Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Opeth Orchid album cover
3.29 | 770 ratings | 49 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy OPETH Music
from partners
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)

Total Time 65:25

Bonus track on 2000 Candlelight reissue:
8. Into the Frost of Winter (6:20)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mikael ┼kerfeldt / electric & acoustic guitars, lead vocals
- Peter Lindgren / electric & acoustic guitars
- Johan de Farfalla / basses (Hofner, Washburn fretless, semi-acoustic), backing vocals
- Anders Nordin / drums, percussion, piano (3)

- Stefan Guteklint / bass (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Torbj÷rn Ekebacke with Opeth (concept)

CD Candlelight Records ‎- Candle010CD (1995, UK) 1st pressing cover w/o band's logo
CD Century Black ‎- 7845-2 (1997, US)
CD Candlelight Records ‎- CANDLE053CD (2000, UK) With 1 bonus track (1992 demo recording)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy OPETH Orchid Music

OPETH Orchid ratings distribution

(770 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

OPETH Orchid reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by diddy
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.
Review by FloydWright
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 Lˇpez, 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 MÚndez. 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 Lˇpez, 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.

Review by frenchie
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.

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

Here we can find good tracks like In Mist She Was standing, Forest of October and The Twilight is My Robe, being the last one the song I like most from this album. However, 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 different between them. Nevertheless, the quality of all them makes the listening really worthy.

The Fredrik Norstr÷m's production isn't bad, but far from the last Opeth's releases. I think that up to Still Life they would not achieve 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 MartÝn MÚndez in my opinion... At least he's more original!)

Another interesting fact from this album are the instrumentals, both very good. Silhouette its maybe my favorite 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... However, if you are acquainted to the career if this great Swedish band, then I strongly recommend you this album, because apart from its obvious quality, is the beginning of this metal legend. And a really good beginning, in my opinion!

My rating: ***1/2, rounded up to four stars.

Review by Sean Trane
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.

Review by Moatilliatta
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.

Review by Marc Baum
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

Review by OpethGuitarist
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.

Review by Zitro
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-

Review by russellk
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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Orchid" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish progressive death metal act Opeth. The album was released through Candlelight Records in May 1995. Opeth was formed in 1989 by then lead vocalist David Isberg, and went through many lineup changes (including the exit of Isberg), before settling on the four-piece lineup, who recorded "Orchid": Mikael ┼kerfeldt (electric and acoustic guitars, lead vocals), Johan De Farfalla (electric and acoustic bass guitars, backing vocals), Anders Nordin (drums and percussion, piano), and Peter Lindgren (electric and acoustic guitars). "Orchid" was produced by the prolific Swedish producer/musician Dan Swan÷.

In the early years the band played a more conventional old school Scandinavian death metal style, but as the band grew and developed as songwriters, they began composing more structurally complex and progressive tinged material. The tracks on "Orchid" are for the most part very long (four out of seven tracks on the album exceed 10 minutes in length), and feature many different sections and dynamic changes. While the basis of the music is slow- to mid-paced doom/death metal with growling vocals and heavy riffs and rhythms, the music also features melancholic acoustic sections, piano, clean vocal, and extensive use of harmony guitar parts. There are also the occasional black metal influenced moment and an ethnic Scandinavian folk atmosphere to some of the parts. ┼kerfeldt sings a few clean vocal parts on the album, but the vocal style is predominantly growling (and sometimes a slightly blackened type of growling).

The material are generally well written although the structural complexity of the tracks and the stylistic consistency of the material sometimes scream for a little more diversity and moments which stand out. At 65:30 minutes it┤s a pretty long album and after a while the tracks have a tendency to sound a bit the same. Individually every track on the album are high quality compositions though. The sound production is decent considering that "Orchid" is a debut album, and the musicianship is on a high level on all posts too.

