Released: 2006, Diminished Fifth Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
It took a lot longer than expected but it seems metalcore has soldiered its way across the 49th parallel and nestled comfortably in Nova Scotia. On their seven-song E.P., GOODBYE IS WHEN THE CASKET CLOSES, Dartmouth’s Orchid’s Curse (formerly known as October Crisis) wave the flag of Gothenburg melodeath-meets-thrash-meets-hardcore that has been professed by bands like All That Remains, Bury Your Dead, etc. for the better part of five years now. Orchid’s Curse have clearly studied up on Pantera’s VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER, as well, in terms of vocal style. Josh Hogan barks, bellows and growls over the melodic riffs and leads of Paul Slaunwhite and Brian Jones making pretty standard fare for the genre, but where Orchid’s Curse excels is they avoid the trappings of the swoopy haircuts, clean vocals and other clichéd nonsense. What does hamper GOODBYE IS WHEN THE CASKET CLOSES is the sub-par production. For an indie release, I have heard better, especially the wet “thwap” of the kick drum and hollow-sounding bass (think Metallica’s …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL) that runs throughout. Still, for a first effort, Orchid’s Curse has done pretty well.
Like any metalcore release, the first thing that grab’s one’s attention is the sweeping guitar melodies. Slaunwhite and Jones bring plenty of bite to the table on “Obsession” and “Mark This Day” without excessive noodling or fretboard wankery. The two really let loose on “Style Bleeds” with a shredding solo and thrashy outro that cooks. Bobby Webb’s drum intro to “Secure The Insecure” is worthy of a mention and Hogan’s Anselmo-isms on “Suckerpunch” will ignite many a moshpit. Breakdowns are inserted sparsely here and there and the half hour it takes to run through GOODBYE IS WHEN THE CASKET CLOSES passes by rather painlessly.
Orchid’s Curse isn’t doing anything revolutionary on GOODBYE IS WHEN THE CASKET CLOSES and like many of their metalcore brethren releasing their debut albums this late in the game, it’s pretty difficult to get overly excited. For someone just wading into the metalcore swamp, this release would be a respectable starting point as the band nails all the necessary elements but there is a bit of a “been there, done that” feeling that hangs over everything for those us who have been there since the beginning.
KILLER KUTS: “Secure The Insecure,” “Mark This Day,” “Suckerpunch,” “Style Bleeds”