Mouths Of Madness
Nuclear Blast, 2013
There’s a much anticipated Black Sabbath original line-up reunion album scheduled for release this summer. But for those who can’t wait that long, and for everyone who’s having doubts about it living up to the legacy of the bands fabled first 6 albums, there’s a remedy. Orchid’sMouths of Madness is a stunning tribute that sounds like some of the best material from the first three Sabbath albums.
San Francisco’s Orchid follow the blueprint of jazz-tinged, doom laden, stoner riff rock so well, at times it seems as though they’ve found some overlooked Iommi masterpieces.
With a a production that forgoes the current trend for extra thick, pointless heavy-ness, in favor of tube amps and an on the fly feel, Orchid seem to be purists. Aggressive riffs coupled with an unyielding rhythm section, singer Theo Mindell provides the perfect vocals for these songs. There are some positively monstrous epics with “Silent One” and “See You on the Other Side,” clocking in at over seven minutes in length.
“Loving Hand of God” is another number which properly captures a spacey, trippiness, punctuated with distortion. Midway through, it motivates into a higher gear because they can.
“Wizard of War” is a short solid blast of anger. Title track and album opener, “Mouths of Madness” kicks off with an urgency and sense of purpose.
One of the more refreshing things to hear on any metal album as of late is a sense of melody and well delivered guitar lead. So when Orchid throws in some piano and a harmonica to boot, it just gets better.
Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” Orchid have stolen the best ideas from the very best artists, and delivered an album you would swear was Sabbath 1974, if you didn’t know better.