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ORCHID

Opeth

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Opeth Orchid album cover
3.20 | 475 ratings | 41 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In The Mist She Was Standing (14:09)
2. Under The Weeping Moon (9:52)
3. Silhouette (3:07)
4. Forest Of October (13:04)
5. The Twilight Is My Robe (11:01)
6. Requiem (1:11)
7. The Apostle In Triumph (13:01)
Bonus track on reissue:
8. Into The Frost Of Winter (6:20)

Total Time: 65:31

Lyrics

Search OPETH Orchid lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mikael Åkerfeldt / guitar, vocals
- Peter Lindgren / guitar
- Anders Nordin / percussion, piano, drums
- Johan de Farfalla / guitar, bass, vocals

Releases information

Zomba music Ltd.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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OPETH Orchid ratings distribution


3.20
(475 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (39%)
39%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

OPETH Orchid reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by diddy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Do not start with this one! This statement shows that this album is not like the rest. This is their debut and encloses the fewest Prog elements. Orchid is a complete Death Metal album, yes there are some of these parts Opeth got famous for but not this much, yet. What you get here is melodic death metal. I for one like it very much even if I dislike death metal in general, but that's what Opeth is all about, you love them even if you normally don't like the death metal thing. Their weakest album...yes, but for me, as a fan, it is still a good one. BUT caution: If you like to get into the worls of Opeth you'll be better off by starting with "Blackwater Park" or "Still Life". If you don't like heavy music at all, don't touch this one, try another Opeth album, Damnation for example. But this one is a good death metal album and the only pure eath metal album I like.

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Send comments to diddy (BETA) | Report this review (#30999) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2004

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Given that this is a debut album, I have to cut OPETH some slack...however, I can't help noticing the numerous problems with Orchid. I might as well get most of the list out of the way before I begin. The drummer is nowhere near the level of OPETH's second drummer, Martin López, and Mikael Akerfeldt had quite a lot of learning to do at the time, as far as his vocals went (his growl is far too high pitched, and the clean vocals tend to wander on and off pitch excessively, as well as being downright incomprehensible at times). There's also a twin guitar tone that can be quite annoying after an extended time. Some songs seem to run on a bit too long, especially considering that the chord structures are not as striking as what I'm accustomed to with OPETH. Not only that, but there is a lack of flow from one song to the other, and some very odd jumps in the vocal volume and strange empty spaces within the songs themselves. I have to put these problems down to its being a debut album (I would've rated it lower), but it can make this a rough listen that is really only for die-hard fans.

In my opinion, despite these weaknesses, there are four tracks worth checking out as a forecast of OPETH's future: "In the Mist She Was Standing", "Under the Weeping Moon", "Forest of October", and "The Twilight is My Robe". One of the strengths of these tracks is in the bass work, which has a completely different style than what you'll later hear from Martin Méndez. The two are probably about as skilled as each other--but the difference is quite interesting to hear. Some of the acoustic interludes take on an almost medieval-folkish sound that you'll only hear on Orchid and Morningrise...although the almost 1980s, reverb-drenched sound (which I quite like) never appears again on any later works. There is one interlude in "Under the Weeping Moon" that even becomes a bit PINK FLOYD-like, reminding me of the middle section of "Run Like Hell" or perhaps even "Dogs".

Unfortunately, there are some truly problematic tracks on Orchid that make it rough going. First, while quite proficient technically, the piano solo, "Silhouette", seems to have been thrown on the album at random and is quite lacking emotionally, especially when compared to the four strong tracks. In my opinion it should have never made the album. "Requiem", while a pleasant enough acoustic number, is quite bland, even when you figure in the part that the record company mistakenly put with "The Apostle in Triumph". That final track, unfortunately, is where the album goes seriously downhill. For starters, those bongos and tambourines from the second part of "Requiem" sound...ridiculous. That sort of thing should be left to OPETH's next drummer, Martin López, who actually knows what he's doing with them. The vocals here are awful...the screaming is completely inappropriate to the lyrics (later albums seem to take much more care with this), and there is one harmony part that sounds far, FAR too much like the Atlanta Braves chant to take seriously. And, with all due respect, Akerfeldt's problems with the English language bite him in the rear. Especially at the end of the song. To his credit, it is understandable that someone who doesn't speak English as his native language might have this sort of trouble, and he has improved dramatically since then, even from Orchid to Morningrise.

And speaking of unmitigated disasters...I have NO idea what possessed Candlelight (OPETH's label at the time) to slap that terrible demo, "Into the Frost of Winter", on this thing. I have recorded better things on my home computer with a $10 microphone and a $60 piece of recording software. The sound quality is atrocious and the music quality...well, you can't really tell for sure because the sound quality is so bad it sounds like a bunch of banging coming out of a tin can or something. This is the final nail in Orchid's coffin, as if they didn't shoot themselves in the foot enough with "The Apostle in Triumph"!

