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4.3 out of 5 stars18
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2005
Imagine if you will a couple of talented guitarists writing music over a period of a few years and all of a sudden they get to release an album (this is Opeth debut).
What you get here is almost a "best of" in a strange kind of way... to explain this you need to understand that Opeth tend to write chunks of songs, musical passages then bolt together their best moments to form rather long songs.
Sounds ugly and if most people tried it im sure it would be, however Opeth do it with such grace and brilliance you barely notice this as you just let the excellent musicianship flow over you.
Back to the plot, yes like a best of of all the best passages they wrote over 4-5 years before they got a record deal, and I would say a particularly important Opeth album to own. Both guitarists wrote the music on this album, something you dont get on later albums which is a shame because Peter does add an extra dimension to their already varied sound.
If you're an Opeth fan and youre wondering whether you need an album as old as this, trust me you do, theres a certain "untamed beauty" which has to some extent been polished out of Opeth... thats not to say theres anything wrong with new Opeth, it just feels completley free and rambling which makes it such a beauty.
If youre not sure about Opeth, never much heard of them they are really for anyone who loves modern metal, but just wishes it was more creative, more varied, more melodic, more... just MORE! If you understand what I mean, youll enjoy Opeth.
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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2005
Crushing black metal passages fuse with haunting melodies and folk guitar to form the debut album from what has to be the most musically diverse and creative band in the world today. This is going way back to when they were slightly rawer, but in my opinion had a better mix of duelling guitar leads to make what I refer to as medieval metal. I would rate this just behind Morningrise as their second best work (though Blackwater Park, Damnation and MAYH are all awesome and there's little between them all), and those with an open mind really should give this a go.
Standout tracks include In the mist She Was Standing, Silhouette, and the classic Forest of October - one of their very best tracks.
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on 26 May 2004
This album is amazing it many aspects. There are some very outstanding songs on here such as Under The Wheeping Moon and Forest Of October (possibly hailed as being one of if not Opeth's finest song(s)) Opeth manage to create such a unique atmosphere on this album through duel guitar hamonies unlike most Death/Black/Doom metal bands if you listen the guitars will hardly ever be playing the same riffs. The songs on this album have a very dark, enchanting and mystical feel to them that is created through the dawning years of this amazing band. Also one stand out song is the piano instrumental Silhouette which I think is underminded but exeptionally beautiful in all aspects. It is a shame that Opeth didnt carry on in this style as in my opinion this, Morningrise and My Arms Your Herse (especially MAYH) possibly show Opeth fully showing there most creative and exitcing period ever I may be wrong but if you have heard Opeth's newer albums you may be discouraged from this band as I did so buy this or any of the 3 I mentioned above for a real shock!
So to conclude I would say that Orchid is possibly one of Opeth's finest works and if you are a fan of any type of metal or dark, ambient or progressive music I would buy this album well what are you waiting for you prude? Get off your arse and buy it!
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on 30 September 2013
Orchid is the debut album by Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth, released on 15th May 1995 in Europe by Candlelight Records, and on 24th June 1997 in the United States by Century Black. It was reissued in 2000 with one bonus track called "Into the Frost of Winter", an early unproduced rehearsal recording by the band during a 1992 rehearsal (the song contains some segments which were later reworked into "Advent", the opening track on their second album Morningrise). The recording sessions occurred at the old Unisound studio, in Finspång, between March and April 1994. Opeth produced alongside Dan Swanö. The band did not record a demo to get signed to a record label. Lee Barrett, the founder of Candlelight Records, enjoyed an Opeth rehearsal tape, and decided to sign the band. The album was well-received critically, even being called "unique".

Opeth was formed in 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden, by David Isberg. Isberg invited Mikael Åkerfeldt (of the recently disbanded band Eruption) to join Opeth. The other members of the band at the time took exception to this, and quit Opeth, leaving only Isberg and Åkerfeldt. Anders Nordin, Nick Döring, and Andreas Dimeo were brought in as replacements.

Orchid was recorded during March and April 1994 in Finspång, where the old Unisound studio was located. Opeth moved from Stockholm to Finspång, where Dan Swanö (formerly of fellow Swedish metal band Edge of Sanity) had rented an apartment for them. The studio was located in the cellar of a small house situated in the middle of a field. The album was produced and mixed by Swanö and the band, and engineered by Swanö. For the recording they had asked Johan DeFarfalla to play session bass guitar. He eventually became a full-time member.

Despite the nervousness of the band members, the recording sessions ran smoothly. However, the band regretted not having enough time to record the acoustic piece "Requiem". The song was first recorded at Unisound, but the band was unhappy with the result. "Requiem" was then recorded in a studio in Stockholm with Pontus Norgren acting as co-producer. Due to a mix-up in Orchid's mastering process, the end of "Requiem" was placed at the beginning of "The Apostle in Triumph". The band has expressed regret for this, and said it was no fault of their own.

