Yeah Orchid is such an incredible album. Perhaps fans who got into the 'newer style' of Opeth don't appreciate it as much, but I actually got Orchid soon after it's release (luckily..).

One thing about Orchid - you should DEFINITELY try and listen to it with headphones. Each guitar is completely panned 100% to the left and right and it leads to a real intense musical experience. I really miss those long-dreamy melodies swinging back in forth in both speakers.. really great. I also really love Opeth's old bassist, although I've read that Mike didn't like his playing as much.. a shame, ah well.
YES, Yes, yes. Orchid is specTACular! If you're becoming a fan of Opeth, don't forget to add this jewel to your collection. I don't think you'll be disappointed one bit. You need to hear the difference from their beginning. As I just went over the tracks in my head and...I CAN'T PICK A FAVORITE ON THE WHOLE ALBUM! Each and every song and two musicals are just ...::: sigh :::... IMHO phenomenal. Orchid is at the top of my list. I'd say it doesn't get mentioned much because, right now is a Blackwater Park frenzy! (laughs) But I don't know why otherwise.

Those who have it know. Orchid stands alone.

I put Orchid as my least favourite Opeth record, which makes it about... my 5th favourite record of all time. (Give or take an Edge of Sanity's "Crimson" or a Devin Townsend's "Ocean Machine: Biomech" here or there)

forlorn soul is correct in that there are going to be a lot of people buying Blackwater Park who probably won't appreciate either Morningrise or Orchid as much as those of us who heard those albums first.

It's too bad for them ...they're great albums to get lost in.

Morningrise was the album which got me into Opeth. The song "Nectar" blew me away when I heard it on a comp. CD a few years back. Orchid is almost in the same vein as Morningrise...,morningrise being the extention. Both have similar sound and style. I dig their
previous style for the epic content of experimental song structure. The newer material is awesome ofcourse but I noticed that they are going more for a set song structure. I don't believe they repeated riffs as much in their earlier albums. I find it hard to believe Opeth has not done a bad album yet!! I mean these guys are just awesome! I am a fan of both Still Life and Blackwater Park. I really like their acoustic/non distorted songs just as much as their opposites. Great music....
Orchid is also the album that made me an Opeth fan and it's still my 2nd favourite Opeth album, after Morningrise of course, which is the superlative of Orchid. The style on those 2 albums will always be the purest Opeth for me... :worship:

Which album of one band is your favourite really depends a lot on what album you heard first I think, that first one is usually what made you a fan and is most likely to remain your (or at least a) favourite...

EDIT: Johan DeFarfalla was a great bass-player indeed, especially his work on Morningrise is amazing and really adds to the brilliance of it all. Those lovely subtleties on "To Bid You Farewell", hmm.. great!
orchid is awesome of course, but i enjoy both styles. both influenced me very much as a guitar player. orchid and morningrise made me very concious of melodies and has made my guitar playing less focused on speed but more on ear pleasing melodies and harmonies. then with the new style i heard how to construct killer rythym lines. learning that there is a shitload more you can do with the rythym guitar than power chords and started messing around with full fledged chords with distortion, even chasing after some dissonance at times. and without either opeth style i probably wouldn't have been inspired to put some much needed work into my acoustic technique.
I used to hate Orchid, then the week I was breaking up with my girlfriend, I used to have it playing while that bitch and I used to fight online, and then it hit me, Orchid is a masterpiece, hehe a moment of clarity amongst the chaos ;) Its now my 3rd fave Opeth album, and the album I listen to most nowadays hehe.
I just want to chime in that I love Orchid as well.. my girlfriend bought that and Morningrise for me on the same day and the guy who sold it to her asked if she listened to it.. I thought that was funny..

Orchid = Epic

In my mind Orchid is my 3rd favorite Opeth album. Even ahead of Morningrise. I think the acustic material is better along with the solos.

Actually my band is covering Forest of October ,and it sounds pretty damn good. The acustic parts in Forest and In Mist She Was Standing just own all.
orchid kicked some ass..as did morningrise...i heard blackwater park first......and i would have to say its my LEAST fav of all...there are a few great songs on it . ...and it is the album that got me into opeth ...but nowadays i dont even listen to it anymore it BORES the living shit out of me and has no replay value .. after listening about 10 times it now collects dust ....unlike the previous albums that get regular play.. im in no way saying that the album sucks ...it is very cool and i foam at the mouth waiting for the newest release like the rest of ya