This is an album mainly for the serious OPETH enthusiast. There are some in the metal community who seem to venerate the raw production, but if you are interested in a bit more finesse, this will probably be a letdown.

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Send comments to FloydWright (BETA) | Report this review (#31003) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 04, 2004

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a really good listen although it has it's problems. I find it to be a very satisfying album, some of it spectacular. the best pieces are "In the Mist She Was Standing", "The Apostle in Triumph" and "Forest of October". The latter being the album's standout piece. This album has quality and production problems and sounds dated comapred to their 3rd album and onwards. "Orchid" and "Morningrise" go well together, they are both great albums that have similar sounding tunes. The vocals on here are really good but lack power. The riffs are speedier and metallic but lack melodic guitar work and their gloomy essence. Overall there are a lot of similarities between this album and Morningrise but i love them both.

This is actually one hell of a debut, Opeth know what sound they are after and achieve it well. This album is full of the heavy riffs and growling vocals, as well as beautiful mellow parts and soft singing. Orchid is a great prototype for their later masterpieces.

In The Mist... is a great opener, kicking in straight away with a cool riff. This track is quite special as it kicks off a one of the best bands i have ever heard. the vocals at the begining are actual whispers before it kicks into the full out death metal vocals. Under the Weeping Moon is a decent piece though it can have its struggles.

Silhouette is a crazy piano interlude, its quite interesting but not as good as some of their other pieces like this such as "Epilogue", "Patterns in the Ivy", "Ending Credits" and "For Absent Friends". It's nice to see that they have included this formula of linking songs together with short bridge pieces though. Orchid really has some of Opeth's best ideas, just perhaps they are not quite as polished, but they had 6 more albums to improve on their songwriting skills. Orchid has great musician skills with some top notch acoustic, riff, solo and vocal work (not to mention the drums and bass).

"Forest of October" is the standout on this album, where most of this album's praise belongs. It has the best range of style and flows beautifully, containing most of their ideas for this album. Some of the solo work is really inspiring. I have a really cool live version of this which turned me onto this album.

"The Twighlight is My Robe" is one of the softer full length pieces on this album. It builds up reall nicely and is a very decent track. "Requiem" is the second interlude piece on this album. This one is an acoustic piece that builds up. Due to no fault of the band, half of this track ends up being put onto the front of the last track, but i think it actually makes "The Apostle in Triumph" sound even better with that cool acoustic opening! The last track is a solid album closer but nothing as spectacular as "Forest of October".

Altogether this album presents some interesting tunes, a great range of ideas. Passion, ambition and emotion. Orchid hasn't aged well as all the albums after are better but i often look back on this amazing album. It is very good, especially for a debut, Opeth seemed to have settled into their sound and formula for success straight away. Production and quality on this album has some issues but its a very good listen overall. Save this album as one of the last to get though, probably more for the true fans.

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Send comments to frenchie (BETA) | Report this review (#31005) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 30, 2005

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a great debut album, in my humble opinion!

Here we can find really good tracks like In Mist She Was Standin, Forest of October and The Twilight is My Robe, being the last one the song I like most from this album. But it's obvious that they were trying to get their own sound, and we can find a lot of death metal here.... Another weak fact is that this album is maybe a bit too repetitive. The tracks are not really different between them. Neverhteless, the quality of all them makes the listening really worthy.

The Fredrik Norström's production isn't bad, but far from the last Opeth's realeases. I think that up to "Still Life" they don't achieved a really good sound... But here, like in "Morningrise", we can hear a great bass sound and playing by Johan de Farfalla, who is a great bass player in my opinion (better than Martín Méndez in my opinion... At least he's more original!)

Another interessant fact from this album are the instrumentals, both very good. Silhouette its maybe my favourite Opeth's instrumental song, great job from Anders Nordin here. And they have not released another song played only with piano...

Best songs: In Mist She Was Standing (great opening... It gives a good idea of what the album is), Forest of October (the most complete track in Orchid... A bit slow, with even some doom elements. A little classic) and The Twilight is my Robe (the best acoustic work of the album... Romantic and beautiful tack)

Conclusion: this album is not for Opeth's beginners, because due to its obscurity and not well developed sound, it can be too hard to newcomers... But if you are acquainted to the career if this great swedish band, then I strongly recommend you this album, because appart from its obvious quality, is the beginning of this metal legend. And a really good beginning, in my opinion!

My rating: ****

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#41268) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Opeth's debut album (I rented it from the library and it sports a small tin circular case, which I suspect would be a special collectors-edition) is certainly an impressive one. I am not a metal fan (any kind of post-77 metal leaves generally fairly cold) and to be able to tell you whether this would be Death, Black, Thrash or Doom metal, I would even with a quick crash course. But one thing is for sure; there are enough elements on this debut album to make it qualify as Prog metal, without any discussions possible, making me wonder why such a controversy arises when Opeth is mentioned as such.

