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Orchid : Capricorn

Orchid manage to capture the essential spirit of Black Sabbath.

Before giving this album its first spin, I confess I hadn't heard of Orchid. After a short search on the web, I found out that ’Capricorn’ is their first full-length release, coming after an EP (note of the admin: the EP has also been reviewed on this site). They play classic old school Sabbathean Doom Metal, in the vein of Cathedral, Saint Vitus and Count Raven.

I’ve had a tough time trying to convey in words my feelings toward their music; this review turned out to be one of the most difficult I had to write! I tried anyway. When I pushed the ‘play’ button, I thought I was transferred back in a time between 1970 and 1974, when a quartet from Birmingham was shaping what eventually became known as Heavy Metal. In this album Orchid - and this from the very first to the very last note - are moving up and down, and back and forth, through the first five albums of Black Sabbath, feeding their melodic lines with innumerable borrowings (which Doom band doesn’t, to some extent?) with very little effort to hide the fact; and they actually succeed in crafting a refreshingly nostalgic album that not only recreates - with today’s values - the sound of the fathers of Metal, but also, and more important for me, manages to capture the spirit of Black Sabbath. They’re so good at this aping exercise that, if I didn’t know, I could guarantee that Sabbath finally released the album they promised us after the 1998 'Reunion' CD.

I’m guessing that in the end this is going to be a hate or love album: people will hate it for not standing back a bit from its overwhelming influences and even dismiss it as a copycat or clone of the past, while others will just love it for the mystical and primitive pure Sabbath sound. Obviously, I belong to the second group and even if in the end ’Capricorn’ will never make it in my top 10 list it will get a place in my mp3 player for a long time. I recommend it to fans of old-school proto Doom Metal, but just to be safe, have a listen before you buy it. Others, with more prog and experimental tendencies, stay away.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Eyes Behind the Wall
2. Capricorn
3. Black Funeral
4. Masters of It All
5. Down into the Earth
6. He Who Walks Alone
7. Cosmonaut of Three
8. Electric Father
9. Albatross

Duration : Approx. 57 minutes

Visit the Orchid bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-05-13 by Dimitris Plastiras
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