Opeth - Official Website - Interview - News
Review by Jack on June 29, 2001.
Where do I even begin to begin? Opeth hail from Sweden and in 1994 a few lads stuck their heads together and came up with the concept behind Opeth. Since that time Opeth been laying waste to all possible critics in the metal industry. "Orchid" is the beginning of their epic story.
Doing a review of Opeth is like trying to appreciate rap/hip-hop. It can not be done, no matter how hard (or how hard you don’t try). Attempting to do this album review will therefore come across long-winded at times. But it must be done; we must spread the word. Others MUST know of the Opethian musical genius, prowess and individuality (one only has to look at the title and cover).
7 tracks, 65 odd minutes of CD spinning time. That equates to roughly 9:15 minutes a song. Minus the two instrumental pieces, 'Silhouette' and 'Requiem' which leaves an album which spans 60 minutes-ish and 5 songs, roughly 12 minutes a song. In conclusion this album is not for the attention span impaired.
"Orchid" is Opeth’s rawest release (if such a term can be coined), an probably their most innovative (in terms of the word). Never before had such a dynamic usage of guitar, bass and drum work be utilised. "Breathtaking", "Awesome" and "Inspiring" were some of the adjectives used in describing Opeth’s maiden voyage in the musical arts. In truth no true word can be accurately used to describe Opeth, other than Opeth.
Opeth, lyrically write about fantastical topics, song titles like: 'The Forest of October' and 'Under the Weeping Moon' accurately reflect this. Opeth’s music style can not be pigeonholed at all, diversity ranges from deep guttural death surges to lovely flowing acoustic and piano interludes in and between the main songs of "Orchid". Responsible for this innovation are vocalist and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt, guitarist Peter Lindgren, bassist Johan DeFarfalla and pianist, drummer Anders Nordin. Probably one of the most notable factors in relation to the uniqueness of Opeth is Mikael’s diverse vocal styles, one minute he sounds like a huge demon ripped forth from the very jaws of hell, the next second he sings in the most harmonic and melodic way possibly perceivable to mankind.
There are probably no real stand out tracks on "Orchid", all are equally grandiose and beautiful in their own right, like most things it really comes down to personal opinion. 'Silhouette', the 3-minute piano interlude, I find to be especially gorgeous. Out of the Opeth songs (as a pose to interludes), 'Apostle in Triumph' is probably my favourite, it closes out the album and is usually the last one played, and sticks in my head the most. Worth noting is that any Opeth album can not be listened to properly unless you sit through the entire CD from start to finish. They are not a band that you would pop on one of their CDs and skip to your favourite track. Opeth must be appreciated from start to finish.
Bottom Line: 7 years later and Opeth are still turning heads left, right and center. It really makes me wonder, why others in non-metal circles haven’t caught on to this musical behemoth, no matter, "Orchid" is an essential purchase for anyone who listens to music.
Rating: 10 out of 10