From the 14 min opener with its good but by no means groundbreaking crunch-power chords, making you more think of 70's (early Judas Priest or early Scorpions) metal than the 80's NWOBHMB, and its other-worldly vocals (it reminds me of the singer of My Dying Bride, but I suspect a lot of bands have adopted this type of vocals), this group appears as a combination of outstanding young musicians out for blood and vengeance, loving guitar melodic crunch without the obligatory masturbatory heroics. However , I must say that the bonus track is really too extreme for me.

More impressive to me are the quieter moments (or even tracks such as Under The Weeping Moon) when I think the band shows best its talents, (even playing an atmospheric piano piece the 3 min Silhouette) displaying their dark and gothic moods (which if not for the singer's voice, I would rather think of them as gloom or doom metal) and with the Flamenco-influenced intro of the almost 14 min Apostle In Triumph, it is clear that Opeth is one of the better bands in the prog metal sub-genre.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#55012) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 07, 2005

Review by Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Certainly an ambitious debut record for a band in the Death/Black Metal vein. I don't think I've ever heard a band have such contrast with heavy and light, especially in this brand of music. Obviously, they have not nearly perfected this concept, but a few albums later, this band would be churning out masterpieces.

Since it really isn't fair to criticize a band's earlier work based on what they would do in the future, I will review the album as if I had not heard anything else from this group. I will however get a few things out of the way: Martin Lopez had not yet joined the band, which would later have a significant effect on the groups sound. The drumming here is solid, but it does not come near Lopez's work. Bassist Martin Mendez is not here either. The bassist on here does just fine though, and Mendez's absence isn't as prominent as Lopez's. Mikael's vocals are very rough. His growl has a higher pitch, and his clean vocals are weak when compared with the work that was to come.

The album opens with quite a kick. It is catchy and majestic. The high speed remains as Opeth pummel through the first chunk of the song. The first five minutes will certainly keep your interest, but you may start to grow tired of the relentless, heavy music. You may also wonder what, if anything, makes this band special, or out of the ordinary. Shortly after, they break into their first of many acoustic passages. From here on, you can rest assured that this is worth listening to.

The music may vary, but the mood remains the same. There is a depressive aura surrounding the album. This dark aura would stick with the band for the years to come, but it's most apparent in their early years. The music can still be approached and left without having absorbed the mood. I actually am happy when listening to Opeth.

The album's two interludes, "Silhouette" and "Requiem," are short pieces among the five giants that comprise most of the album. The music itself bears some good melodies and the sort, but they are considerably out of place on this record. They do however showcase the band's creativity, and since they aren't too long, they couldn't be a hindrance on the record, even if you don't care for them.

All of the five main songs: "In the Mist She Was Standing," "Under the Weeping Moon," "Forest of October," "The Twilight Is My Robe" and "The Apostle in Triumph" are strong pieces, each with their own mix of high speeds, guttural screams, melodic metal, acoustic passages and clean vocals. Overall, they have a tight, and surely well-rounded sound, but there is much room for improvement. I personally am not a fan of that Death/Black Metal sound that Opeth encompasses on this record, but they do it with enough contrast and character to make it enjoyable for me. Sure, in the shadow of the present Opeth work, this album may come off as poor, but in its own respect, it is a good record. A fine debut from this mold-breaking band.

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Send comments to Moatilliatta (BETA) | Report this review (#63500) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 07, 2006

Review by Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It’s not very often that a metal band completely redefines a listener’s outlook on heavy music. Opeth’s Orchid is a collaboration of so many different genres and styles of music that it is nearly unclassifiable. There are definitely elements of death metal, traditional metal, doom metal, progressive rock, and even jazz. There are definitely more elements, but Opeth takes all of these different styles and molds them together seamlessly. Exceedingly heavy riffs turn into death metal crunch, which then turns into a haunting acoustic passage, almost as if it was completely natural to bend a multitude of genres into a new sound. That is definitely one of the highlights of this album: it sounds so effortless, yet so perfect at the same time. Well, for the sake of argument, I will just call Opeth a progressive-death metal band.

When one takes a glance at the length of the tracks, some things may come to mind; progressive rock bands like Rush, doom metal, and epic styled Black/Death Metal. While Opeth does have progressive tendencies, like playing incredible complex chord patterns and different riffing patterns, they do not have the “soft” tendencies that many progressive rock bands have. Opeth happen to be a death metal band playing extremely long, well thought out songs. The length of each track doesn’t sound forced. It is important to note how comfortable the band seems to be playing each track for around ten minutes. A lot the time with longer songs, I tend to get bored, but each of Opeth’s songs have so much variety in them, that it is nearly impossible to get bored while listening.

