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Opeth - Orchid CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.27 | 659 ratings

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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.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |


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