Orchid Sign of the Witch

Orchid Sign of the Witch
Though it's always a great time for Sabbath-inspired metal — catchy, riff-heavy, doom-y — right now is an especially prime time for a band like Orchid to shine. Doom is back with a vengeance, and mainstream rock and indie bands are taking a cue from '70s groove as well. Orchid seem to be tapping into this vibe and energy with their latest release, Sign of the Witch.

The EP is short and sweet, featuring only four songs, but these are enough to establish a groove and get hardcore listeners exited for a full release. Orchid are both heavy and catchy, their riffs memorable. The record starts strongly with the EP's title track, which sets the tone with hooks and feeling aplenty. The haunting "On Strange Winds" is another highlight.

The only drawback here is that it's just a hint too derivative; this sound has been done before, by many bands and in many ways. That's fine — groovy, catchy never goes out of style — but Orchid really do sound almost exactly like Sabbath, and lack some of the punch and innovation that other bands of their ilk have. They evoke Electric Wizard, and Orchid are definitely no Wizard when it comes to groundbreaking originality and unstoppable funkiness.

Regardless, Sign of the Witch is solid heavy, doom-y rock; diehard fans of the genre won't be disappointed. (Nuclear Blast)