Opeth
Orchid


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
November 24th, 2011 | 266 replies | 12,774 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opeth's first record stands as one of the best debuts in modern metal.

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.

Opeth were (in this line-up)

Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals, lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars
Peter Lindgren – rhythm, lead and acoustic guitars
Johan DeFarfalla – bass guitar, backing vocals
Anders Nordin – drums, percussion, piano



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DeadBeat
November 24th 2011



529 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos

Lambda
November 24th 2011



2417 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Requiem was supposed to be longer, but there was an error in mastering and the second half of it was stuck to The Apostle in Triumph. Pretty good review btw

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Adultery

ShousoStrip
November 24th 2011



574 Comments


Good review, although the only good song on this album is In Mist She Was Standing. :^(

KILL
November 24th 2011



71253 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rules!!!!!!!

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2011



20299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Twilight is My Robe m/

GodL1ke
November 24th 2011



804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Under The Weeping Moon m/

CrackeTheSkull
November 24th 2011



718 Comments


I

DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

WHILE OUR MYSTIC BROTHERRRS STIIIILL SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK


MO
November 24th 2011



18451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album m/

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



10043 Comments


This is pretty damn good
That god-awful bonus track is horrendous though, almost made me lower my score before I decided that would be wrong

MO
November 24th 2011



18451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's just an old demo, has bits of advent in it too, I think it's great, fits the album

CrackeTheSkull
November 24th 2011



718 Comments


The Exorcism of Mikael Akerfeldt's throat that took place after this album was recorded m/

The screaming is just flat out inhuman.

RAH

RAH

RYEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

BLeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

GodL1ke
November 24th 2011



804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nah his vocals peaked at blackwater park. everything after that is meh

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



16301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How this has a lower average rating than Deliverance (which sucks) I will never understand.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

GodL1ke
November 24th 2011



804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lo-fi shit

MO
November 24th 2011



18451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love em both but yea that 3.7 is criminal

Hawks
November 24th 2011



35446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is fantastic.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants

Relinquished
November 24th 2011



24880 Comments


how does deliverance suck idk this logic

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Twilight is My Robe m/


Favorite Opeth song and one of my favorite songs ever.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



18250 Comments


has the only good opeth song on it

Digging: Syndrone - Salmataxia

Hawks
November 24th 2011



35446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hyperion I'll never understand your hatred for Opeth lol.



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