Orchid
Gatefold


4.5
superb

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
October 16th, 2010 | 385 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "You tell me that passion's passé...."

I’ve been pondering a lot about life as of late. How it all comes together, and what my part in everything that is life, truly is. Well it’s no surprise that when I think deeply upon these matters, I also think deeply about music. You see, music is such a big part of my life and who I am. Ergo, the two are intertwined. Yet the idea of what music is has been challenged by me recently. How and what music can be both artistically and conceptually is been a though in my mind. That is because I have recently acquired the discography to legendary emotional hardcore band, Orchid.

And truly, it’s not difficult to see why Orchid challenge my preconceptions. The music is anything like what I have heard. It’s messy, disorganized, and a blur of sounds and noises, strewn together in a cacophonous heap. This very statement argues Orchid’s musical validity. How can this actually exist in the same realm as other works of musical art? How can this even be deemed as art to begin with? While still in existence, Orchid had released three true albums. The first two albums, while fantastic, were mere stepping stones in a path to their final release: “Gatefold.”

To answer the questioned posed about Orchid’s musical and artistic relevance, one should simply look at “Gatefold.” “Gatefold” is a true behemoth of an album, and encompasses everything that was Orchid. It was a creative milestone, marking how far the genre had come, and what the future would hold. Yet it would be doing a disservice to fence the band into a genre. “Gatefold” is an achievement of music in general. While it shouldn’t be held up against music in a historical sense, the album was a defining moment in the hardcore scene. The pure veracity, combined with the passion and emotion of the exuberant youth of Orchid, is something truly profound.

While it is easy to speak in purple prose and lofty sentences, it doesn’t do much in the way of truly describing “Gatefold.” Interestingly, “Gatefold” isn’t even the album’s title. The album is simple entitled “Orchid,” but the packaging it is in has allowed it to be known by it’s current name. However, it is not as if Orchid can contend the name of the album, because the band shortly dissolved after it’s release., which is both a shame and a blessing. While it is always upsetting when a band full of promise calls it quits, “Gatefold” is helped out by it’s enigmatic aura. Like other influential bands before them, Orchid released their magnum opus and swan song all in one.

“Gatefold” is such an indelible success because of the raw emotion and feeling contained within. While less raw and abrasive than their two previous releases, the album is simply a perfection of everything that band worked towards. It’s polished to a sheen, and feels much less spontaneous, and more thoroughly planned out. The spontaneous nature of Orchid had always been a draw for me. The brash explosion of passion that seemed to erupt and fall into place perfectly was glorious. However, the meticulous dissecting and thorough planning heard on “Gatefold” is just as, if not more, arresting than anything they had done prior. It sounds like a maturation of sorts, and it feels as if the band is completely comfortable with themselves and their music.

The song selection and set up is truly one of the album’s defining qualities. Yeah, great songs make a great album right? In a sense, yes. However, how the album flows, and how the songs relate to one another makes a great album truly outstanding. From beginning to end, “Gatefold” is a treat. There is not a skip-worthy song on the entire record, and a full run through of the album really displays the genius of the whole thing. From the duo parts of “Amherst Pandemonium,” to the calm epilogue “Impersonating Martin Rev,” “Gatefold” is full of classics.

Unlike their previous releases, “Gatefold” isn’t simply a short, spastic burst of chaos. The variation is astounding, and the passion is so vibrant and palpable, that one can feel it through the speakers. Instrumentally, there is a lot more variety. Tracks such as “We Love Prison” and “Trail of the Unknown Body” utilize the instrumentals more than ever before. This adds an indescribable amount of depth to the album, as it is more dense and profound than in previous releases. Different sounds and percussive elements are used, and the guitarist take a bigger role in the whole thing. And while the vocals have always impressed, on “Gatefold,” the truly defy expectations. Jayson Greene is better than ever on this album. More emotional and passionate before, he utilizes more than one style, and truly adds an indelible amount of depth to the entire record.

“Gatefold” is a masterpiece of emotional hardcore, plain and simple. The lofty prose used to describe it truly undermines the band’s achievement. That is to say, the album cannot be contained into paragraphs and futile languages. The only way to truly understand is to listen. For the short lived band has birthed a genuine piece of artistic expression, and it isn’t something to be missed. To some, the album will be a screamo novelty. To others, an intangible mess, and an overall mockery of music. However, for those who truly embrace “Gatefold,” as well as Orchid, will be rewarded with truly unforgettable experiences.



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user ratings (402)
Chart.
4.1
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other reviews of this album
Seabeast (4.5)
Orchid managed to release what's possibly their best album before breaking up....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 16th 2010


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My third and final installment in my Orchid review series. If you got even a fraction of the enjoyment of reading them as I did writing them, then this has been a glowing success.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 16th 2010


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Regretfully, I gush about this far too much....

deathofasalesman
October 16th 2010


5843 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The music is anything like what I have heard.

Must not be special.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 16th 2010


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ouch

deathofasalesman
October 16th 2010


5843 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is amazing by the way, I can't decide between "superb" and "classic." Good review, though some
of the wording was a little awkward.

Edit: Oh yeah pos.

Ire
October 16th 2010


41787 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

damn dude you haven't reviewed in a while

pos

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 16th 2010


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I c what u did there Ire

Thanks haha

Spare
October 16th 2010


5311 Comments


i didn't like chaos is me would i like this

Digging: Best Witches - Wishes

Foxhound
October 16th 2010


4570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Orchid

ConsiderPhlebas
October 16th 2010


6157 Comments


Did they actually call it gatefold? thought it was self titled.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


7307 Comments


The opening paragraph is a bit awkward and unnecessary (although I understand what you were trying to achieve with it). But the review's still solid. A pos to you sir.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12456 Comments


Emo-post-hardcore-hardcore stuff is not my cup of tea but still, another good review Xeno!

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 16th 2010


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Did they actually call it gatefold? thought it was self titled."

I mentioned this in the review

Bitchfork
October 16th 2010


7584 Comments


I really hate it when people try to start off classic reviews with a load of philosophical fluff.

ConsiderPhlebas
October 16th 2010


6157 Comments


I mentioned this in the review



Didn't read the review, the first paragraph put me off. It never occurred to me that anyone would deliberately, repeatedly use the wrong album name in a review. Now that I have read it, all I can say is


???




alachlahol
October 16th 2010


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if we're to be stingy about it this album should be titled "Orchid" and not its alias "Gatefold"

taxidermist
November 20th 2010


7203 Comments


Pretty good review, man. Will be checking this out. Pos'd.

JustJoe
January 21st 2011


1399 Comments


I wanna fight.

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Gwyn.
December 14th 2012


15122 Comments


First paragraph is rather akward, there are some noticable grammar/spelling mistakes("because the band shortly dissolved after it’s release.," I'm guessing you meant dissolved shortly after, because otherwise you're saying that they separated for a short time, and you placed a dot before a comma) and you don't mention a single flaw, and even go ahead as to call the album a "masterpiece" and "classic" on occassions so this reads like a 5.

Hoooowever regardless of those things, the review still holds up decently.
This album is awesome, I haven't heard it in a while but I'm fixing that right now.

sixdegrees
December 14th 2012


17149 Comments


Dance Tonight! >

Digging: 10Minimal - Aluminum World



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