocals has begun. Drummer Chris Turner has finished his tracks, as has bassist Martyn Millard, so we join the process with just the vocals and some of Joe Hoare‘s guitar to go.
After two very productive weekends recently we wanted to keep the momentum going so Joe and I were at the studio first thing Saturday morning, eager to get started with more guitars and finally some vocals. I had every intention of being good and sticking to hot tea with lemon and honey to look after my throat but after an hour of twiddling my thumbs whilst Joe added guitar tracks I gave in and had to have some cider! I then convinced myself that I should have some red wine in order to warm the vocal chords up! It worked too as I was soon in the vocal booth (hotter than a sauna!) and was belting stuff out, all of which sounded pretty cool. By the end of the day I’d got three songs finished, including the album opener which I’d consider the hardest of all the vocal tracks. Martyn turned up in the afternoon and spent his time yelling at the TV, eating pizza and keeping me updated with the football scores as I was trapped in the sauna! Whilst I took breaks between songs (for more cider and pizza!), Joe carried on with more basic guitar and solos and at the end of the day the whole album was really starting to take shape.
Joe was already at the studio when I arrived on Sunday morning and continued to work whilst I tried (but failed) to finish writing all the lyrics! I still have a week for this so I’m not panicking just yet! Chris and Martyn showed up a bit later on and between sandwiches, microwave meals and more booze we managed to get another two vocal tracks recorded so by the end of Sunday, Joe was about 85 percent done with guitars and I was 50 percent done with the vocals. We also received some new artwork ideas and a new logo design from our friend JamesIsaac (Jimbob from the band Taint) who is handling the artwork for the album. I have to say we are all delighted with what we have seen so far and we’re really excited about what the final artwork will look like. All the songs finally have titles but we have yet to decide on a final title or running order. I can reveal that the 10 songs on the album are titled as follows: “Red Tide Rising,” “The Fog,” “Acid Trial,” “Stand for Something,” “The Filthy & The Few,” “Death of Aquarius,” “The Bishops Wolf,” “Return to Mars,” “A Eulogy for the Damned” and “Save Me From Myself.”
At the end of Sunday, we burned rough mixes of all 10 songs to CD and had a listen in the car going home and I have to say that it already sounds absolutely huge! I genuinely believe that this is the best OrangeGoblin material ever and can’t wait for people to hear the finished product and get the chance to play some of this new material live! Next week we hope to finish all the vocals and guitars which will leave us to add all the bits and bobs like keyboards, etc. We also have a photo shoot and some press to deal with next weekend, so until then…………………………
Posted in Features on August 23rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
I think when this series of updates on the recording of Orange Goblin‘s yet-untitled new album is over, I might have to ask frontman Ben Ward to continue filling us in on both his drunken misadventures and the English football league. In this second (and massively entertaining) installment of the studio diary, Mr. Ward details his preferred hangover-curing breakfast, progress on the guitar and bass tracks, and several well-celebrated victories.
Last week’s update is here. Orange Goblin is Ward, bassist Martyn Millard, guitarist Joe Hoare and drummer Chris Turner. More to come, and in the meantime, dig it:
Orange Goblin – Album Recording – Week 2
After a very successful first three days in the studio we all went away and had four whole days off to listen to what we had recorded and decide if any changes to the drum tracks needed to be made, but I think we were all 100 percent happy with the work that Chris had done and by Friday when we arrived back at the studio, Martyn continued laying down his bass tracks, quickly adding to the good stuff he’d done last weekend as well. The break in recording also gave me a good chance to go away and listen to the songs and make sure that the lyrics and vocal melodies are going to work when it finally comes to laying them down. I’ve now got finished lyrics for seven of the 10 tracks, which leaves me with two full weeks to write words and melodies for three songs! Even by my standards, this should be easy enough! Martyn concentrated long enough Friday to get all his parts done despite the rest of us trying to put him off with the temptation of beer, cider and pizza! We all left there Friday night confident that we were well ahead of schedule so Chris and I went back to mine and celebrated this with more beer and whiskey!
Saturday morning, I was up early (and hungover!) and went for a breakfast fit for a king (steak, poached eggs, fried potatoes, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes – Thanks Tom!). This was the perfect stomach lining for a day on the ale! I didn’t actually attend the studio on Saturday as the English football season has started now and I had a ticket to see Liverpool play at Arsenal at the Emirates stadium in London and Liverpool won 2-0!! I honestly had intended to go to the studio after the game but because Liverpool won, there was much celebrating to do and the rest of the band accepted that I wouldn’t drop by! Whilst I was away Joe began laying down his guitar tracks (I’m amazed he managed this, as Martyn was running around the studio celebrating the fact that his team, QPR, had also won that afternoon!) After a while of working on different tones and sounds Joe cracked on and made some very good progress. By the time I got to the studio on Sunday he was well over half way through his basic rhythm tracks and everything was sounding awesome!!
