Helsinki, 20.1.2018 Golden Classics Cafe & Bar
As I had never heard of it, I tried to figure out: Who and what exactly is Orkid? It’s, as the title already tells, a rock fantasy opera, about Orkid, the queen of the Orkid people (something like orc in Finnish), at their everlasting war with the elves. Only, that the Orkid are the good ones here, and the elves are the bad guys. It tells, as its creator Matti Häyry sais, what really happened behind the scenes at the Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings.
And who is Orkid? Well, it’s creator is Matti Häyry, a professor of Philosophy at Aalto university in Finland, who is as well and author of plenty of books . Not exactly, whom you’d expect, to create something like that. The performers are ”Visitors from Bellatrix”, singers / musicians from Finland and abroad.
Interactive gallery below, or click on it and enjoy the photos on Flickr
I went there with an open mind and open ear, to just let it surprise me. And in fact, I was surprised! I had more or less expected a kitchen table arrangement and maybe at best a school-play like performance, but got presented with a quite professional production and skilled musicians and singers.
The sound is very much 70s and late 60s classic rock, with dominating doomy-gloomy guitars, reminding a lot of Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. The performance is 16 songs and lasts about 75 minutes, and amongst them you find straight in your face heavy rock and a few ballads alike. Especially the voice of Bonnie Parker, the Orkid queen stood out to me, and the video of that performance, which you can find on Orkids facebook page, does her absolutely no justice, you can’t hear, how strong her voice is in reality. You’ll find some famous name here, too, with Jan Rechberger, the drummer of Amorphis.
So to friends of good old school classic rock music, that happen to like Tolkien and fantasy stories too, I can only recommend to check them out. Their CD has just been released, and can be found on Spotify as well.
Orkid is the first part of a trilogy, so more is to come!
text & photos: Melanie Kircher