So upon conclusion "Orchid" is a promising first album by Opeth, but it┤s also the sound of a band who were not even close to having found their identity yet. The journey towards finding that identity is sometimes the most interesting part of an artist┤s career, and there are certainly some interesting ideas and experiments featured on "Orchid", but overall it┤s not a perfect release and could probably have prospered from some culling and a little more structure. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

(Review originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by horsewithteeth11
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.
Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury 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.

Review by Sinusoid
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.

Review by J-Man
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 ┼kerfeldt 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 Swan÷) 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.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 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. Despite a fondness for death metal I'd always prefer clean vocals over death metal growls, 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. A little over 2 1/2 stars so rounded to 3.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Opeth might be considered one of the giants for modern metal, specifically death metal and prog metal these days; However, their influences were a bit different in the early days. Sure they had a similar take on minimalistic, atmospheric progressive metal, their debut album Orchid suggests that the band had roots in other genres as well.

In such an album, you'll find genres like death metal, black metal, folk/neofolk, ambient, classical, and progressive metal. The compositions are still very long, so Opeth fans need not worry; aside from interludes (and bonus track), the shortest song clocks in at about 9 minutes. The album is brimming with the same twists and turns we've come to expect from an Opeth album, with a few interesting surprises of its own. Orchid shows the band in a more acoustic, dark environment here, and the very hollow production offers a lot of support in this way.

Mikael Akderfeldt's vocals here range from death growls, to black metal screeches, to folk-styled clean vocals, and each style is handled in an extraordinary way. His guitar work evades the usual metal shredding for something more substantial, offering clean runs, sweet acoustics, and even touches of jazz here and there. The other band members have no trouble keeping up with Akerfeldt either; Peter Lindgren is an exceptional player, capable of harmonizing with Akerfeldt's style cleanly while offering a wide dynamic range all his own. Johan DeFarfalla isn't heard a great deal here, but keeps the rhythm in place; Finally, Anders Nordin is a very diverse, talented drummer all his own, as well as an excellent pianist (we'll get to that later).

The material here is presented in a very raw fashion, with the heavier songs boasting buzzing guitars and visceral drumming. The acoustic sections are placed well, and keep a black metal atmosphere about them; The opening track, "In the Mist She Was Standing," is a perfect example of this. The song has absolutely no trouble blasting through the speakers and making its presence loud and clear. After an excellent intro, a full-on vocal attack cuts through the noise, with powerful contrasting screeches and growls. After everything settles down, a very sinister acoustic riff is heard, a premonition of sorts for when the next assault begins. Overall, the track embodies all of Orchid's beauty and visceral power.

Some songs are very differently executed. Take the first interlude, "Silhouette." Anders Nordin switches from the drums to the piano (!) for one of the best short songs of Opeth's earlier career. The song maintains the same dark feel, but adds a dose of the classical influence I mentioned before. It starts out in simplicity, Anders playing a slow gloomy melody; The song soon picks up the pace, sounding like a real old-fashioned classical piece from the likes of Mozart or Handel (except obviously darker than either of their styles). "Silhouette" is a very underrated gem in Opeth's discography.

One of the biggest letdowns here is the pace-killing "Requiem." It's a nice-enough interlude, but it seems really out of place compared to the rest of the album. The band could have at least attempted to make the song a bit longer or more fitting, but instead it acts as a blemish leading into such a great finale like "The Apostle in Triumph." Luckily, it's a small problem in the album, but I simply couldn't ignore it.

All in all, the album is still astounding by any standards, and remains an underrated piece of quality work by Opeth. Later albums like Blackwater Park and Still Life might get the most praise, but we can't simply leave Orchid behind either.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Review by FragileKings
3 stars So here we have the very first Opeth album, released by Candlelight Records in 1995 but recorded in the spring of 1994. By the time Opeth hit the studio, none of the founding members remained in the band, the last one, David Insberg, having left two years prior. On the current roster were a young Mikael Akerfeldt (vo/g) who was joined by Peter Lindgren (g), Anders Nordin (dr/piano), and Johan De Farfalla (bass/backing vo ) for the debut.

