Sound — 10
If you know anything about punk rock in the late '90s early 2000s, then Orchid should already be a household name. Their sound would prove incredibly influential and would constantly be copied. Incredibly emotive shrieks and yelps from Jayson Green (a.k.a. the voice of skramz), the octave chords that would be played at light-speed from Will Killingsworth, and light-speed drums to keep up with the madness. Basically grind mixed with the other screamo bands of the time (e.g. Saetia, Indian Summer). But, every now and then, especially as they kept going, there would be a moment of absolute beauty in the midst of the chaos. Their debut, "Chaos Is Me," is as the title states, and their final album, "Gatefold" (or "Orchid"), is more progressive, dare I say it. This album is somewhere in the middle of those two, with less chaos and more beauty than their debut, but more chaos than "Gatefold." Jayson screams his heart out and his band pounds away behind him; there's really nothing quite like it. Many have tried to copy them, and some have done quite well, but no one truly harnesses the emotional chaos that is Orchid.
Lyrics — 10
One of the main things Orchid is known for are the brilliant lyrics of Jayson Green. He commented on sexuality, punk politics, philosophy, short stories, and various other emo topics. He referenced philosophers and writers such as Anna Karina, Friedrich Nietzche, Guy Debord, and many others. No one really did it as well as he did, since he always made it feel and sound genuine. He meant everything he discussed, and it was written in such a poetic way that it could be read by itself and be almost as powerful. I don't even need to pick any specific tracks to show examples, just pick any of them and see for yourself. Jayson might only scream/talk his lyrics, but you can't deny how powerful the delivery is and the weight of the words themselves.
Overall Impression — 9
If this were released by any other band it would be a 10, but since Orchid's other LPs are slightly better, this one will seem inferior in comparison. But, it's still a masterpiece of emotion, chaos, and poetry. I would call it their definitive output, but it's not quite their best. In another context it would be, but this is Orchid we're talking about. Of all the essential screamo/skramz bands, this is the most important one historically and probably the best there was. Simply put, it's their middle album between the aptly-titled "Chaos Is Me" and the more experimental "Gatefold." Pick it up now.