- Lenny Mullins
- Orchid's Curse clean up nicely
With tons of acclaim under their beards, including two ECMW nominations for Loud Recording of the Year, the Dartmouth dudes of Orchid's Curse release their third studio album, Words, at The Seahorse on Friday. Presented by Red Tentacle PR and the label Diminished Fifth Records (both co-run by vocalist Josh Hogan), Orchid's Curse will be joined by local heavies Black Moor and PITH, the death metal band of the album's producer, Jason Vautour.
Following 2010's Voices with 11 tracks of progressive, aggressive heavy experi-metal, Orchid's Curse went ultra-pro this time around, taking the tracks through demos and pre-production with a professional crew. Developed over three incarnations, Words is the first release to feature the songwriting of all five current members, and they're eager to to show it off.
"All bands hope to take every album a step further, so we want to turn some of those nominations into awards," says bassist Kevin Mombourquette. To accomplish that, Orchid's Curse hired established musician Vautour to crank the VU metre at Codapop Studios. "He really lit a fire under us," says Hogan. "It was a huge experience to work with a professional like him. Actually, everybody we worked with on this record really stepped it up."
"Yeah, everyone definitely had the same passion as us to turn this into something good, something to be really proud of," adds Mombourquette. The objectivity and extra ears of the crew helped to refine the tracks, says guitarist (and only original member) Brian Jones.
"We have a one-minute doom-grind song, a three-and-a-half minute groovy southern instrumental, a crusty thrash-punk song---we've really stepped even more out of our zone with this album," says Hogan. "We all have a lot of influences and drastically different tastes," says drummer Bobby Webb. "Yeah, and this is the first album that really showcases that," says Mombourquette.
"But it all still sounds like Orchid's Curse," Webb says. The album art, inspired by medieval stained glass, was designed by guitarist Keith MacLeod, who wanted to capture the vibe of the band and Hogan's lyricism. "It really reflects the religious overtones," says MacLeod.
But religiosity is both a lyrical and a visual theme. The band just wrapped up filming a video for "If We're Divine," the fourth track and first single, in the basement of the Sonic Concerts office. "We also shot a wooded chase scene featuring a priest and a surprise visitor. I don't want to give too much away but there was running, a little blood, a little gore," Hogan says. The video will be released in late April or early May.
By then, Orchid's Curse will be finishing up an eastern tour with Ottawa's BIIPIIGWAN to open shows across the Maritimes for Victoria's 3 Inches of Blood and blackened death metal band, Goatwhore, from New Orleans. These beard enthusiasts seem ready for growth.
"The whole beard thing started off as a joke because Kevin can't grow a beard," explains Jones of the super-popular Grow a Fucking Beard band t-shirts that caught on. Over the last year and a half, Orchid's Curse has sold over 500 of them, branding the band as beard lovers.
"To be honest, I keep a beard because I got a mean double-chin underneath," says Jones, laughing. "It's all fun but I like whiskey more than beards," Hogan says. "Throw whiskey instead!"
w/Black Moor, PITH
Friday, March 22, 10pm, $10/$13
The Seahorse, 1663 Argyle Street