Martyn and I spent the whole day listening to Joe plough through his rhythm tracks and deciding where we needed to multi-layer the guitars and where to keep it simple. I think Joe has a very good sense of where he needs to do stuff and where to drop out and I feel it adds a lot to the overall sound of OrangeGoblin albums. Chris never made it to the studio on Sunday as he had family business to attend to but he made a point of sending us messages that his team, Wolves, had won again and were in fact top of the league!! Before we left the studio we had to load all our drums and bass gear out of the studio as they are now done with! We’ll be back again next weekend for Joe to add his leads and for me to start doing vocals on all the songs that have finished lyrics, if this all goes to plan then the following weekend should be spent finishing vocals and guitars and adding the finishing touches (keyboards, percussion and any other little bits and pieces that may need doing!). Once that is done we start the mixing!!! All in all another very productive weekend and three much-needed points for Liverpool, QPR and Wolves. I don’t think all our teams have ever won on the same weekend before………..must be a good sign!!!
Posted in Features on August 16th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
I could not be more stoked to bring you this — an exclusive studio update from vocalist Ben Ward himself on the recording process for Orange Goblin‘s first full-length album in four years! The plan is to have a couple installments over the next few weeks as the band lays down tracks at The Animal Farm in South London, so we’ll all be able to keep up with them as they finish the record. Fucking. Awesome.
Here’s the latest, straight from Mr. Ward:
Orange Goblin – Album Recording – Week 1
It’s fair to say that since we returned home from the US tour in mid-June we have been working very hard on piecing together the plethora of riffs and ideas that we’ve accumulated over the past four years since we recorded Healing Through Fire. Rehearsals have been intense and the only respite we had was a weekend performing at UK Sonisphere Festival alongside the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Motörhead, Slipknot, Mastodon and more…
Last Thursday, the evening before we started recording, we finally put the final touches to the 10th song in preparation for the next OrangeGoblin record. This will be our seventh studio album and first for our new home, CandlelightRecords. The label have shown great patience with us, waiting over two years for us to finally deliver an album, so I hope we can repay their faith! I’m pretty confident, as the material seems to be a real mix of everything people have come to appreciate about OrangeGoblin. The material is heavier, darker and at the same time catchier and as psychedelic as anything we have written before. Whether that comes across during the recording… only time will tell. Lyrically, there is no real theme as there was with Healing Through Fire, and I am having fun writing some typical, fantasy-type heavy metal lyrics, kinda like GeezerButler did for Sabbath!
We are working in a completely different way this time around. In the past we have locked ourselves away for two to three weeks at a time to record but due to work commitments that wasn’t ever a possibility this time around (none of us earn a living from doing this band so we all have to earn a crust doing other things to pay our rent and feed our families!). We had to find a studio that would be willing to let us work over a period of seven consecutive weekends, as well as let us leave our gear set up. Luckily we found one, almost on our doorstep. We recorded a Sabbath cover at The Animal Farm studio in SouthLondon last year for a Metal Hammer magazine compilation, so we knew that we would be OK going back there and working with a young producer/engineer called JamieDodd. Jamie is a fan of stuff like High on Fire, Mastodon, MonsterMagnet, Metallica, etc., so he knows the sort of thing we are trying to achieve with this album.
Anyway, last Friday we started work at The Animal Farm and whilst I went out to stock up on the studio essentials (beer, wine, whiskey, vodka and crisps!), Chris [Turner] started setting up the drums as Jamie set about miking the kit up. By the time I got back with the booze, everyone was ready for a drink and Chris was ready to start getting some drum sounds which after a while were exactly what we were looking for… that huge John Bonham/Bill Ward-like kick and snare with plenty of fizz in the cymbals! In no time Joe [Hoare, guitar] and Martyn [Millard, bass] had set up too and we were ready to start recording. Chris is like a machine when he gets in the studio and before we knew it he had laid down four of the 10 drum tracks, alongside guide guitar and bass tracks and my vocal guide for good measure.
We arrived back at the studio on Saturday morning and Chris proceeded to lay down the final six drum tracks (even managing to record alternative takes of every song in case of a disaster!), meaning that he had finished all his basic parts by the end of play on Saturday evening. He will have some percussion parts to do later in the process but that will come at the ‘bells and whistles’ stage! We contemplated setting up the bass so Martyn could get started but Jamie decided we should call it a day there and resume first thing on Sunday. We didn’t need too much persuading on that and took it as a green light to go out to the Crobar (famous London rock bar) and spend the night getting wasted in celebration of Chris finishing his drum tracks — which we did in style!
Sunday morning hurt a little bit, but by the time we had all reconvened at the studio, Martyn was ready to start laying down his thunder! Using his massive Orange bass rig his sound is awesome! It can do everything you need, from the SteveHarris galloping basslines in Maiden to the smoother grooves of GeezerButler’s bass on tracks like “Solitude.” During the course of the day he managed to get three or four tracks done before we decided that we were well ahead of schedule and spent the rest of the evening burning discs to go away and listen to until next weekend, when we will carry on. I fully expect Martyn to be done by the end of Saturday which will mean it’s Joe’s turn to start piling on the riffs and playing around with tones and whatever guitarists do!! I’ll let you know how we get on next week!
