Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fan-Boy Icon #65: Orchid

Mothra bless the internet, because without it I would be even more woefully behind on music. Just as a long time FotB brought The Sword my way, another long time friend, Tenebrous Kate, brought me the awesomeness of Orchid, a San Fransisco based Doom/Occult Metal band that draws on early metal like Black Sabbath, but also mixes in other styles... Which oddly enough Sabbath had a real talent for as well.

Now, I am no musical scholar, so here is a bit on style by TK that I can get behind: "[...] it sounds like they're expanding their influences a bit past the heavy [Black Sabbath] influence. The vocals are more on the Deep Purple-ish end of things, and there's some of that Hendrix/Grand Funk/Led Zep influence throughout."

The Sabbath influence is definitely strong, particularly Keith Nickel's bass, which has that awesome Geezer Butler sound. Butler, in my mind, was as influential as John Entwistle when it comes to changing the electric bass from being a small double-bass into being an electric bass guitar. Also pleasant is that we are not hearing "Paranoid" and "Iron Man" knock offs, but rather songs that channel "N.I.B.", "Planet Caravan", and "Electric Funeral", among others.

I am most familiar now with their 2011 album Capricorn. The titular track (video below) has a nice Sabbath/Zeppelin mix. Other tracks will give you a bit of a Santana sound (particularly "He Who Walks Alone") to round out the other influences. This broad mix of influences, which shifts pretty seamlessly, keeps Orchid from being yet another Sabbath clone, or from being pegged like Wolfmother as being a purely anachronistic Led Zeppelin cover band. (Full disclosure: I like Wolfmother).

So, if you are into throwback metal, or just sick of how stagnant mainstream metal has become over the past 25 years, check Orchid out. I like the occult angle, and the lyrics are more clever than the standard "Hail Satan" rock (check "Electric Father"). They have a new EP coming out next month, Heretic, which should be full of awesome.

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