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Orchid - Wizard Of War

Wizard Of War
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 April 2013, 5:11 PM

Another one bites the dust, and I mean literally. Surely the 00s has been the breeding ground for the new 70s influenced acts. I am not going to start listing because I don’t want to babble about them nor I will not want any act that I might forget to be discouraged in any way. After reliving BLACK SABBATH and HAWKWIND along with other vintage icons following the paths of the German KADAVAR, Nuclear Blast Records has done it again, signing another band of the same with just the right attitude to match the misty years of fame and fortune. This time the challenge for the next 70s SABBATH is heating up with the American candidates, ORCHID. Right before reaching out with their second album, “The Mouths Of Madness”, it was decided that the foursome crew will release and EP in order to promote their new effort. This little, three tracks, parcel was titled “Wizard Of War”. Bestowed inside are the sounds of a different age, fuzzy, obscure, and even archaic towards the late 60s. But as you already perceived from the mentioned words upstairs in the paragraph, these are 70s SABBATH fans, so their music is accordingly. Gladly, that this small token hinted pretty well what is about to happen on the next release.

Turning up the heat, with smokes and chilling booze, is the persuasive “Wizard Of War”, a pure classic SABBATH track. On the other hand, unlike the German brothers, it seemed to me that ORCHID put more into the music rather than the sound. The musical direction is purely SABBATH, but there were a few additions strolling along like portions of the crafty KING CRIMSON and maybe also BLACK ROSE (yeah they were the masters of the occult even if not being heavy about it). “Demon's Eyes”, a sort of heaviness meets a rather frosty environment. Both vocals and drums made this one tick. It turned out to be an interesting track, pretty colorful. I was a bit troubled by the guitars at first, but after the second listen I came around. “Albatros” is the meaning of obscurity, another dopy, hazy kind of “Planet Caravan”, sailing across space and time following a mellow path. Being sucked into it might be a trip to bed but it can also be quite invigorating.

ORCHID low tuned their guitars but made them sound vintage; the drums made me feel as if Bill Ward was skinning the set that is also thanks to a skilled drummer like Carter Kennedy and by his side the sort of Geezer, Keith Nickel fueling the rhythm section with the right amount of depth and precision. Theo Mindell, flashing at the helm of the vocals, didn’t quite do the Ozzy thing as he resembled like an odd mixture of both Osbourne and Dio, vastly enthralling I might add. This guy has some voice, so fitting to both the music and the atmosphere shaped by it. At first I didn’t care much for the low tuned guitars, but Mark Thomas Baker, sharpening the axe, seemed quite capable of handling vintage soloing along with churned riffing. I was actually thrilled that Baker’s playing didn’t match anything that Iommi did. Summing up this trip with a quick look about through this band’s material, fortunately it turned out pretty good. The sophomore should be following the same stretch.      

4 Star Rating

1. Wizard of War
2. Demon's Eyes
3. Albatros
Theo Mindell - Vocals
Carter Kennedy -  Drums
Mark Thomas Baker - Guitar
Keith Nickel - Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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