This album and its successor, "Morningrise", show Opeth as they never would sound again. Though labeled as death metal with some black metal aspects, Opeth were from their first platter already showing prog tendencies. The songs are mostly over ten minutes and are composed in multiple parts with tempo and meter changes, not to mention the frequent acoustic breaks. I'll admit here that my knowledge of death metal is rather sparse and lacking and so I did a bit of research, first reading the Wikipedia article on death metal and discovering that I already was familiar with its origins (which as it turns out are close to those of black metal). In the eighties I had in my cassette collection albums by Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Possessed, and it was these bands among others that inspired both the death and black metal movements. To further educate myself, I found a playlist on YouTube with 224 videos of old school death metal and I listened to the first two dozen songs. From those I conclude that early death metal was fast like trash but featured growled, or perhaps more accurately roared, guttural vocals. This matched my loose impression prior to hearing the album. When someone somewhere commented that early Opeth albums were more straightforward death metal, I imagined something like early Gorguts: fast, technical, and brutal.

The guitar sound strikes me as rather primitive for the day. Though we are talking mid-nineties here, the distortion sound, the tone, and the use of delay are similar to albums I picked up in the eighties. The one that comes to mind most readily is an EP by Ruthless. The guitars have a rawness to them and sound a bit high tone compared to the city-leveling, bombastic, full-on distortion whump! of later albums like "My Arms, Your Hearse" and "Blackwater Park". But the dual guitars play complex and melodic riffs that more than once remind me of Paul Di'Anno-era Iron Maiden. This cannot just be me because I read someone describe the guitar playing as Celtic-influenced and I have read the same appraisal about Iron Maiden.

Rather amazingly, this debut death metal album opens with a 14:10 mini-epic that introduces more than a couple of harmonized dual guitar riffs for the first 2:20 of the song before the vocals finally come in. Around the 3-minute mark the speed picks up, but with more emphasis on slower melodic riffs I feel the music is more akin to early nineties thrash bands like Sacrifice, Slayer, or Annihilator because raw speed has given way to complexity in music and song structure. The first acoustic break comes at 3:48 and get used to it because this is what the band is going to build its career on: frequent acoustic breaks in heavy songs. True to melodic form, the lead guitar parts are not wailing or shredded but exude a taste for style and feeling over volleys of notes.

Three of the next five tracks are all lengthy numbers featuring more melodic riffs, a few speedy sections, some wonderful mid-eighties early death metal heavy riffs, frequent exploitation of acoustic guitars, and some noteworthy bass guitar highlights. There are moments, especially in "The Twilight Is My Robe" when the acoustic passages become frequent to the point of redundancy, I felt at first, the uniqueness and surprise quickly wearing off. However, by the end of the song the quick binges of speedy heavy parts actually seem more like the breaks while the acoustic parts carry the weight of the song.

Throughout these tracks, Mikael's death growl is harsh and demonic, sounding like his vocal chords are being given a good shredding while the lead guitars eschew shredding altogether and stick to being melodic and emotive. There is still room for some great trad metal guitar moves in places. On the down side, the clean vocals here often sound weak as though they were deemed a necessary part of the songs but no fully adequate singer was available. Mikael would certainly perform clean vocals much better later on down the road.

There are two short instrumental pieces. "Silhouette" is a piano composition by drummer Anders Nordin. It could have been rather pretty but I feel the playing is clunky and graceless. The keys are pounded throughout and the tempo seems ready to derail at inappropriate times. "Requiem" is an acoustic guitar number with bass guitar, and despite the band's insistence on working in acoustic guitar sections into their songs, this instrumental is unremarkable.

The true highlight of the album for me is in the final track, "The Apostle in Triumph". Beginning with an upbeat acoustic piece, it sounds like something that might have been an outtake from Led Zeppelin's third album, hand drums and a restless bass guitar adding to the interest. Then bizarrely, the music fades out and for two seconds there is only silence. Another acoustic composition begins, and you might be wondering here what has happened as "Requiem" was followed by two more acoustic only bits. But "Apostle" is a mighty track of 13 minutes with some ominous guitar riffs and brutal vocals. Much more emphasis goes on the heavy music than on any other track, I presume. At 7:25 a huge surprise is dropped on our cochleae with an instrumental segment that features a guitar that sounds more like a viola. I suspect it is played by adjusting the volume dial but done with such a speed and agility that I would not be surprised to hear another technique had been employed. After the first two listens to this album, this song had cemented itself as my favourite track of the album and one of my top ten favourite Opeth tracks, at least until I acquired more albums when the list had to be expanded to a top 20.

