Sound — 9
Seminal screamo and hardcore band Orchid released their debut album "Chaos Is Me" in 1999, and the album is now regarded as a classic in underground hardcore, and are a huge influence on many of the newer bands in the genre, but the band itself only lasted the guts of five years, and yet the scope of their influence can still be seen a decade on.
Orchid's ability to transition between sombre passages to chaotic walls of noise and brazen, orchestrated chaos is unmatched by many in the genre. The level of sync involved with the musicians is really impressive, with their guitarist Will, bassist Geoff and drummer Jeffrey all having fantastic musical chemistry. The drumming and guitar get insanely intense and overall is an abrasive and fantastic listen, with stellar production.
Lyrics — 9
Lead vocalist Jayson is an absolutely intense singer and is as passionate as he is frenzied. His screams add texture to thick, impenetrable soundscape and contributes a lot to the organised noise. I adore the lyrics on this LP, for instance the lyrics on "Epilogue of a Crash":
"I was crying, you were laughing,
Hit in the face, blood on the snow, we were never happier (we were never happy)."
Or on "Le Desordre, C'est Moi":
"Complete self destruction
All the watches stop when the first brick was thrown
Chaos is me."
Maybe it's just my own relation to them but I love these lyrics and I find them just great.
Overall Impression — 9
This album has the absolute best songs and performances orchid had to offer, maybe I'm biased since this album is very close to my heart. For singular songs, I recommend "Epilogue of a Car Crash," "Boy With No Arms," and "Le Desordre, C'est Moi." The album is punishing, somber, life and death all at once. And at only 18 minutes you've got nothing to lose. It's a fantastic album and a proud addition to anyone's collection, so pick it up on Discogs or eBay or whatever your industry poison is and listen to a piece of underground history, and - in my opinion - a modern classic.