My first Orchid experience ! (report)

D Mullholand

[project closed]
Aug 9, 2001
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Today was the first time I heard Orchid in full. Amazing. It's much better than I had imagined - I was afraid it would turn out to be something like Morningrise Junior, but voila - the record has got a very distinctive identity, just like any Opeth record, and in addition it's even slightly more coherent than its successor.

Here are some of my random thoughts I wrote down as I was listening to the album.

"In the Mist She Was Standing" is basically traditional metal harmonies collected into riffs which not simply follow each other, but are actually each other's variations ! Now this is something lacking in most of Morningrise... Of course, then they wander off and play around other themes, but so do classical sonatas - the only difference that in classical, they mostly tend to return to theme A at some point. "Under the Weeping Moon" has something which is not present in other Opeth albums - a simple and wonderfully hypnotic psychedelic-noise interlude, very effective ! I begin to notice that this album is strangely, the most relaxed one.
"Silhouette" - why not more of such tracks ??? And in addition, it is played by their drummer ! A beautiful piano piece, intense and even contrapuntal - a surprise for a riff-oriented band. Excellent.
"Forest of October" - probably the most hypnotic song, this (and most of the album for that matter) has a quality similar to Summoning - pounding double-bass, slow repetitive patterns that go on forever then change, that over-compressed over-reverbed guitar sound, everything is very trance-like. And that is good !
"The Twilight Is My Robe" - this is pure rock'n'roll (and they repeated the Children of the Grave trick also on one MAYH song), the riff around the 6th minute is simple and effective. Unfortunately, this seems to be the most Morningriselike track in that it has absolutely has no identity. Some cool hypnotic passages though !
"Requiem" - Ok, but nothing special - they did it much better on "Madrigal"...
"The Apostle in Triumph" - the best moment of the album as it seems ! The music, even without the lyrics, constructs a story of epic proportions... from the busy acoustic+bass section to the epic 3/4 riff, then back to the busy acoustics - like two contrasting locations of a movie, where the character wanders through, like through cities/markets and open deserts, the Apostle in Triumph ! Then we have a deviation, like visiting secondary characters and
their interactions, away from the Apostle, a story within a story... and then back to 3/4, the Apostle still continues walking along his path, toward something unknown to others. The triumph ends ambivalently, in silence and enlightenment...


Yes, I still don't have a complete picture of the album in my head - that will come only through repeated listens, but for now my belief in Opeth as an original and groundbreaking musical entity is as strong as ever.

D Mullholand, a dead apostle
NP: Opeth - Orchid (of course)

P.S. Soon you can expect a similar report on Blackwater Park, which I haven't heard yet !