Album Review: The Mouths of Madness by Orchid

Orchid-The-Mouths-Of-Madness-ArtworkI may be a bit premature in saying this, but I think that the best Black Sabbath album to be released this year will not come from Black Sabbath, but from the Black Sabbath inspired band Orchid.  If I didn’t know any better I would swear that their new album, The Mouths of Madness, was released in the 1970s in between the bevy of other iconic Black Sabbath albums and Ozzy was just trying out a new vocal style.  From the riffs, the grooves, song structures, down even to the cover art that definitely has a Master of Reality crossed with Vol. 4 look to it, this album is pure Sabbath.  And with such blatant stylistic similarities to the fathers of metal, you would imagine that a band could never reach the heights that Black Sabbath did during their peak.  Well, if The Mouths of Madness was a legit Black Sabbath album, it would rank as one of my all time favorites up there with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and the landmark self-titled album.  And coming from the huge Black Sabbath fan I am, that’s saying quite a lot.

I think that I’ve established that Orchid sounds a whole lot like Black Sabbath during the Ozzy era, but hidden in the Sabbath worship, they do have their own personality in there.  Amid saying to myself that riff in “Mountains of Steel” sounds a whole lot like “A National Acrobat” and “The Loving Hand of God” screams of “Sleeping Village/Warning” I can hear the real passion that Orchid have for the Sabbath style.  The songs never, not even once, come off feeling as rip-offs, instead they feel like continuations of the iconic songs that Black Sabbath laid the ground work for.  For example, in the title track “The Mouth of Madness” immediately you can hear influence from “Megalomania” but instead of nabbing the riffs and melodies and following the structure of the Sabbath song it branches out into many different directions and experiments with what could have been done with the original song.  It feels more of a continuation of the source material than a rip-off, homage, or cover.  And that goes for every track on the album.  And the directions they take the songs are always fresh, engaging, and interesting.  There is seriously not a dull moment on the entire record, and that’s what really matters.  Right?

So, simply put, if you’re a fan of Black Sabbath and heavy blues The Mouths of Madness is a must buy.  It’s easily yet another completely solid Orchid album if Black Sabbath don’t deliver something absolutely spectacular next month, Orchid will have crafted the best Black Sabbath album to be released this year and so far it is easily one of my favorite albums of 2013.  Highly Recommended!  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!


About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on May 3, 2013, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Of the hundreds of bands that are trying to sound like Sabbath, Orchid is one of the very few, who reaches their quality. I loved their debut and the EPs and Mouths of madness is lying at home to welcome me after my internship is over.

    Orchid are an outstanding band and Capricorn is nearly perfect. Also youre right, the Sabbath influence is omnipresent but their anything but a rip-off! But if you want to compare any band in the vein of Sabbath with the original then there is one thing none of those bands – even Orchid – seems to notice and seize: Black Sabbath incorporated a lot of different influences from Jazz and Blues and whatever and transformed those influences into a very diverse songwriting!

    Its too sad that Tony Iommi is mostly just copping his own riff-laden midtempo stuff since Mob rules. And judging after the single I fear that 13 will be as terribly boring and redundant as Forbidden…

    • You will be very pleased when you return to Germany. Same high quality as Capricorn and still a tweak in a new Sabbath-y direction.

      I hear you on the new Sabbath single, God Is Dead?, it has its killer moments, but, man does it get really fucking boring until that killer jam kicks in around the 7 min mark. There are also 2 live videos out of Sabbath playing 2 new songs live, and same problem as the studio single. I will still grab 13 no matter what, but I’ll feel really bad to have to call a turd a turd, especially when it’s one of my all time favorite bands. Not a very good first impression so far 😦

      I guess this Orchid record will make up for a lackluster Sabbath album if that happens. If it ends up kicking ass, double the fun!

      Oh, and thanks to you I’ve been listening to Royal Thunder’s CVI like there’s no tomorrow. Great recommendation!!!!

  2. Picked this up after first reading about it here and then streaming it repeatedly via the TunnelBear/Spotify setup you suggested. This is a great album that I cannot get enough of as I await arrival of the new Black Sabbath next month. I’m staying optimistic that “13” will be a lucky number.

    Forgive me if you’ve already mentioned it here on the site and I missed it, but together with Mouths of Madness I also picked up Abra Kadavar by throwback psychlords Kadavar. There’s Black Sabbath in their sound, but — to reference another of your posts — I can’t help but feeling this might be what Blue Cheer could have sounded like if they had come of age in 1972 vice 1968. For what it is worth …

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