The production is not the greatest, as there are tinny sounds with some of the cymbals, but that is just a minor qualm. The musicianship is excellent. One should notice the difficulty of the riffs that are played immediately, especially if they’re a guitar player as well.

The base of Opeth’s music is definitely death metal. It seems that music is built around a certain death metal styled riff and the other elements the band brings in seem built on top, almost like stone is laid for a wall. The songwriting is excellent; everything seems to have its place. I believe Opeth have found a certain type of perfection in their songwriting that few bands have ever found. To be able to write a ten minute song, and have every part fit perfectly is an outstanding feat!

Each track on this album is exceptional on its own. There is definitely no need to do a track by track analysis; it would be to repetitive and redundant. Each track has a very somber, sad feeling to it, and the acoustic passage help to highlight that feeling even more. The general guitar tone is almost melancholic, while still retaining heaviness and crunch. Even the track that is solely piano has a melancholic vibe. I’m not sure if it is because it is in minor keys or not, but sadness and gloom just ooze out of the track “Sihouette”.

The vocals on this album are definitely influenced by death metal and black metal. There is a very cool rasp to some parts, and some excellent deep growls. More amazing yet may be the clean vocals. They are very haunting, and definitely help to set the melancholic tone even further. The clean vocals, in most parts, are almost whispers; very eerie and almost haunting.

The guitars on this album range from a deep distortion to a very clean, natural sounding acoustic style. The acoustic passages sound very natural to the music, and not forced like some bands seem to do. There are some really amazing tempo changes and some even more amazing riff changes throughout the music. Also are some really cool solos. Once again, not forced, and by no means showy; just another element that fits in really nicely.

Sometimes it is difficult to discuss the bass playing in metal, because frankly, I find it hard to hear on a lot of albums. Well the bass on “Orchid” isn’t the type of bass that can’t be heard. The bass has a nice place in the mix, and there are some really cool lines that the bass player uses. The bass is definitely used as another instrument (instead of like some other bands that simply play the bass as if it were a guitar). There are some really cool parts that, once again, fit in very well in the songwriting scheme of things.

The drumming is definitely not just standard metal drumming, by any means. This is where Opeth fits the jazz element in a lot. The drums, especially in the slower, doomier passages, seem to be played much like a jazz drummer would play. There are some complex patterns, but it is not flashy or all speed like a lot of metal drummers. The drummer definitely shows he can play both fast and slow; when the speed picks up, the drums are spot on!

As one can see, each element of Opeth definitely knows how to use their respective instrument very well. This album is definitely an exciting listen, as it compasses so many genres and molds them into metal. It is hard to believe that an album of this quality came from a band’s debut album. This album definitely gave hints as to the road Opeth would take with later albums.

This album is highly recommended to all who are into Opeth and Progressive Death Metal, as well prog-rockers who want to hear some more extreme music, without letting their sensibility for prog down on the other hand. I think there is definitely something everybody can enjoy on this album. It truly must be listened from start to finish for it to be appreciated fully. Opeth showed the world that they were the masters of progressive-death metal. Like I said before, it is rare when album can redefine how one looks at metal, and this is one of those albums: it’s even rarer when a debut album can do this. This album shows why Opeth would one day climb to the top of the metal world, even the overall-package seems to be lacking in some places yet. But that is tolerable in focus on the age of the musicians at the time of Ochid's recording.

album rating: 7.5/10 points = 73 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#76937) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Opeth's first release here is one of the most groundbreaking albums in metal history. That being said, this album has very little "prog" in it. This is Gothenburg styled Opeth, with many what I would call, meandering songs.

Here we are without the drums of Lopez, and Opeth's music has a different focus than it would on later albums. The focus of this album is on intricate play between the guitars, and while it is very good and interesting, it is not very progressive, even though Opeth has forged a new sound and style than heard ever before.

The most progressive track here is Under the Weeping Moon, which has a very psychedelic progressive vibe in the middle of it. The best track here is In Mist She was Standing and Twilight is My Robe, however, I must warn that these will not be for everybody.

A great Opeth album, but not one that I think the majority of the progressive community would find interest in. I love the album's overall style, it's inventiveness, and it's uniqueness in the band's catalog. All this aside, it's still an excellent album.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#83908) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 16, 2006

Review by Zitro
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-

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#84960) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 27, 2006

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The modern masters of melodic death metal emerge, and it's rather a tame beginning.