The music in Orchid combines elements influenced by progressive rock and acoustics pieces of folk music to the black metal scream and the death metal growl, as well having clean vocals. It also contains influences from jazz and melodic passages played by a piano and acoustic guitars. Opeth sounded much different than the casual black or death metal bands at that time and it's the closest album that the band came to the black genre. Critics described the sound of the album as it being "unique".

What I really like about Orchid is the variety of musical styles played in the songs, in most of the songs you've got the heavy riffs mixed with guitar harmonies to give it melody (there are acoustic sections with clean vocals in parts of the songs), and there are a couple of shorter instrumental pieces that are played on a piano (Silhouette) or on an acoustic guitar (Requiem). I very highly recommend this album to anyone who loves metal music, and maybe to those who like progressive rock as well.
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on 6 October 2005
This is without a shadow of a doubt THE greatest Opeth album in their catalogue. I much prefer Opeth's earlier works to their later ones, and this being their first studio album is no exception. However if you are thinking of buying your first Opeth album I would recommend purchasing "still life" as it is a good way to get an initial feeling for their unique and diverse sound. But if you are already into black metal, then go for it!!
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on 22 November 2002
i came to this album with some trepidation. owning all opeth releases but this and morningrise i was unsure as to where opeth's roots lay, and what kind of band they were in 1990, which was let's not forget, almost 13 years ago.
all songs here were written between 1990 and 1994 and if you buy it today chances are you'll get the bonus track that's basically an insight into their sessions. i refuse to look at opeth on a track by track basis so will attempt to describe the awe with which i listened to this.
this was, when it was released, nothing short of unique. this, i realise, is not reason enough to own it, but it should be stated how progressive this was in the fairly conservative genre of death metal. this originality was misunderstood as pretension and so opeth struggled for recogntion. the album is immense. it cannot be absorbed in one listen and even after a few weeks i find myself finding new intracacies in the style and note play.
this album is difficult to describe so i shall limit my waffle. it is (for the most part) heavy. not just through crushing guitar riffs but in that i feel you need a certain amount of grey matter to contemplate all that is on offer. the piano track may confuse some, but it is a perfect way of looking at the same world, but describing it in a totally different way to the usual thrash.
in short it doesn't have the ballads of still life (yet even now they were experimenting with acoustics) or the sweet production of black water park, but it is an important album with epic tracks that really do conjure images unlike so much of the bubblegum pop thrown at people today.
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on 18 October 2007
Orchid is I believe the least known Opeth album, though it's the richest one. The album is perfect, not a single song is bad, there are countless riffs per song (just think of Black Rose Immortal from Morningrise). It's definitely THE Opeth GUITAR album. This is my 3rd favorite Opeth album I guess, after Morningrise and Ghost Reveries, but many times while listening to it I say to myself: THIS IS the ultimate Opeth album.

So, why not 5 stars?
I guess Orchid is so complex it falls under its own weight(is this expression even right)? Although I utterly love this album, I don't think I ever listened to it from start to finish, I just can't do it, it drives me crazy. There are far too many riffs and solos, and the songs are so long and complex that make the album not an easy-listener. (Again, sorry for my English).

Nevertheless, Orchid is a must-buy album for Opeth fans anyway (and guitarists)!
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on 8 July 2013
I own this on CD as well, but I have bought the whole opeth back catalogue on vinyl , mainly as I just love the format.

I never liked this album on CD - it was a victim of the 1990`s loudness wars.
It sounded horribly compressed and trebbly on my CD.
I`m glad to say, that a great mastering job has been done on the vinyl version restoring some of the dynamics.
Yes, its typically early 90`s metal production values (clicky clicky kick drum and no mids) sounds rather dated, but overall the album hangs together so much better on vinyl than CD.

As an Opeth album, this is very much traditional blackened metal , but there are lots of glimpses into the future direction with acoustic guitar and some clean vocals.

I can see me spinning the vinyl more than I ever did the CD.
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on 15 November 2012
Orchid is Opeth's debut album still drenched in it's Black, death metal origins, mixed with some lush,dark, beautiful acoustic guitar playing. The production on this album is not so hot but it kind of adds to the effects the dark, slightly eerie effect of the music, changing from intense metal dirges to soft, melancholic acoustic moments,feeling slightly medieval. The Vocals are some of the best vocals laid down on a metal record. The Bass playing is very original for a metal record has some great tone too.

Forest of October is my favourite song on the record, almost dancing from metal to acoustic style in an almost whimsical way. The whole album does have a slightly mish mashy unstructured feel at times but this is the start of something amazing, better was still to come.
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on 8 April 2001
I can't believe nobody has reviewed this album yet. Since its first release in 1994 I have been in awe of the musical brilliance that this album portrays. The use of intricate overlayered lead guitars to produce the rythymn sound is just brilliant. When this album was released it was seen by some to be a bit of a concept album due the length of the songs i.e over 10 minutes but none of the long songs drag and in fact you don't want the songs to end. The mix of acoustic and distorted guitars, clean and growling vocals is a joy to hear. Anybody into metal or appreciates fine guitar work should own this album. Later Opeth releases have failed to reach the brilliance of this album. However Still life and Blackwater Park are good albums and are highly recommended.
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