08/08/12 || Habakuk
Recently I went to a department store. No, seriously. I went there and looked at the CD racks and wanted to spend some money. The outcome is pretty clear, I bought this album here, but the story about the way there is what’s interesting. 2012 has been a really, really good year for metal, as I am well aware thanks to all the AA material from GD, so I actually wanted to buy something for real. However, most of these offers just don’t win me over. Flimsy digipacks? Two bonus tracks for a EUR 5 surcharge, totalling at EUR 20? A CD case the shape and size of a fucken book? Bonus DVDs with pointless footage? Fuck all that shit.
Artwork, a high quality package that fits into the rest of the collection (not in book format, yes – OVERKILL…), music. That’s what I want – possibly not excessively priced. So, happy was I to discover a massive chunk of a CD for a reasonable price: Orchid’s double-gatefold digipack for “Capricorn”, complete with a pretty DIY sounding distro print on the back …take my money! Seriously, this thing feels massive, and I find myself just folding it back and forth time and time again. Stole a picture of it, too – look inside the panel with the woman on the left hand side where you’ll find the booklet for you to throw away.
All tactile awe aside, there is also music. And Orchid definitely stay old fashioned in that respect. First of all, if you like Sabbath, you can stop reading now and buy this. These four dudes have wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to recreating the clean riff doom of the days of yore, with all their references to mysticism, satanism, science fiction and occultism in check. On a thick carpet of warm low-end and organic drums thus meander the guitar tracks and nasal vocals, creating the somewhat dizzy, laid-back yet energetic feel of a great doom record. The songs take their time to develop (the shortest is 4:40 in length), and a certain repetition of course is needed to aptly lull you in before full sounding lead guitar sections alternate with gainy solo bits and catchy choruses intertwine with trippy synth bits to create a complete sounding whole.
The good thing about many of these songs is the band’s tendency to take the atmosphere created over minutes and minutes and suddenly twist things into a different direction, most often away from the chilled-out vibe of the beginning to a more grabbing rhythmic structure, which makes sure that a certain heaviness remains apparent throughout the 60 minutes playing time.
Yet while the workmanship and individual skills are undisputable, I will have to stress (and detract points for the fact) that innovation is one thing you definitely will not find here. It’s good to hear that these folks are confident and comfortable in their worship, but most people that have any sort of connection with metal will have heard Orchid’s shtick before. In the end, “Capricorn” is a feast for fans – a great, but just another great old school doom record.
- Released: 2011
- Label: The Church Within Records
- Website: Orchid MySpace
- Theo Mindell: vocals, percussion, synthesizer
- Keith Nickel: bass
- Mark Thomas Baker: guitars, synthesizer
- Carter Kennedy: drums, percussion
- 01. Eyes behind the wall
- 02. Capricorn
- 03. Black funeral
- 04. Master of it all
- 05. Down into the earth
- 06. He who walks alone
- 07. Cosmonaut of three
- 08. Electric father
- 09. Albatross