With the stoner rock movement seemingly finally and unequivocally headed toward extinction, along with many of its last champions (the once-mighty Monster Magnet dropped, the promising Unida left in unreleased album limbo, the dependable Fu Manchu still going nowhere fast, and the eclectic Queens of the Stone Age transforming into something altogether other), it was no surprise to see Orange Goblin, one of England's foremost purveyors of the genre, looking for the exit sign as well. And that's just what they did on their fourth album, Coup de Grace, dispensing with the last remnants of their ultra-baked, space rock musings (given a final, discreet spin on instrumental "Graviton") to deliver what is essentially a straight-up hard rock album...remember those? Produced by stoner rock veteran Scott Reeder (Kyuss, Unida), ironically enough, Coup de Grace introduces a much more immediate, in your face, almost punky Orange Goblin and, in the process, completely re-packages the band for the next phase of their career by adopting the cartoonish horror flick artwork usually associated with White Zombie. Rough and raw hard rockers like "Your World Will Hate This" and first single "Monkey Panic" quickly establish this "new orange order," which also includes a very faithful cover of the old Misfits staple "We Bite" (where vocalist Ben Ward does his best Glenn Danzig karaoke). "Made of Rats" and album highlight "Jesus Beater" don't just feature a cameo, but a full-on co-lead vocal performance from another Kyuss alum, John Garcia (whose voice, it must be said, remains one of the finest of his generation), and the also excellent "Getting High on the Bad Times" and "Rage of Angels" offer the most promising signs of things to come. In short, Coup de Grace is obviously a transitional effort for Orange Goblin -- a not yet fully formed blueprint of where they really intend to go from here. Therefore, though it's heavy as hell and at least as good as its predecessor, The Big Black, whether Coup de Grace will be the most representative Orange Goblin album remains to be seen.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia