Anything new by US psyched out doomsters Orchid is always going to perk me up. Their debut EP Through The Devils Doorway hooked me, their debut full length Capricorn reeled me in and their set at Desertfest floored me. Now a new EP in the form of Heretic is here. Have the heady opiates of Nuclear Blast changed them?
Thankfully not. The opening song ‘Heretic’ is a signature Orchid fuzzed out blast of drugged, occult themed seventies style doom. Mark Thomas Baker’s thick, warm riffs bludgeoning their way through the decades towards today driven by a beautifully tuned rhythm section from bassist Nickle and drummer Carter Kennedy as Theo Mindell’s distinctive, evocative voice weaves its tale of heresy. Sabbath worship, say the detractors, but Orchid have way more to them than that. They have a groove and a bounce and a touch for yearning, melancholy melody that has grown into something special and this EP showcases four facets.
After the almost Nirvana style riffing of the title track allied to moog warbling and a real seventies cult throwback feel we get the delicate strains of the initially gentle ‘Falling Away’. It’s a tale of doomed hopelessness perfectly picked in guitar and bass notes with subtle keyboards to bring out every bitter emotion. Spanish guitar fades as the power and drums rise for the cry of the closing minute or so. Awesome stuff that should be jaw dropping live. ‘Saviors Of The Blind’ is a fine bit of slow crunch with a nice turn of phrase to the lyrics, a song that goes off into the kind of instrumental workout that most of those occult rock bands can only dream of pulling off. They close with a track from their Capricorn debut ‘He Who Walks Alone’ which is Orchid at their rousing, epic best: Catchy as Hell with huge fuzzy riffs that I think Cathedral would love to nick and a chorus that bounces through your brain like a stoned Tigger.
No they don’t reinvent the wheel, but this wheel is exquisitely crafted, well oiled and turns with a gorgeous sound that has Orchid all the way through it.
A great way to discover this beautifully balanced band. Doom, stoner, seventies rock; if you like any of that, get this. Now.