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Orchid's Curse - "Words" (CD)

Orchid's Curse - "Words" CD cover image

"Words" track listing:

1. Baptismalpractice (4:40)
2. For Those Who Grovel (4:55)
3. Lie to Live the Lie (3:39)
4. If We're Divine (3:31)
5. Indifferences (2:25)
6. Words (1:05)
7. Provisions for a Journey (3:36)
8. Through the Hourglass (3:37)
9. We Sigh (4:15)
10. His Servants (4:40)
11. The Masquerade of Sin (5:30)

Reviewed by on April 16, 2013

"An abundance of wicked riffs and mooted aggression work over the listener to Orchid’s Curse’s side by the time the final statement of intent to kill is made with 'The Masquerade of Sin.'"

Orchid’s Curse is a Canadian band well-versed in the art of groove-infused melodic death metal. They put up an impressive front on their last album, “Voices: The Tales of Broken Men,” finding a quaint symmetry between a slightly progressive front and a rage-filled battering of metal. “Words” doesn’t exploit this dynamic, instead relying on a direct sensory assault. It’s less forward-thinking, but it sure delivers a whammy of a record for the band.

There’s no looming instrumental to whisk away to this time around to start the album off, but an intense following of hatred seething out of “Baptismalpractice.” A fluid guitar solo is built into the cogs of the death metal machine, fixing the song up with the right touch of differing sonic elements. The guitar work is a vital piece for Orchid’s Curse on “Words,” and songs like “Lie to Live the Lie” and “If We’re Divine” sparkle brightly because of electric leads. That’s one of the trademarks from the “Voices” album that was properly brought over to “Words.”

The band will remind some of Pantera and At The Gates, and there’s a distinct modern leaning to their death metal roots. However, they are not tied down to that particular genre for the duration of the album. There’s a hardcore mosh attached to the otherwise-filler title track, and the instrumental “Provisions for a Journey” is prog metal worship. Placed in the middle of the album, it’s a welcomed retreat from the typical fare that surrounds it. The musicians in the band know how to play, and “Provisions for a Journey” affords them the chance to do just that.

A few of the songs, as well as the vocals, could have benefited from this mindset. The harsh screams put a point across, but they can get a little monotonous. “We Sigh” has a great outro of noise that sets the tone for the destructive tendencies put forth through “His Servants.” The lack of moody qualities beyond this outro is apparent, which was not the case on their last album. Orchid’s Curse is blunt with their approach, and that works for them, but it also tends to carry with it a moniker of familiarity that is hard to shake.

Better production and more time to work out the kinks proves invaluable for Orchid’s Curse on “Words.” There’s a distinct lack of rust in their playing or songwriting, and that translates to a sharper album than their previous one. It’s more direct, which means that the surprises are kept to a minimum, but the band finds their footing with “Words.” An abundance of wicked riffs and mooted aggression work over the listener to Orchid’s Curse’s side by the time the final statement of intent is made with “The Masquerade of Sin.”

Highs: Melodic death metal with some groove, album never lacks excitement, proggy instrumental “Provisions for a Journey”

Lows: Not as dynamic as their last record, a few filler tracks

Bottom line: Orchid's Curse provides modern death metal fans a collection of solid material that should keep them entertained.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)