'Orchid' was good enough to capture the interest of fans beyond Sweden, and it certainly has plenty of riffage, but what you're hearing here is a band learning to play together, and trying to figure out what they wanted to do with themselves. The longer songs aren't integrated wholes, instead being a loose amalgam of riffs and interludes. While this tendency is most obvious on the disjointed 20-minute 'Black Rose Immortal' from 'Morningrise', it's clear here even on the interesting and proficient opener, which has a fine last two minutes somewhat divorced from the rest of the track. The SABBATH-like 'Forest of October', the album's 'keeper' track, is a little more progressive, but apart from that it's just churn out the riffs, growl and scream about morbid stuff, and double-kick for all you're worth.

So what's the difference between this album and the widely acknowledged masterpieces from 1999 onwards? Compositional structure and songwriting confidence, mostly. Though their deficiencies as a group are plain to hear: at the beginning of 'Forest of October', for example, the rhythm section struggles to keep time. Notorious for not over-rehearsing (to put it politely) their studio material before recording it, it's a surprise that OPETH sound even this proficient.

Two stars doesn't mean the album is bad, merely that, in the context of OPETH's discography, this is a fans-only release. You'll hear much better on their later recordings.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#147715) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I´ve had this for years but never really gave Orchid the attention it deserves. The main reason for that is the fact that I´ve been listening a lot to the later Opeth albums and always found Orchid to be inferior to those. I still think this is true, but Orchid is a very good doom/ death album with slight prog tendencies.

The music is well played and the compositions are intricate and melodic. The technical level is not quite as it would become on later albums but it´s allright for the time and bearing in mind that this is a debut album the playing is very good. Opeth was inspired by some of the great doom/ death bands of the time like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Anathema and especially their fellow countrymen Katatonia. The link between Katatonia and Opeth has continued through time as they have similar ideas with their music even though Opeth is much more heavy. Mikael Åkerfeldt also plays in swedish retro death metal band Bloodbath with the two founding members from Katatonia Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. If you like Opeth I strongly recommend that you check out Katatonia.

The diverse vocal delivery from Mikael Åkerfeldt is not as prominent on Orchid as it is on later releases. The few places the clean vocals appear they seem a bit underdeveloped. So it´s mostly death metal growling on this album. The music changes between melodic mid-tempo to slow death metal passages and acoustic parts as usual on Opeth albums. It´s just a bit more repetitive and drawn out on Orchid than what we´re used to from Opeth.

The sound quality is surprisingly good even though I personally don´t like the drum sound, but I spoke to others about this and they don´t seem to have a problem with this so maybe it´s just me being too hard.

I think this album deserves 3 stars for the very good and intricate songs. I really enjoyed Orchid. It doesn´t come close to being as good as any of the later releases from Opeth though and therefore only a 3 star rating, but still recommendable.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#161486) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2008

Review by horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars "What else could possibly go wrong?" That's the thought that comes to mind when I think of this album (I'm past the point of being able to listen to it). Pretty much everything about this album makes me recoil in disgust, and keep in mind that I'm a severe Opeth fanboy. This album reeks of very generic death and black metal sounds, the songwriting isn't very mature in my opinion, Akerfeldt is still working on his death growls, and to make this pile of dung even worse, the production quality is absolutely as bad as it can get for a 90s album. It sounds like Opeth tried to record this album in a factory where all the machines were breaking down at once. Akerfeldt uses practically no clean vocals, his death growls aren't yet up to par, and the instrumental work is very average for Opeth, although the fact that the drummer is awful drags that down some. Unfortunately, Opeth wouldn't get the correct formula down until it reached Still Life, however they did at least improve on each of their next two albums. As for this one however, nothing seems to go right. If you feel you must get it to complete your Opeth collection, resist the temptation. You'll get a few semi-prog moments and ideas of what's to come later on in Opeth, but you won't get any of them fully developed on this album. I'd normally have sympathy and give this 2 stars since there are a few good ideas beginning to be developed, but the awful production quality brings it down another star, causing me to give this album a mere 1 star, although I'm not sure if it even deserves that.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#189550) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars The first two Opeth albums are an acquired taste. Two of the most alluring qualities of Opeth were still very under-developed:

First of all the singing. There's almost no clean singing at all here. There's bits and pieces scattered throughout the album but they are still very insecure. Also beware of the gruff vocals, Mike's grunting here resembles more a black metal rasp then his full-bellied demon attack we all came to love him for on the later albums.

Secondly, the progressive rock element is still missing. Yes sure, the songs are long and long and long and long, but they're made up of folksy riffs that are just sequenced, rather randomly, one after the other. The intricate epic metal riffs with their jazzy and Camel flavours is still far away.