Though Opeth would go on to release many excellent albums later on, this earnest debut, though a little rough in a few spots, establishes the band as more than just another death metal outfit. Rankings of Opeth album usually put "Blackwater Park" or "Ghost Reveries" at the top but at least one list I found has "Orchid" in the number one position.

A more straight forward death album this is not. These four young men produced quite an achievement in their early days as Opeth and set their course for progressive melodic death metal.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars When it comes to progressive extreme metal, no story would be complete without a reference to Sweden's OPETH, a band that started out as just another pioneering death metal band from the Swedish underground but would soon blossom into one of the most unique metal bands of any genre. While long associated with Mikael ┼kerfeldt who has been the only member to appear on every single OPETH release, the band was actually formed in 1989 by the original vocalist David Isberg who after finding a lineup would soon solicit band membership from former Eruption band member ┼kerfeldt. For whatever reason the other band members rejected this decision and soon departed and the pair were left together to start anew.

Interestingly the band name came form the word "Opet" which was taken form the Wilbur Smith novel "The Sunbird" and is the name of a fictional Phoenician city in South Africa which translated into "City Of The Moon." After a ridiculous amount of personnel changes, the whole thing became too much for founder Isberg who left the band in 1992 which allowed ┼kerfeldt to take control of the project and the rest is history. After the tumultuous start ┼kerfeldt took the bull by the horns and recruited the new lineup of guitarist Peter Lindgren, percussionist / pianist Anders Nordin and bassist Johan De Faralla. OPETH was quite lucky in the fact that they circumvented the whole demo thing after Lee Barrett of Candlelight Records offered to sign the band with a mere exposure to a rehearsal.

OPETH were also fortunate to have tutelage of the metal veteran Dan Swan÷ who participated in not only the production and engineering but also provided the necessary funding and mentoring of what he deemed a promising talent emerging. While 1994 was spent developing the band's sound and recording the debut ORCHID, the album finally emerged in May 1995 to mixed reviews. Riding the initial explosive underground growth of both the death and black metal scenes as well as the progressive rock revival of the early 90s, OPETH was one of the most audacious bands to emerge in the mid-90s with roots in all of the above and delivered an epic progressive death metal sound well beyond the scope of other extreme metal contemporaries. ORCHID was both bellicosely brutal as well as tenderly melodically beautiful.

Unlike the following OPETH releases, ORCHID is a far more diverse album that introduced the reverie of classic 70s progressive rock wrapped up in blackened death metal clothing that allowed complex epic length tracks to unfold on ever-changing journeys that embarked on heavy death metal riffing, folk music, subdued acoustic classically inspired guitar parts and piano parts along with death metal growls, black metal shrieks and even clean melodic vocals. The mood is one of complete depressive annihilation with pummeling distortion and frenetic vocal insanity to sublime twin guitar sweeping melodies that evoke calmness, placidity and the light of eternal hope. This rollercoaster ride is a true metal mood swing as the alternating dynamics sound as bipolar a concert that would feature Morbid Angel playing with Simon & Garfunkel.

ORCHID is the test of perseverance and patience as the original album clocks in close to 66 minutes and most later releases contain the early underproduced demo "Into The Frost Of Winter" as a bonus track. The inclusion as a bonus was a wise move as it demonstrates how quickly the band had grown from a brutal raw black / death metal band to the sheer sophisticated prowess of this debut studio album where five of the seven tracks exceed eleven minutes, one is close to ten and the only two short tracks are the acoustic interludes of "Silhouette" and "Requiem." ┼kerfeldt was obsessed with the occult during these years and likewise the lyrics are dark and twisted about Satanism and evil and likewise the downtuned guitars and overall sound was created to accompany the gloominess of the underworld.