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
At this point, Orange Goblin‘s holiday shows and tours are the stuff of legend. Like rehab in reverse. I’ve never been fortunate enough to attend one myself, but my understanding is they keep a cooler nearby with a few spare livers, just in case anyone’s should give out before the night is through.
It’s a little bittersweet this year, though, since as a semi-proud Jersey Boy, I’m used to seeing Solace taking part in the debauchery. Nonetheless, the show must go on, and joining Orange Goblin at the Underworld in Camden, are Gentlemans Pistols and Sigiriya, who’ve also confirmed a September release for their recently-reviewed album, Return to Earth. More to come on that, but in the meantime, here’s the flier for the show:
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Of course, if you read either the Ben Hogg interview or the Q&A with Sourvein‘s own T-Roy Medlin, you already knew the band was hitting the road in July starting at the Kung Fu Necktie in Philly on the sixth, but hey, I guess it’s nice to see all the dates in one place too. Here’s the PR wire info:
North Carolina sludge-slingers Sourvein will celebrate the release of their long-anticipated new full-length, BlackFangs, with a near-three-week US tour this July! The chaos will commence in Philadelphia with Jucifer on July 6 and steamroll its way through 16 more cities before coming to a close at GroundZero in Spartanburg on July 23. The trek includes three shows with psychedelic black metal enigmas, Nachtmystium.
Comments vocalist T-Roy: “I’m so ready to unleash Black Fangs on the public in a live setting… it’s gonna be awesome! I’ve been waiting for this for a while; it’s gonna crush! King James, Kong Moen and I will be joined by The Misanthrope Project bassist Ahmasi O’Daniel, who also laid down the low-end on the album, for the tour. Sourvein from Cape Fear… dates coming all year!”
Sourvein July tour dates:
07/06 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA w/ Jucifer
07/07 Heirloom Arts Danbury, CT w/ Jucifer
07/08 St. Vitus Brooklyn, NY
07/09 Popeye’s Peekskill, NY
07/10 Big Jar Rochester, NY
07/11 Sidebar Baltimore, MD
07/12 Now That’s Class Cleveland, OH w/ Nachtmystium
07/13 Mac’s Lansing, MI w/ Nachtmystium
07/14 31st St Pub Pittsburgh, PA
07/15 Ravari Room Columbus, OH
07/16 Volrath Indianapolis, IN
07/17 Pyramid Grand Rapids, MI
07/18 Frank’s Power Plant Milwaukee, WI
07/19 The Empty Bottle Chicago, IL w/ Nachtmystium
07/20 Fubar St. Louis, MO
07/22 The Hideaway Johnson City, TN
07/23 Ground Zero Spartanburg, SC
Posted in Features on June 3rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Crude, crusty and eternally sludged, 18 years into the band’s existence, Sourvein have rightfully amassed a reputation for bullshit-free heaviness the likes of which almost no one else could even begin to think about matching. Frontman, vocalist, founder and lone original member T-Roy Medlin offers a look at life that’s as intense as it is intimate, casting off the “songs about monsters” ethic in favor of a brutal honesty that’s won Sourvein loyal fans the world over. Raw expression is barred by neither language nor culture, and Sourvein‘s primal take is about as close to “real” as it gets when human beings are involved.
The North Carolinian outfit’s new full-length, Black Fangs (Candlelight), is their first long player since the beginning of the Bush era. In 2002, they released their sophomore outing, Will to Mangle, on Southern Lord and began to cement a legacy they’ve since backed by nearly a decade of constant touring and solid EP and split releases with the likes of Japanese mayhem bringers Church of Misery (twice) and now-defunct Israeli crushers Rabies Caste. Their trio of Sourvein-only EPs, Emerald Vulture (2005), Ghetto Angel (2008) and Imperial Bastard (also 2008), allowed them to keep on the road without taking too much time off to record, while still also maintaining a momentum of offerings going into the eventual next album.
And as that album emerges in 2011 in the form of Black Fangs, Sourvein find themselves with perhaps their most potent, gritty batch of songs yet. Medlin — joined in the band by guitarist “King” James Haun (Ol’ Scratch), bassist Ahmasi O’Daniel (Earthride’s Dave Sherman filled in on recent tours) and drummer Jeffrie “Kong” Moen — is scathing in his throat-ripping assertions, seeming to inflict physical and emotional pain in equal measure on himself and audience alike. That feeling comes straight out of Sourvein‘s live show, and captured on Black Fangs by Vince Burke of Beaten Back to Pure, it’s balanced perfectly with clarity of sound.
To be blunt, there was a lot to discuss with Medlin. From the time between albums to the origins of the material on Black Fangs itself, Roadburn, other upcoming tours and his appreciation of tragic Hollywood starlets (Theda Bara graces the cover of the latest record, and the band have had a years-long love affair with the memory of Sharon Tate), he was no less honest over the phone than he ever is in Sourvein, and it was exciting to hear him talk about taking the lessons he’s gleaned from his years in the band and using them to move forward into their next record and beyond.
Please find the complete 3,300-word Q&A after the jump, and please enjoy.