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Time Of Orchids - Early As Seen in Pace CD (album) cover

EARLY AS SEEN IN PACE

Time Of Orchids

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.47 | 6 ratings

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brainerd
3 stars Time Of Orchids' third outing saw the band almost abandoning the odd prog-metal of their first albums in favour of an even more fractious and damaged sound, and the result is a rather stark but enjoyable listen. The group had not yet attained the grandeur or beauty of their later albums but the awkward time- changes and catchy dual vocals were very much present.

Opener 'Banquet for the Back Of The Neck' sounds like some new-wave band gone horribly wrong (or right) with jagged clean guitars and random synth interjections cutting through the mix. Despite having no real chorus this song is probably the closest the band gets to a 'song' on this disc, being the most rhythmically straightforward (well, for the most part). The album continues in pretty much the same vein, with the mixture of deadpan/wailed/screamed vocals, cutting guitars and complex Drums/Chapman Stick (!) interaction, in different permutations.

'Mention A Barn' is actually quite funk-influenced and sounds a bit like Primus if they were truly weird. 'Voice' is the weak spot on the album for me with some odd production decisions (that are kind of hard to describe... I suppose you'd have to listen to it) but has a good tense ending with all instruments ratcheting up the tension and Chuck Stern's vocals becoming increasingly frantic. Lastly, 'Ascend in Pact' is a 14-minute epic but doesn't flow well after the first few parts. The opening of the track is really powerful, but the song's latter half kind of feels thron together from a bunch of riffs/ideas.

I would say that those who enjoyed ToO's final albums should definately pick this up, but should bear in mind that the band had not quite developed the formula that made 'Sarcast While' and 'Namesake Caution' so great.

brainerd | 3/5 |

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