Orchid - Capricorn
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San Francisco traditional doom outfit Orchid have one EP, Through The Devil's Doorway, to their name so far, and Capricorn is their full-length debut, arriving in Europe in February, but not seeing a commercial release in the UK until May. Every track on Capricorn can be traced back to some part of the Ozzy Osbourne era of Black Sabbath, in a good way rather than a plagiaristic way. The clearest comparison for opening brace Eyes Behind The Wall and Capricorn is the last four albums Sabbath recorded with Ozzy, where their sound had changed quite a lot from the iconic first four albums. Elsewhere certain sounds from the first four albums preside over the other tracks. The slow, plodding Masters of It All, which if it had to be likened to a Sabbath song, would be Black Sabbath, and the spiraling instrumental breaks in He Who Walks Alone are reminiscent of similar spells in Wicked World and Sabbath's interpretation of The Warning. Electric Father does sound unsurprisingly like Electric Funeral, Down Into The Sun like Into The Void, and closer Albatross is a far superior take on what Sabbath tried to achieve with Planet Caravan. Although Orchid clearly take their cues from early Sabbath (as well as hints of bands like Pentagram and Led Zeppelin), they build on that influence for the most part, instead of just copying it. Theo Mindell's creepy, Ozzy-meets-Liebling vocals are full of expression and all of the killer riffs and intricate playing feels like the natural evolution of the sound Sabbath started. It should be said though that it's a trick Orchid can probably get away with once. The next album should try to make bigger strides towards their own sound.
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