This album is worth a listen for historic reasons but there's not much guarantee you'll like it unless you can stomach the predominant black metal leanings.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#236668) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Orchid' - Opeth (6/10)

As one of my favourite bands (and the band that got me into death metal in general,) I had listened to Opeth quite a bit before moving onto their first record; 'Orchid.' With a raw production and a sound that can be likened to blackened death metal, 'Orchid' has many of the traits that got me to fall in love with this band's music; just unrefined. This early on there trademark melodic hooks, brutality interspersed with acoustic segments and an eerie vibe to the music. What makes this release a bit of a step down from latter albums however, is that it doesn't have that overall feel of cohesion and function alot of the others do, as well as being a little too long for it's own good.

With five of the album's seven tracks clocking in anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes, it can be difficult to listen to the album from start to finish without some level of fatigue. Each of the tracks (including the two interludes) have qualities about them, but they don't sound so much like effective compositions as they do a collection of (albeit good) riffs and inspired sections clumped together in different tracks. This is not at all to say the songs are not 'good,' but it's hard to tell most of the songs apart from one another.

The grand exception to this rule however, is the highlight to the album; 'The Twilight Is My Robe.' Although the first listens to this interesting album didn't distinguish this song from the others, it quickly grew on me that this track was quite a bit more accomplished then the others in terms of composition. A galloping intro and mournful verse structure segues into one of the band's most beautiful acoustic passages before erupting into a headbanging instrumental section reminiscent of Iron Maiden. While the song set up is much akin to the other tracks (heavy/light sections,) the riffs here are more vibrant and above all; memorable than on the other songs. The metal instrumental section rates as being one of the highlights of the album, as it had me pumped from the first intent listen onwards.

The good news here is that Opeth would go on to perfect this style with their next album 'Morningrise' and lead to a much more functional album. As far as 'Orchid' goes, it's clear that Opeth was still trying to work out some kinks in their act, and while this debut is impressive and gives a good idea of what the band is about, the compositions (and eventually, the production) would be cleared up to make way for some of the best heavy music ever written. A great album for riffs and some really inspired sections, but not quite as good as some of the real gems Opeth has to offer in their repetoire.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#270277) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 07, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
2 stars Ahhh, death metal. There's nothing like a bunch of guys playing aggressive heavy guitar licks, while vomiting out lyrics about a subject near and dear to their hearts, like death and Satan. At least I think that's what they are vomiting. It actually sounds more like "BLARRRGH NYAMMEN FLBBBTH SHNAAAHHHH TVOOONEE!"

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. But only a little.

I know Opeth is a favorite of some here. I even enjoy some of their music, when they either don't "sing", or show they know what a melody is. And they actually demonstrate some hints of prog here and there, on this album, know more as a pure death metal set. But the throat clearing noises throughout just make this nearly unlistenable.

Two stars, only because the instument playing shows promise.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#296921) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars I've been an admitted progressive rock fan for a few years now, yet the massive force known as Opeth has always escaped my grasp in one way or another. That is until I finally pulled the trigger and bought ORCHID, Opeth's debut. Going in, I knew that I would hear death grunts galore, and to be fair, they're actually the best part of the album. But I never expected what I really did hear.

There are five songs that stretch either near or well beyond the ten minute mark. So it looks like Opeth wanted to start with a bang in the epics department in length, and to be fair, the instrumental skills of the band are impressive enough and the production is decent. ''Silhouette'' is a very beautiful piano solo played by drummer Anders Nordin. However, my main issue with ORCHID is the songwriting.

It may not seem like that big of an issue, but the overall songwriting is horrifically weak. Not one riff is distinguishable from another in a separate song unless you've ingrained the album in your brain. The tracks sound like demos of several songs pieced together unorthodoxically to make a thriteen minute piece. For a man used to long jams that used only one idea expanded upon, these twenty idea things are way too much for me.

ORCHID is an insanely fractured and disjointed album that never really gets off the ground despite the players' skills. For those really into Opeth's career or those unconditional death metal fans, this could work for you. Anyone only halfway interested ought to stay away.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#342011) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 03, 2010

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars For those only familiar with what Opeth would release from My Arms, Your Hearse forward, the first two albums from these progressive death metal juggernauts should come as a bit of a shock. Orchid is the debut album from these Swedish lads, and instead of hearing the trademark mix of seventies' progressive rock and death metal that made them famous, this observation instead shows the band in their musical infancy - while not an immature or unfocused effort by any means, Orchid shows Opeth without the precision and sense of direction that characterized their future masterpieces. This album has more of a black metal influence than any future Opeth albums, and the leanings into jazz and progressive rock territory aren't found too frequently here. While the extremely long compositions are somewhat progressive by nature, most of Orchid's progressive qualities are due to its blend of melodic black metal, death metal, doom metal, and folk music, which (at the time) was quite unique. This is probably my least favorite Opeth album, but it's a very solid entrance into the scene nonetheless.

