Bangalore, India’s Orchid show off their eccentric brand of progressive metal on their new album, Miasma.
Residing somewhere between the works of Ron Jarzombek, mathcore and progressive metal, Orchid‘s sound may be just the kind of spastic freakout tech metal fans are looking for. Off-kilter staccato riffing, grinding dissonance, angular guitar acrobatics, dreamy jazz interludes, practically everything one can expect from a band like Orchid is proudly put on display throughout Miasma.
Tracks such as “Solipsist” and “Master Supreme” are short, sweet, and insanely dizzying. The guitars churn out vast arrays of riffs that feverishly shape-shift within the songs’ short timeframes. Thrashing grooves bleed into atonal chords and back again. Aberrated metallic hardcore stampede through shifting time signatures and converge with galloping, seizure-like beatdowns. These tracks constitute the more “straightforward” moments on the record, although the record is anything but straightforward.
The seven-minute “Dead End” is one of the more standout tracks on the record. It begins with 90 or so seconds of frenzied math metal instrumentation before breaking into a long, psychedelic jazz section complete with virtuosic bass solos and glossy keyboard leads. Another standout track, “Sugar Pill”, weaves together lengthy displays of interstellar gypsy jazz, avant-metal exhibitions, and straightforward punk riffs. The unpredictable nature of the songs works to Miasma’s favor, for the most part.
But there are moments on the record where its constantly shifting song structures become problematic. As with a lot of albums of its ilk, the need to churn out as many musical passages as possible leads to some choppy transitions or bloated songs, as is the case with album opener “Obsolescence” for example. Sections of songs can be lost in the momentum of everything or just be forgotten altogether. Miasma does a decent job of being interesting and engaging, but there moments where things simply don’t stick.
Despite its shortcomings, Orchid‘s Miasma is a very eclectic technical/progressive metal record that is sure to appease fans of Spastic Ink, early Between the Buried and Me, and the early 2000s mathcore scene as a whole.
Release Date: January 10, 2019
Favorite Tracks: “Solipsist”, “Dead End”, “Sugar Pill” and “Disassembly Line”
For Fans Of: Spastic Ink, Blotted Science, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Behold…The Arctopus!