In many ways ORCHID encapsulates the entire career of what OPETH would become on the more successful following albums. The brutal death prog that mixed extreme metal and 70s progressive rock was already fully developed as were the myriad ingredients of heaviness with folk, classical and even jazzy extra touches. While i may be in the minority, i truly find ORCHID to be the most captivating album of OPETH's entire discography as it embraces a wider spectrum of sounds that would be jettisoned for the more streamlined albums to come. One of my biggest complaints about the majority of OPETH albums is that the percussion is tamped down to simply keep the beat of the compositional flow. Not so on ORCHID where fully fueled bombast is allowed off the leash as much as it is tamed into submission.

Likewise this is the album that is allowed to express the most extreme examples of death metal with faster tempos, blastbeats and absolute fury delivered in ┼kerfeldt's unique vocal style. While many may find this one a bit too long for its own good, i find the opposite true as it more than any other OPETH album has enough changes in the tempos, dynamics, intensity and stylistic shifts that allow the melodies to exhibit extreme beauty and the bombast to pummel the senses. Even within the greater OPETH canon, ORCHID is utterly unique and single-handedly launched a completely new strain of death prog just at the time when bands like Dream Theater and Anglagard were reviving the progressive rock scene from its lengthy slumber. Yes, i stand in a lonely room but ORCHID is the epitome of what i consider the perfect OPETH sound and there is not one track that doesn't shine as brilliantly a supernova in the heavens above. A woefully underrated masterpiece to my ears.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Although I previously hadn't "got" Opeth, I recently decided to give them another chance and thought the best way to do it was to give a listen to this debut album of theirs, on the basis that whilst it doesn't get as much praise as later works, it forms a foundation for their work and I might find a better way to unpack their sound if I track its development from here.

The album leads off with a clear statement of intent in the form of In Mist She Was Standing, in which a positively jaunty instrumental opening section gives way to a mingling of death metal aggression, vocals, and production style with prog- derived musicianship and compositional extravagance. In fact, but for two brief numbers (Silhouette and Requiem), the entire album consists of reasonably long multi-sectional compositions which find Opeth sketching out their initial vision of prog-death metal.

Indeed, it would be fair to say that whilst death metal might be the centre of gravity for the album as far as its metal contributions go, a broader palette of metal techniques are drawn on than just the standard death playbook, with some sections taking on a sort of epic majesty reminiscent of the more serious-minded types of power metal. And genuinely non-metallic sections appear too, with some gentle moments reminiscent of the most pastoral moments of early prog bands (think Anthony Phillips' acoustic guitar work on Genesis' Trespass as an example).

With Dan Swan÷ producing, it's hard not to see this as carrying forward some of the ideas originally explored by Edge of Sanity - though notably, Edge of Sanity's progressive magnum opus Crimson was not yet recorded when this was released, so perhaps it's better to say that there was a cross-fertilisation of ideas at work between the two groups. Either way, if you're into death metal and into prog and feel like you should like Opeth but have previously bounced off their mature works, it may be worth your while giving Orchid a listen, because this is the flower whose seeds grew Opeth's future harvests.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars Opeth as a band is one I never actually listened. In terms Prog Metal, I am more familiar with Dream Theater or TOOL, but I always at least knew Opeth existed, but I never really, experienced them like many people. But I decided to go ahead and give Opeth a shot, started with their debut, and here are my thoughts.