Aside from two short instrumentals, all of the songs on Orchid are well over nine minutes long; you could definitely say that this is a tough nut to crack if you don't give it your full and undivided attention. I've been listening to this album on and off for quite a bit of time, though, so I have given it plenty of time to grow over the past two years or so. Even though Orchid has a few flaws which I will address shortly, I do have a pretty great time whenever I take it out for a spin - while they aren't particularly concise or cohesive, it's clear that Åkerfeldt and company had plenty of great ideas on this debut, even if the compositions tend to be a bit too sporadic for my tastes. Most of the musical fragments that make up Orchid are individually spectacular, but the transitions between sections are something Opeth would perfect over the course of the next few albums. For songs this long, most of them seem to lack any sort of unifying theme or cohesive structure to latch onto. Most of them kind of just 'happen', and while I do enjoy listening to the album a great deal, it lacks the dynamic power and compositional prowess that makes Opeth such a terrific band. There are notable exceptions ("The Twilight Is My Robe" is one that comes to mind), but the transitions tend to make this a somewhat incoherent release, especially from a band who would later on compose some of the finest musical masterpieces ever penned.

Though Opeth could've still improved as composers at this point in time, they were very accomplished musicians from day one. The fantastic use of acoustic guitars, fast paced metal sections, and melancholic folky parts shows the diversity and talent of these young musicians, and the guitar section has always impressed me here. The twin lead solos are truly spectacular, and I think that (although Opeth would later endure many lineup changes) they were well-rounded players from the very beginning. Unfortunately, the production (courtesy of none other than the legendary Dan Swanö) could have used a bit of work - though the man is undoubtedly a spectacular producer, the sound on Orchid is a bit thin and powerless. Everything's certainly audible, but it doesn't pack any sort of dynamic punch that I would've liked to see.

While I am a bit dissatisfied by the production and generally weak transitions on Orchid, this is still a promising and rather impressive debut from Opeth. Many better things were to come, but it is here that the band began to plant the seed for their unique brand of progressive melodic death metal. And, while the sections joining these sections could've been more fluid, there are still plenty of memorable moments throughout Orchid. This is probably the last Opeth album I'd recommend purchasing, but that's not saying much when you have a discography as spectacular as theirs. 3.5 stars are deserved for this promising and original debut.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#587188) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 12, 2011

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
2 stars If Orchid had been the first Opeth album I'd heard then I would most probably never have bothered with them again. Released in 1995 it's their first album and is clearly a band finding their feet. Opeth started life as a death metal band though even at this early stage it's clear that they were attempting to move beyond genre boundaries though it has to be said, with limited success.

While death metal elements are prevalent, including the controversial growling vocals Orchid is still an album with plenty of light and shade, something the band would become well known for. There's the occasional glimpse of a good idea here and there but on the whole Orchid is lacking. The riffs lack tautness and are often repetitive and unimaginative and certainly lacking that killer punch later work would have. This takes away from the heaviness to an extent and while they do blend them with mellower sections the required effect is not present. One of Opeth's greatest strengths is the way they can match moments of ethereal beauty with killer riffs and that's just not happening here.

I don't want to be too harsh, this is after all a debut album and there are one or two moments where it works. Perhaps best of all is Forest Of October where they capture a captivating melancholic vibe alongside some of the better riffs on offer but this is the exception rather than the norm. I've never been a lover of death metal vocals, even with Opeth they've always been something to tolerate rather than enjoy - the price I have to pay for some jaw dropping music over the years. Here though, even for me, they are lacking in power and simply annoying. Mikael Akerfeldt does sing cleanly at times, though less so than on later releases but it's still clear he has the makings of a decent singer even though he's still searching for his style.

They'd be another two albums after this before Opeth would really prove what a great band they could be which they did on Still Life in 1999. Orchid remains an average album at best and not a good place to start in your Opeth exploration.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#590712) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011

Latest members reviews

2 stars The beauty of hindsight is in credible. My absolute favourite band at the earliest stage. It's hard to imagine that Mike had so much potential brewing in him because this album really is nothing special to me and leans way too closely to the style of Black Metal than I really like. I guess this show ... (read more)

Report this review (#1218746) | Posted by ProgolateCookie | Monday, July 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Premise: Released in 1995, Orchid starts Opeths musical career off with a bang. It is very much a death metal album, but is interlaced with great acoustic passages that offer a glimpse of Opeths future. Conclusion (For those that don't want to read the long song by song review): Orchid i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1114667) | Posted by inspiredby | Wednesday, January 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album starts a very unique and interesting career for a band so well beloved in the progressive and metal music communities. Opeth has become well acclaimed for its mix of death metal with traditional progressive rock and folk melodies to create diverse masterworks, and this is where it all beg ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064289) | Posted by Codera the Great | Monday, October 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Opeth's debut was a waste of time of my life. They are the superstars of the progressive extreme music. This album is not their pride, and not a big deal. Orchid is a melodic and blackened death metal album, sounding different than most of the swedish death metal acts. The songs are lenghty ... (read more)

