Opeth
Orchid


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (110 Reviews)
January 14th, 2015 | 66 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Boasting emotional slower sections, powerful guitar riffs and Mikael Akerfeldt's impressive screams, Orchid successfully created blueprints for Opeth's amazing discography.

Over the years, Opeth have really developed a name for themselves by means of evolution and ability to stand out in the progressive metal scene. Mikael’s inhuman harsh vocals and their trademark contrast between light and heavy really earns them the title of unique. While the transitions between heavy to light may not seem completely seamless on Orchid, Mikael and co. manipulate this concept to perfection in the near future. However, the compelling ideas are presented here to great effect. This is a massive album filled with amazing screams, engrossing guitar riffs and fantastic musicianship that only improves as time goes on. In addition to these positives, Orchid features the best slower passage in the history of Opeth’s vast discography.

The passage mentioned above happens to be in the definite album highlight titled “The Twilight is my Robe.” After all of the heaviness that precedes it, the song quickly slows down to an undeniably emotional ride featuring many layers of beautiful acoustic work. When the drums come in, it’s as if the guitar work takes on a life of its own with Mikael and Peter Lindgren picking away some very talented melodies on their guitars. In fact, many of the slower passages on this are among some of Opeth’s very best. While “The Twilight is my Robe” showcases the band at their emotional best, the acoustic passage in “Under the Weeping Moon” sees the band delving into darker territory with atmospheric acoustic guitar work. “The Apostle in Triumph” also adds to the album’s uniqueness with Anders Nordin showing off some tribal drumming that the band has never explored again in addition to some more epic acoustic work. As evidenced here, the slower passages on Orchid alone makes this worth exploring, but make no mistake that the bulk of the album lays in the massive progressive metal sections.

Take “In Mist She was Standing” for example with it being driven by its engaging guitar work, fantastic drumming and Mikael’s often unbelievable screaming. Coupled with more fantastic style transitions, this song makes for the perfect opener. In addition to the compelling acoustic passages mentioned in them earlier, “The Twilight is my Robe” and “Under the Weeping Moon” also thrill with Mikael’s jaw dropping extended screams and impressive musicianship. While Opeth’s perfection of sound may be still to come, these epic tracks as a whole aren't among the band’s best work, but the band is still young here and despite the band's young age, they make for quite the ride that really gets the listener’s blood pumping.

However, the minor problems that exist on Orchid happens to be its overlong nature, sometimes sudden transitions, and Mikael’s clean singing voice. He develops a beautiful singing voice overtime, but his voice here is rather lackluster. Though not terrible by any means, his definite strength lays in his ability to continuously belt out impressive growls and screams. In addition to this, the length of Orchid proves to be way too long. It may not as much of a chore to get through as their later album titled Deliverance, but some of the tracks that include “The Apostle in Triumph” and “In Mist She was Standing” surely could have been trimmed down. This also would have helped the style transitions sound more natural, but they simply come off as sudden in a song like “The Twilight is my Robe.” The lengths of the tracks would usually warrant the time to build up to the style transitions, but oddly enough they come off as forced, unlike what they’ll create in the future.

Despite the flaws of Orchid, it still makes for quite the potent progressive metal album. It possesses a unique quality that many heavy albums don’t have and this uniqueness lays in the contrast and the vocals. Mikael proves to be one of the most talented harsh vocalists out there and the engrossing ideas presented on this album come full circle overtime. Long story short, this album successfully created the blueprints for Opeth’s amazing discography which contains many styles and masterpieces. It is for this reason many Opeth fans thank this album.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's been a while, for me at least haha I'll probably be reviewing less now that my semester started but I'll be around.



Album is awesome, critiques are welcome as usual guys!

TalonsOfFire
January 14th 2015


13002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed on everything and great review despite some awkward sentences, imaginary pos. This certainly has some of their best acoustic sections, and to me the meandering nature of the songwriting is both a positive and detriment.

MO
January 14th 2015


19620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is criminally overlooked. rules so hard



nice one mongi

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys and Talons examples you spotted please?

facupm
January 14th 2015


9714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good one!



in the mist she was standing is my favorite song here



are you doing their discog?

Artuma
January 14th 2015


19369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

forest of october is my fave on here tbh



sweet rev mongibro

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SharkTooth
January 14th 2015


9114 Comments


yay moar Opeth

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks bruhs.



And idk I've been thinking about it. I already did Damnation(too far back sadly) and PC over the summer. And since I don't have lots of time to keep up with new releases I may since I wanna continue reviewing.

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
January 14th 2015


2162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man, agree with basically everything on here. The riffs in the first 2 minutes (ish) on the opener are pure bliss

Digging: Rishloo - Feathergun

TalonsOfFire
January 14th 2015


13002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

However, the compelling ideas are presented here to great effect because this is a massive album filled with amazing screams, engrossing guitar riffs and fantastic musicianship that only improves as time goes on.



-You missed a comma or two here.



While Opeth’s perfection of sound may be still to come, these epic tracks as a whole aren't among the band’s best work, but the band is still young here and despite their best work still to come, they make for quite the ride that really gets the listener’s blood pumping.



-You repeat some words here and the sentence overall could use some trimming.



Long story short, this album successfully created the blueprints for Opeth’s amazing discography that contains many styles and masterpieces and it is for this reason many Opeth fans thank this album.



-This could also use trimming and/or commas.



These are just minor nitpicks that I spotted, but like I said overall it was great. Do Morningrise and My Arms next, they just have user reviews so yours'll be flagged automatically!

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool fixed them up a bit Talons. And I may do just that!

CaptainDooRight
January 14th 2015


403 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

nice

NeroCorleone80
January 14th 2015


31895 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. One of Opeth's best albums for sure

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


20698 Comments


nice review mongi!

just a couple small nitpicks:

Mikael’s inhuman harsh vocals and their trademark contrast between light and heavy really earns them the title of unique. While the transitions between heavy to light may not seem completely seamless on Orchid


since you already used the words "light" and "heavy" in the first sentence here I think it would read better if it was worded differently. You also mention a contrast between light and heavy in paragraph 3. Not the end of the world, but I think using other words to describe the same thoughts could help that phrase from becoming redundant.

While Opeth’s perfection of sound may be still to come, these epic tracks as a whole aren't among the band’s best work, but the band is still young here and despite their best work still to come, they make for quite the ride that really gets the listener’s blood pumping.


somewhat similar to the last example. You say "still to come" twice in the same sentence which reads somewhat awkwardly. I'd just say something like but despite the band's young age they make for quite the ride that really gets the listener's blood pumping.

That's pretty much all I have. Was a good read but just wanted to point out some things I thought could help the review flow better. Just try to avoid using the same words and phrases whenever possible and you'll be golden :] On another note, I haven't heard this album and this made me curious to check it out, Pos



Digging: Julia Holter - Loud City Song

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok man I'll clean that up in a bit too. Definitely check this out though it's very worth it

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


20698 Comments


my bad didn't see talon already used one of those examples haha. i'll check it out just for you man :]

adr
January 14th 2015


6482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great Review. I find this album to be better than everything they've released after Ghost Reveries and better than Damnation and Deliverance. Damnation and Watershed are close tho.That being said i've found myself to jam this super rarely for some reason.

Digging: The Jesus Lizard - Goat

emester
January 14th 2015


5754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Candlelight Opeth is best Opeth

Digging: Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2015


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea they started to go downhill slightly after GR and Deliverance isn't one I jam often. This to BWP and Damnation are all awesome though.

NeroCorleone80
January 14th 2015


31895 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First 5 and GR are the essentials



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