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Are Orchid the most interesting band in occult-infused metal?

Orchid - The Mouths Of Madness

Ever since Ghost appeared on the scene in 2010 and promptly went from an obscure doom/occult metal band into a massive international success – via a surprising and stratospheric rise that led to them being signed by a major record label and offered a staggering advance by today’s industry standards – one would be forgiven for noticing the increase in doom and occult bands that have graced us in these last few years. It seems that all of the major labels are trying to get a piece of the pie, with bands all sharing the same DNA of our forebears being signed left and right.

Metal is and always be a tough industry to excel in, so it’s the label’s job to stay on the cusp of what the audience wants when it comes to the newest metal releases. Who would have thought that with all of the recent advancements in technology, music production and musical genre expansion that eventually people will just want to go back to the roots of where it all began.

While in theory, this is a nice gesture, as who doesn’t want to celebrate the great music of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin etc.? But surely you can pay satisfactory homage to this style of music by just spinning your vinyl collection? These bands had a particular sonic signature and production style, not necessarily because they were striving for it, but because they were limited by the time in which they existed. Black Sabbath and their ilk utilized some of the best production techniques available to them at the time, because they sought greatness. Skip ahead to the present day and when bands deliberately eschew a lot of the power that they have accessible to them in favour of trying to replicate the fidelity of old it can often come across as disingenuous.

Saying all of that though, as with anything, there are concessions to be made – Orchid, the occult inspired doom metal band from San Fransisco, California, is one of these exceptions. Not to be confused with the chaotic screamo band from Amherst, Orchid are a rocking four piece band that break the mould of a genre overrun with pale imitators of classic bands.

Where Orchid truly succeed is in their ability to write catchy and compelling songs through the power of the distorted riff. Their debut album Capricorn was released in 2011 and was a sure-fire hit within the genre. Considering how well it was received it was always going to be difficult for the band to compete with it, let alone top it. However, with The Mouths Of Madness, their sophomore effort, it seems they may well have accomplished the impossible. Without further ado, head on over to our friends at CVLT Nation who are exclusively streaming The Mouths Of Madness in full. Make sure to come back and tell us what you think!

For those unfamiliar with the band, here’s the rocking title track from their first release, Capricorn.

Orchid’s The Mouths Of Madness is out today via Nuclear Blast Records.

Is this the kind of music you can get behind? Do you think occult metal is often stale?

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