Report this review (#1049008) | Posted by VOTOMS | Monday, September 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I write this as a huge fan of both black and death metal music so those of you turned off by either of those styles may want to pass by this review. With that said, fans of Opeth's recent "observations" may want to stay clear from their debut album as well as its follow up Morningrise as neither ... (read more)

Report this review (#734609) | Posted by sindali | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Opeth exploded into the scene with this album and has been declared as gods forever. I have never really caught the Opeth bug. Mostly because I have never bothered listening to them. A decission I have now overturned. This is supposed to be their death metal album. Really ? I find little deat ... (read more)

Report this review (#557122) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Orchid ? 1995 (2.8/5) 10 ? Best Song: The Apostle In Triumph Opeth, Sweden's progressive death metal darlings weren't always the way you might know them as. In the beginning, they played a mean metal, without any letup, following suit with the aggression and growling of your ordinary Gothenbu ... (read more)

Report this review (#441742) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, May 02, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A little introduction.I'm glad that my 1st review is for an opeth album because maybe is my favorite band.Well,some people consider Orchid the most metal album from them.It's logical because it is also considered when it came out one of the gems of doom/death metal.My favorite tracks are:In mist she ... (read more)

Report this review (#309800) | Posted by Prog Geo | Tuesday, November 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not so prog, yet so true! I want to preface my review with an announcement which is necessary to understand my rating of this album. I write this humble opinion from a progressive rock point of view. From "normal" point of view I would give it 4 stars. Why? Well, the answer is very easy. It's an ... (read more)

Report this review (#308104) | Posted by bartosso | Wednesday, November 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Opeth's first album and one that calls into question the notion of whether the performer's age is relevant to a record's merits. If a group of 35 year olds produced this record I would be fairly ho-hum about it, but if you factor in that the group were around 21, the performance and compositio ... (read more)

Report this review (#267365) | Posted by Textbook | Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To be honest, I don't think it's fair to compare this album to the later Opeth releases, due to the fact that there other albums where achieved when Opeth really had achieved the sound that they were searching for. Many fans of Opeth (I have seen Lamentations, and I think that the testoesteron ... (read more)

Report this review (#262441) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album does not show Opeth at their best seeing as it was their first album. It is not at all that the tracks are of a low standard but they are just not particularly produced well (i feel as if the sound is too airy and should be more bassy). I am also not a fan of Mikel Akderfelts screami ... (read more)

Report this review (#252312) | Posted by Denomolos1 | Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album, honestly, is quite impressive for a first record. I found it to be somewhat repetitive however. For example, I go for long bike rides to clear my mind, I put Orchid on. I thought I was listening to one song. The drumming is basically garbage, with some incredibly random fills. The si ... (read more)

Report this review (#174618) | Posted by Treasure | Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Altough it is not the best made album in the career of the band, it still one of the greatest rock (metal, prog) album ever made. IMO this work is very underestimated. As well, this is not a masterpiece because of the weaknesses of their playing and of their (growing!) composition talents BUT.. ... (read more)

Report this review (#132492) | Posted by morcosmedve | Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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. No ... (read more)

Report this review (#95730) | Posted by sularetal | Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Now that I've finally caught up with Opeth's productions, I can say with 100% confidence that this is the worst album that Opeth has put out to date. That does not mean that this is a weak album or isn't worth listening to, but I'd definitely not start with this album if I were picking up the ban ... (read more)

Report this review (#92415) | Posted by epifreak | Thursday, September 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As far as debut albums go, this is about as impressive it gets. When Orchid was released upon an unsuspecting underground metal scene, it represented an original, innovative and richly talented band in a scene where such traits are a frequent rarity, especially among new bands. Merging various ... (read more)

Report this review (#86100) | Posted by bleak | Monday, August 07, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first Opeth album is a mix of very long songs and short instrumentals. No mellow tracks or ballads here. The voice of Mikael Akerfeldt is pure black metal with some clean/whispering passages. But instead of the fast paced repetitive music characteristic of black metal, the music here is mi ... (read more)

Report this review (#65861) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, January 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I admit to have many problems with progressive metal. As I like the hard rock for what it has of raw product, as I find unbearable this kind of album. Too much saturated, too much uniform, not rather original. I prefer the other albums of OPETH. I find rather pleasant the rather rare acoustic ... (read more)

Report this review (#44673) | Posted by miedj | Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I agree with everyone who said this should not be the starting point if you are new to Opeth. While it is a great album, it is Opeth's worst. But Opeth's worst is up there with the best of most bands out there these days. The opener "In the Mist She was Standing" is a good solid epic song, tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#37026) | Posted by | Sunday, June 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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