"Back from the Abyss" is the 8th full-length studio album by UK heavy/stoner metal act Orange Goblin. The album was released through Candlelight Records in October 2014. It´s been a couple of years since the release of "A Eulogy for the Damned (2012)", but the lineup who recorded that album is still intact and ready to bring some new music to their fans.
Stylistically there aren´t that many surprises on "Back from the Abyss", if you´re familiar with the band´s back catalogue and especially not if you´re familiar with it´s direct predecessor, which features a pretty similar sound and production. We´re treated to a stoner/traditional heavy metal hybrid that mostly draws heavily on a Black Sabbath influence, but I also hear the occasional nod towards Motörhead and Thin Lizzy, just to mention a couple of the influences that come to mind, while listening to the album.
The band are as always well playing, with heavy stoner/doomy riffs, organic drumming, and Ben Ward´s raw vocals in front. Just as the case was on the predecessor, the professional, clear and powerful sound production is almost too "nice" and polished for the band´s music, and while there´s as such nothing wrong with the production, I still think I would have prefered a more gritty and organic sound production.
The material are generally well written and relatively catchy, but I wouldn´t say many tracks stand out, and it doesn´t take more than a couple of tracks, before it´s clear what it is the band are aiming for, which is not always a bad thing, but here it would have been nice with something new. So as I wrote above, there are very few surprises during the 54:10 minutes long playing time.
Hopefully that doesn´t sound too negative, because overall "Back from the Abyss" is another strong release by Orange Goblin. They´ve maintained a relatively high quality level throughout their career, and "Back from the Abyss" is not the album which ruins that statistic. It´s not exactly their best either, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.