ORCHID, Through The Devil’s Doorway (2009, The Church Within)
Remember those Madball toys? Those baseball-sized spheres depicting weird-ass faces that looked like rejected Garbage Pail Kids? This Orchid skull looks like the skull of any given Madball. It’s a pretty retro-cosmic image, and those stars make it look like that old Proctor & Gamble logo. A fairly cool piece of art, a spherical skull trapped in psychedelic swirl…ready to sell you abrasive kitchen and bathroom cleanser.
Amongst the stoner-doom contingent, young San Francisco band Orchid are hugely revered already. And while they’re very good at what they’re doing, what they’re doing — ripping off a particular era of Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath — is no more or less interesting than Sheavy and Count Raven, who staked their claim on this hallowed ground eons ago. Personally, I don’t need another band like this. Now, Witchcraft, there’s a band…a band that somehow manages to push forward and look ahead while drawing from the same well of inspiration as Orchid. Part of that’s down to songwriting acumen, and part of it is knowing not to cross the fine line where inspiration and plagiarism meet. Let me just go ahead and state the obscenely obvious: Black Sabbath did it better than anybody else. Of course I hear other ’70s and ’80s bands within Orchid’s sound, but just listen to this and tell me it’s not 98% derived from Black Sabbath 1970-1975: “No One Makes a Sound” < “Supernaut” // “Into the Sun” < “Symptom of the Universe” // “Son of Misery” < “Hand of Doom.” What’s the fucking point???
— Friar Wagner