Orchid

The Zodiac Sessions (Nuclear Blast)

SXSW 2014 Records

Orchid

The Zodiac Sessions (Nuclear Blast)

San Francisco quadruped Orchid made a splash with last year's The Mouths of Madness, justifying the reissue of its early work. The Zodiac Sessions pairs debut EP Through the Devil's Doorway with its first full-length Capricorn for 75 minutes' worth of occult proto-metal mania. Channeling a few centuries of esoteric beliefs into a baker's dozen tracks, the band warns about the "Eyes Behind the Wall," invites the unwary to a "Black Funeral," beckons us "Down Into the Earth" and "Into the Sun," and pays tribute to the "Masters of It All," the "Cosmonaut of Three," and of course "He Who Walks Alone." Buy into the mythology or don't; Mark Thomas Baker's meteoric riff-pummel, Theo Mindell's demonic yowl, and the black acid-devil melodies matter more than mystic mind-melding. Imagine the midpoint between Master of Reality and Heaven and Hell and you're halfway down this rabbit hole. (1am, Red 7)

***.5

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