Sounding like Black Sabbath has become a trend in recent years. It started with stoner doom metal bands in the ’90s like Sleep, Acid King, and Electric Wizard. The tradition continues today with acts such as Sheavy, The Sword, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats; and who can blame them? Black Sabbath created an entire genre and had a very distinct, dynamic sound. However, one band sticks out from the rest for a particular reason: Orchid, named after the mellow track from Master of Reality. Out of all of these bands, they sound the most like Sabbath. The members look like they are time travelers from the ’70s. Singer Theo Mindell sounds very Ozzy-esque. The songwriting, riffs, and lyrics all evoke The Sabs… possibly too much.
The band had their debut release in 2009 with the EP Through the Devil’s Door. They definitely showed that they are a ’70s revival band. “Eastern Woman” is a great track and the band laid the groundwork for a promising musical career. Then their debut full-length Capricorn was released. It is by no means bad, but often nailed the Sabbath influence way too hard. Some tracks sound like a specific Sabbath song, such as “Down into the Earth” being like “Into the Void” and “Wizard of War” (from their sophomore album) being similar to “Symptom of the Universe.” Other times, melodies are directly lifted from the Birmingham Boys. “Capricorn” takes from “The Thrill of it All” and “Loving Hand of God” borrows from “After Forever.” Not only do they wear their influence on their sleeves, it is tattooed all over their faces.
So, is Orchid a Black Sabbath rip-off? Kind of. Do I still like them? Yes. They do not always sound just like Sabbath, but they have the vibe throughout. Black Sabbath is my favorite band and I am a sucker for anything that sounds like them. Who could blame them for wanting to sound like the pioneers of heavy metal? The sound that Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward forged was and is a powerful force.
If you listened to every song ever recorded, anything new would sound like a remix at best. Yes, they directly take from Black Sabbath sometimes, yet Sabbath did the same thing with other artists a few times here and there. Ultimately, it all comes down to whether you like the music or not. I am going to see Orchid live when they finally play a show on the east coast of the U.S. and I will be “that guy” and shout “BLACK SABBATH!!! BLACK SABBATH!!!” because let’s be honest.
I have three questions for you:
1. Do you think Orchid is a Black Sabbath rip-off?
2. Do you like Orchid?
3. Does your answer to #1 affect your answer of #2?
Theo Mindell: Vocals
Carter Kennedy: Drums
Mark Thomas Baker: Guitar
Keith Nickel: Bass