Opeth “Orchid” (1995)

Fallen leaves crackle beneath determined steps through an October aurora of forest on the edge of a rolling, sunset-painted field with a single, ancient dead tree that sends the soul above a cloudy azure abyss; you fall gently, emerging on a frozen moor overlooked by a pale countenance that turns marrow into ice as you run with four wolves onto a candlelit, shadowy hill, to find what lies there; you find that track 1 has ended. One down, six to go…

Opeth’s debut “Orchid” never left avantgarde territory because it still sounds like nothing else. Each song (save for two interludes) is a woven tapestry of exquisite harmonized guitar via Mikael Ã…kerfeldt and Peter Lindgren, doomy yet swift, mixed with medieval acoustic tomes and Johan DeFarfalla’s equally sophisticated and folky/jazzy bass. Anders Nordin keeps the others’ movements driving forward with relatively simple but highly effective percussion, while minstrel Ã…kerfeldt sets free chilling howls and crystalline sung/whispered images.

The most commonly-noted (and perhaps only) fault for which this disc is criticized is general interchangeability of riffs and discontinuity between them. Somewhat true, but each is a scene, and together they form a journey, and as seven they form a grandiose portrait of a distant, archaic land. It’s midnight mist in which the perfumed fires of autumn and the withered winds of dusk have been captured. And it’s not even remotely black metal.

-C. L. Edwards


Release:  Summer 1995
Label:  Candlelight Records
Avantgenre:  Epic Dusky Forest-Prog
Duration:  65:31
Origin:  Sweden
Official site:  http://opeth.com
Review online since:  31.01.2008 / 21:33:28


01 – In Mist She Was Standing
02 – Under The Weeping Moon
03 – Silhouette
04 – Forest Of October
05 – The Twilight Is My Robe
06 – Requiem
07 – The Apostle In Triumph

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