Posts Tagged ‘Orange Goblin’

I’m reading Lord of the Rings again. This is probably the 15th time at least that I’ve read it since the first time I picked it up as a kid. I like to read it once a year if I can, not only because it is a masterpiece of storytelling and world/mythology creation, but there is a huge link between Tolkien’s work and heavy metal in general. Bands, song titles, album titles; so many inspired directly or indirectly by the works of J.R.R, so I’ve built a playlist based upon bands that have some link to his works. I don’t normally do this, but each song can get a brief explanation for those who may be a bit confused about some of the links:

1. Blind Guardian – Lord of the Rings: no explanation needed here surely. I couldn’t miss the world’s best power metal bands, especially since their Tolkien obsession led them to write their best album based on Tolkien’s most impenetrable book, The Simarillion.

2. Amon Amarth – Amon Amarth: An alternate name for Mount Doom, the fire that forged the One Ring.

3. Burzum – Ea, Lord of the Depths: Burzum is the word for ‘darkness’ in the Black Speech of Mordor. It is found engraved on the Ruling Ring.

4. Gorgoroth – Gorgoroth: A vast, dead plain within Mordor

5. Cirith Ungol – The Troll: Cirith Ungol is the pass into Mordor where Shelob lives

6. Morgoth – Unreal Imagination: Morgoth is the Great Enemy, Sauron’s boss and the creator of all evil in Middle Earth

7. Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop: The Misty Mountains are probably the most famous range in the Tolkien works, and this is a rocking song!

8. Isengard – Dark Lord of Gorgoroth: Covers two bases by mentionion Gorgoroth again and Isengard being the home of Saruman the wizard

9. Balrog – Nazgul Warlord: A Balrog was the massive beast of fire and flame that fights Gandalf in Moria

10. Nazgul – In Summis Montibus: The Nazgul were the 9 Ringwraiths sent by Sauron to find the Ring

11. Nightwish – The Elvenpath: Contains samples from the animated Lord of the Rings movie, as well as referencing elves and Bilbo Baggins

12. Orange Goblin – Saruman’s Wish: Saruman being the traitorous white wizard

13. Three Inches of Blood – Destroy the Orcs: A kick ass song about destroying orcs

14. Ephel Duath – Vector, Third Movement: Ephel Duath is a mountain range on the West and South of Mordor. It means ‘Fence of Shadow’

So there we have it, a bit of everything and all mixed in with the heady goodness of dwarves, elves, men and wizards. Oh, and lots of unspeakable evil!

For my first gig in a long time, and long meaning that I can’t remember the last one (it was 2013, but what it was escapes me at this moment), I picked a doozy. Airbourne, the young, speed infused version of AC/DC, supported by the triumphant power of Orange Goblin? Life can be beautiful sometimes.

We arrived at the venue in time to catch the final two tracks by The Treatment, a young English rock and roll band who sounded pretty decent but hard to tell from just two tracks. Probably worth checking out, although their leather jacket-clad, tousled hair look felt a bit forced. You don’t need to look the part if your music is good lads, all I’m saying.

When Ben Ward, titanic frontman/monolith of rock of Orange Goblin strode on stage to huge cheers, my friends turned round to me and said, ‘aye, he does look like you!’ I had the fortune of meeting the man at the merch stand during Airbourne and he’s bigger than me. Like, I’m 6 foot 4 and I had to look up. He looked proud when I told him I’d be wearing my newly purchased Orange Goblin shirt to get me through what inevitably turned out to be a massive hangover. On stage, he’s engaging, blessed with a titan roar and loads of charisma. He’s smiling, waving his arms and encouraging everyone to party. The man seriously loves life. His band were excellent, from the barrelling ‘Scorpionica’ through the epic ‘Saruman’s Wish’. If you’re unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar with Orange Goblin, imagine Motorhead where Lemmy smoked weed instead of doing speed. When Ward dedicates their final track ‘Red Tide Rising’ to the victims of the Clutha disaster, it rounds off what has just been 30 minutes of pure class, rock and roll at its finest.

Airbourne had a lot to follow, but if there’s a band that personify the feeling of good old fashioned rock and roll, its them. Endlessly energetic, with a setlist packed with sing-a-long anthems that only the dead wouldn’t enjoy, they are a band to be appreciated in their live form. On record, I’ve always enjoyed them but live they are something else. Frontman Joel O’Keefe is a hyperactive Angus Young, bounding around stage, going for trips through the crowd on somebody’s shoulders, pulling off guitar solos while perched on the merch stand, smashing beer cans off his head and hurling them into the crowd, and just generally conducting rock and roll chaos. Airbourne are simply huge, and they deserve it. From fist pumping anthems like ‘Stand Up for Rock and Roll’ and ‘Running Wild’, to sleaze rockers like ‘Chewing the Fat’ and ‘Girls in Black’, not a single moment in their set is boring or cliche. Yeah, they sound like AC/DC, but since when was that a fucking problem? Airbourne slay, and that’s the end of the tale. We were ready to rock, and rock we did.

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