The first song is In The Mist She Was Standing. It wastes little to no time in establishment of the sound of the album. It's kinda adventurous in the sound, however since Opeth is said to be more in line with death metal, it has some screamo voices. The voice is pretty cool, gives a sorta feeling like this is a tale told by a dead man. It's pretty cool in a way. I also like the quieter bits with acoustic guitars, it really makes this song sound a little more sinister in the wake. I think this is a great start. Next song is Under The Weeping Moon. The sound is still as adventurous in nature, however near the middle with the acoustics, there are some weird noises, probably guitar feedback since that song leads into a pretty guitar section. Still has the screamo vocals. Now after that song, we get to Silhouette, a piano song. The piano is pretty sinister sounding, like a dark knight has entered into a castle and is ready to make plans for the princess' life. Pretty damn cool. Now after that, we got Forest of October. This is a pretty rocking and pretty slow moving in the beginning, and even when the vocals kicked in. Also in some bits, there isn't any screamy vocals and more fluid vocals in there too. They sound pretty nice, I think I dig them more than the screamo. Next song is The Twilight Is My Robe, and this is objectively the best song on the album. The guitar riffs are so fluid and smooth, yet so intense, that awesome bass at the start, the beautiful acoustic guitar in the middle, and how the songs comes back ahead after the middle is over is so awesome. It's like a whole entire adventure. Very damn cool! After that, we got Requiem. Like Silhouette, it's pretty short, and it primarily uses one instrument, being an acoustic. It is a pretty song, and I think it is a good little song to lead into the next song, The Apostle In Triumph. I say this is a very good last song. It ties things up. It establishes the sounds, the heavy death metal, the adventurous sound, the slow moving acoustical parts, and even introduces more folk like elements to in the beginning. It is a very good song, and I thought it was a really good closer for an album like this. Very nice debut.

So in terms of everything, I think this is a very great debut. It introduces some cool sounds in a metal landscape. With some complex instrumentation, awesome vocals, and some stellar work with non traditional metal instruments like acoustics and pianos to really make this some damn good progressive metal. Very nice, very good. Hope their next album is even better.

Review by Hector Enrique
3 stars Originally from the lands that cradled the sordid tonalities of death and black metal, the Swedes Opeth give a twist to the characteristic rispidity of the genre and its gloomy guttural voices, adding folk and progressive elements to conceive "Orchid", their debut album, a novel mixture of chiaroscuro that mutates smoothly from the extreme instrumental gravity to luminous acoustic landscapes.

"Orchid" shows an almost natural inclination for long developments (a characteristic that will be repeated in later works) in humid wooded scenarios and crepuscular reflective moments that Mikael ┼kerfeldt describes with his guttural voice transformed at times into crystalline and peaceful. From the opening "In the Mist She Was Standing", surely the most outstanding piece of "Orchid", the atmospheric "Under the Weeping Moon" and its pinkfloydian airs delays, or "Forest of October" and "The Twilight Is My Robe", the pieces are around ten minutes or more, and resort to the constant play of ┼kerfeldt and Peter Lindgren's raspy riffs combined with their arpeggiated acoustic guitars, sustained by the correct percussion of Anders Nordin and the at times unmistakable double bass drum at the speed of a fugitive pursued by the police, and the almost invisible bass of Johan de Farfalla.

And in between, to give a greater contrast to the album, the interesting piano solo "Silhouette" by Nordin, something unusual being the percussionist of the band, and the very short and acoustic "Requiem", are a breath of classical airs and prepare the onslaught of "The Apostle in Triumph", another powerful theme that refers to nature with mystical touches and that ends the first musical adventure of Opeth.

Still with a sound to be polished and rudimentary at times, but already showing their particular way of doing things, Opeth begins with "Orchid" to outline their own path.

3/3.5 stars

Latest members reviews

4 stars Orchid is an album that has its flaws, but honestly, it's a great debut, there's a unique and otherworldly atmosphere that surrounds this album every time i listen to it, be it the raw mixing, the abstract black metal lyrics, the lack of structure of the songs and the constant change of rhythm, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2961930) | Posted by theaqua | Monday, October 16, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Opeth first album was already a one of a kind in the metal genre yet not showing band's potential. All band members were in their formative years and the drummer and bass player to be replaced be the trademark alternatives. Singing both clean and growling are average and on the top of the game a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2477548) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, November 19, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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 2, 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 9, 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 3, 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 7, 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

Post a review of OPETH "Orchid"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.