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Opeth - Orchid CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.27 | 636 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars First Opeth album .. this is how it all started:

Of course, this album (correct me if I'm wrong) introduced the style of mixing two extremes in the Death Metal Genre: the growling heavy side and the acoustic/folk movements. This could make it quite historic for me, but the style was not very well executed here. Anyways, there are elements in this album (and the next one) that won't really be used later. Examples are a cool bass guitar that is easily heard in parts, softer guitars in the style of Iron Maiden, whispering grunts, and acoustic parts being more folky in nature.

Problems: _There is some incoherence among the acoustic/heavy parts ... in terms of where the acoustic parts are placed. _Heavy parts have elegant distorted guitars that are underwhelming if compared to the loud grunts. _Some parts need clean vocals instead of growls, making them out of place. _Acoustic parts are usually instrumental, dull, and repetitive. _Growls are a bit high-pitch for the music. _2 short fillers that have no purpose.

When you think that the opener is the killer song, for me, this is the song that shows all the weaknesses of the album. The guitar riffs and solos are quite above average actually, but the grunts are loud, the acoustic parts are extremely long and sometimes one acoustic bit goes to another acoustic bit which will later be repeated later in the song. However, some parts are really cool, and the ending of the song could be a highlight in Opeth's early career, featuring pounding drums, and an awesome guitar riff.

Under the Weeping Moon has great things, like a sustain mellow guitar riff that unfortunately has grunts out of place that are redeemed by the last grunt which is just beautiful and initiates a repetitive, yet interesting acoustic part that is slightly avant-garde. AFter some uninteresting fast-paced riffs, the second acoustic part is probably the best acoustic part in the first 2 albums from Opeth. It has an acoustic guitar and clean vocals with a beautiful sustain effect that just gives me goosebumps.

Silhouete is a piano instrumental with a dark mood. I don't know why it was here, as it feels a bit out of place. However, like "the clap" from Yes' Fragile album, it is not bad at all!

Frost of October is godd but not great metal with moments of brilliance: guitar solo at minute 5 and the electric lead combined with acoustic playing in minute 6 that is later played in a metal style.

The twilight in My Robe is nothing different from the previous tracks but again is slightly marred by parts that could have been sung instead of grunted.

Requiem is pointless, boring and sounds like an intermissions so that you can go to the bathroom and not miss the show. The problem is that intermissions in CDs are not my cup of tea because I wouldn't miss part of the album as I can just press the stop button! Anyways, this is an extremely bland acoustic part that doesn't develop and seems to last forever when it's only 1 minute long.

The Apostle in Triumph has a great acoustic intro, but the song isn't spectacular at all. Only one interesting acoustic part in the middle and a solid guitar riff are memorable besides the intro.

So, this is a pretty good Death Metal album that combines the heaviness with acoustic parts. However, they didn't master this style yet. LAter in their career, they use that style more efficiently so that the heavy parts bang you with surprise or the acoustic breaks sound better and act as a relief rather than just putting acoustic music for the heck of it in the middle of a song. The best song is Under the Weeping Moon as it uses this style better than the other songs.

Should I recommend it? Only after you listened to all of their other albums. The next Opeth albums are similar, just better executed. Damnation is the only different one since it is grunt-free and relaxing.

Highlights: Under the Weeping Moon

Let Downs: Requiem, The Apostle in Triumph, The Twilight is my Robe

My Grade: C-

Zitro | 3/5 |


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