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Opeth - Orchid CD (album) cover

ORCHID

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.20 | 464 ratings

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sularetal
3 stars The debut album of a fabulous band!

From the beginning of this record you can understand the band's intentions. The record starts with a drum break and soon the distorted guitars come in. Some double bass and also Mikael's growl vocals (which at the time sounded more like screams) come in. Not much interest here for the first few minutes until it brakes for the first acoustic part of the record. It's really nothing great and lasts only for a few seconds but it's enough to give you hope again. It's a scale-like passage, played on an acoustic guitar and while Mikael whispers. It soon goes back to the distorted guitars and growl vocals until later on the same song where there is the first big acoustic interlude. This time the guitar plays what it did in the previous acoustic part while an electric guitar does a few atmospheric effects. The acoustic guitar pattern changes and then it gradually goes to heavy again. First the bass comes in (which I don't really know why has a horrible sound), the hi-hat and then the guitars change to distorted. The heavy stuff keeps going while one riff changes to another without any warning or bridge which is also interesting. The last acoustic part comes in which evolves some cymbals this time. Yes, you guessed right the guitars change to distorted and play a riff similar to what the acoustic guitar played in the last acoustic interlude until the end of the song. I wrote all this cause the opener track, "In The Mist She Was Standing", might be considered as a summary of the whole record.

Heavy parts are nothing special really but not as bad as they may seem to you the first time you listen to this one. Of course they are not to be compared with Opeth's heavy parts on the later albums. It's obvious that the compositional skills of the band as well as Akerfeld's growls have really evolved from this album. What I really love in this record is the acoustic interludes. Simple really but magical arrangements dominated by acoustic guitars. One of the highlights of this record is "Under The Weeping Moon" where Akerfeld does clear vocals for the first time on the record.

Most songs are very similar, in terms of structure and length (more than 10'), to the first one, with the exceptions of "Silhouette", "Requiem" and "Into The Frost Of Winter" (for those who have the reissue). Silhouette is a three-minute piano interlude. It's a beautiful song with very good piano work done by Anders Nordin. Requiem, is a short acoustic instrumental track which apart from a very good track, it's a very good bridge to the next song, "Apostle In Triumph". Originally, the beginning of "Apostle In Triumph" was meant to be part of the Requiem but in the mixing process, this changed. Into The Frost Of Winter, is taken from a demo of the band recorded in 1992. It was recorded during a rehearsal and as a result the sound is really bad. There are however a few good ideas and parts from this song were used in the song "Advent" in Opeth's second studio album, "Morningrise". The funny thing about it is that if you listen carefully, you can listen a member of the band, probably Mikael, turning around a paper (obviously sheet music).

Overall, it's a good album. The acoustic parts are really outstanding and the way they are used is really something I haven't seen before. The sound is not that great (even though the production was done by Don Swano). It's an album that every Opeth fan must have, and a good option to prog fans who doesn't have a problem with death- metal music. The artwork isn't bad but it's not really Opeth's later artworks, which are better and more similar in terms of aesthetics.

sularetal | 3/5 |

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