So, the last few months/weeks/days I’ve been getting progressively more excited by the prospect of new Orchid releases, specifically The Mouths of Madness being released April 26. I love me some Orchid. Here’s a brief refresher course for you, the lover of stoner/ doom rock & metal, regarding why Orchid are awesome and worth your time.
Orchid are a bunch of stoners who went back in time with a time machine they made and/or acquired; they did this because they, in the present era, sound so much like Black Sabbath that they went back in time (after designing said time machine, again) to February of 1975, to Willisden, London, England, and, once there, to Morgan Studios, to steal into the rooms where Sab have their gear set up, and this– to record Sabotage (their legendary sixth album); when Sab are at lunch, or toking, or sleeping… the members of Orchid hijack Sab’s in-studio setup and record their own (heavily Sab-influenced) material that amounts to stoner metal/rock; they then released this EP using those same recording studios as Sab– but, being stoners, they forgot to bring the tapes back to the present time with them….
…and many years later, some random dude in said studio finds the material, but doesn’t know whose it is, and so archives it…
where it says undisturbed for, like, millennia…
until 2009: when this wrocklage is unearthed and rocked out to by a The Church Within Records employee, who then remasters those master copies, to make them up to par with modern production standards (which is the only thing that doesn’t quite sound like something right off of Sabotage sessions).
Opener “Into the Sun,” like most Orchid tunes, takes a minute to be obvious which Black Sabbath tune it is not– this one is in fact not “Symptom of the Universe,” and its chorus is awesome and perfect and not like SotU at all. It also has great low end– audio engineering-wise: I played this right after Landmine Marathon and Criminal and this just rocked out the bass in comparison.
[Note: this is music best enjoyed quite loud-- it's stoner pop/rock designed specifically to be played at jet engine volume-- which is pretty much stoner/doom rock or metal, amirite...?]
The tunes herein, beeteedubs, are quite short, none over about 5 minutes.
Next “Eastern Woman” fires up a slinky riff and tells of the narrator’s troubles with a wicked woman (haven’t heard that theme in a while, maybe since the late 80s), and all this, atop a great tune overall– said slinky riff elides graceful and sexually, making the second verse’s line, “So I read the Armenians’ letter,” make a tiny, tiny bit more sense somehow. Follower “Son of Misery” is acoustic guitar segue-age, while “No One Makes a Sound” is the album’s closer, and is a rocking-out-while-we-just-go-about-our-daily-lives-type tune, much like Cream’s “Spoonful,” but rocking out for its full six and a half minute and just beyond running time….
The “et al.” above means I’m hitting the highlights from (relatively) future releases… here, from 1999′s (more recent) Capricorn LP, and the tunes “He Who Walks Alone,” and “Down Into the Earth,” as well as Heretic’s “Saviours of the Blind,” which are like supremely heavy outtakes from Cream’s Disraeli Gears LP….
“He who walks alone” is the “Dancing Queen” of stoner metal; it rocks out, dude. I genuinely think you require no further knowledge.
“Down Into the Earth,” also from the previous Capricorn LP, makes the (very valid) case for re-recording classic metal albums… it sounds, song-wise, just like every metal tune in 1978, but so clear and well-recorded that it almost seems new.
And finally, “Saviours of the Blind,” from the Heretic EP, boasts both a European/ Canadian spelling, as well as a stoner riff that could probably find a home pretty much anywhere…anywhere that loves stoner metal, that is.