Strap yourselves in for a riffing journey back in time with Orchid!
The San Franciscan lads are right on the money with their second long player that proves the lessons of metal’s forefathers will never be forgotten.
Following on from 2011′s Capricorn album, Orchid have released an awesome slab of old school heavy metal. There is no secret that they are students of the mighty Black Sabbath and indeed, there are familiar sounding chords sprinkled throughout the album’s nine tracks. However, this is no cheap imitation. This is a bunch of well crafted songs with some clever song writing to go with them.
What immediately grabs me is that this is not a metal sub-genre specific band. If anything, Orchid take the listener on a journey back in time to the roots of heavy metal. I caught them in London earlier in 2013 at Camden’s Underworld prior to hearing the new release, so my first experience of their music was live. The powerful thing about Mouths Of Madness is that it captures the live energy very well. The album does not suffer from the curse of over-production and this gives it a freshness and vitality that instantly draws you in.
The opening track is The Mouths Of Madness which is a driving, groove laden introduction that sets the rest of the album up beautifully. Theo Mindell howls “tell me all the answers spoken by the wicked mouths of madness” – how cool is that line? There is no place for being seated while listening to this. The gods demand air guitar. The vocals are clean and beseeching; Keith Nickel on bass and Carter Kennedy on drums provide a grinding platform for some sweet soloing by guitarist Mark Thomas Baker who invokes his inner Iommi. From this point, there is no return.
Marching Dogs Of War keeps up the pace before a punishing third track, Silent One, emerges full of menace and darkness. Orchid make good use of the light and shade within the songs that is the hallmark of some of the greatest heavy metal and hard rock tracks. The album flows well with a good mix of all-out rockers and psychedelic trips right through to closer See You On The Other Side.
There is no filler on this LP, just straight up classic riffing that although very reminescent of Ozzy-era Sabbath, still sounds fresh. Whilst legendary Sabbath albums like Master Of Reality and Vol. 4 are an obvious source of inspiration, the title track of this Orchid album alone is enough to indicate that this band will continue to deliver quality heavy metal.
And of course, the sign of a good album is one that leaves you looking for more tracks…
It can’t be over already!