Black Orchid Empire

2020

London based Heavy Rock band Black Orchid Empire (BOE) released their new Album 'Semaphore' on Friday 12th June on Long Branch Records. Arguably their finest work to date, 'Semaphore' is a record inspired by the genius of the greats of Science Fiction and is dedicated to their ever-growing Rock and Metal fanbase that is gaining momentum now globally.

We have closely followed the trio of Paul Visser, Billy Freedom and Dave Ferguson from their early days as “ones to watch”. Millions of music streams and ever growing socials is now testament to how hard these boys have worked to create huge, memorable Rock music that combines heavy-hitting savagery with intense melodic beauty to attack your senses. Their technical, fearlessly complex grooves and gigantic sing-along choruses give something for everyone to get their ears into.

A ferociously tight live band, BOE have toured Europe and the UK extensively, recently supporting Skunk Anansie on their sold out 25th anniversary shows, including Brixton Academy, Glasgow and Bournemouth. These appearances, as well as previous tours with HED p.e, INME, Black Map and Ravenface, combined with festival slots at Download, Standon Calling, Planet Rockstock, Camden Rocks, Teddy Rocks and Taubertal, sees the bands reputation ever growing.

'Semaphore' is the third of their current trilogy ('Archetype' and 'Yugen' preceding) that sees them continue to push the musical envelope. Indeed, the album title starts us on our intergalactic journey as the only way of being telepathic. A series of Flags that can send us visions - 'Semaphore'.

'Emissaries' - begins our music journey - a short prologue if you like at the beginning of the album that perfectly tees your senses up and almost lulls you into a false sense of serenity. Beautifully choreographed wording that ends with holding your imagery of a star ship rocket launch 3-2-1 before sublimely leading into the first track ….

'Singularity' - bursts into life setting your pants on fire before sending your head into instantaneous motion. A great opening track based around a stranded spaceship staring down the abys of a black hole (if you’re interested). A hard-hitting opener with some furious drumming by Billy “the real deal” Freedom and some serious badass bass from Dave Ferguson that has just had an equally badass visualiser drop (today's Video Of The Day).

'Natural Selection' - is a melodic belter with some excellent range changes and stick clicking. It’s also about aliens and has a rather good video alongside to accompany it.

'Motorcade' – a personal favourite of mine that I immediately fell for. Probably because its theme is about a secret assassin. It almost has a Motorhead feel start before rolling into a solid rhythm of drums, with plenty of melodic and heavy toneage. A rollercoaster monster of a track, best served along the high street with the windows down.

'Red Waves' - immediately has that Punky Clash feel to it. Amazing track that just won’t let you rest. BOE have a great way of building then releasing tunes that assault your senses up down, sideways, over, back again allowing you to build before releasing your energy into an all-out workout. It’s great for your fitness as well as your ears - honestly!

'Heliopause' - relax, float away, get ready.

'Winter Keeps Us Warm' – Winter Winter oh Winter. You know the anthem one – well this is it. Paul Visser’s vocals bring the harmony of this song together simply divinely. This track builds, your head gently swaying to a big sigh of his lullaby voice before you start your lung bursting chorus audience participation. Some fantastic range changes in this track - an absolute anthem you will be singing all the way home and with another excellent video to accompany it.

'Dust' - pardon? Furious riffage from the outset. A track that makes a bassist hands bleed and a drummer lose his sticks. Bring It!

'Faces' - is a pure technical genius of a track. I’m surprised a band could keep up playing this one live to be honest….. but they do and we're very lucky people. Fantastic rhythmic genius this one.

'Death from Above' - is up next and to be honest I cannot believe bass player Dave has any fingers left. Played loud this track will definitely get your neighbours attention… or the police.

'Evergreen' - the tracks on this album just get better and better. You could almost say this album has something literally for everyone. 'Evergreen' is another beautiful harmonic choreatic song that gets you singing a mini anthem. A track you can shout out with your headphones on and literally not care who is staring at you - just beautiful. Again, another great video for this one.

'Monolith' – bloody hell, keep up. A total wall of sound headbanging banger of a track that will shatter your PPE and melt your face orf.

'Crash' - ends the album. Its quite astounding how a track could almost leave you thinking you’ve heard it in a film somewhere.

The technical ability and production on this album along with great song writing brilliance has to make any Rock/Metal fan give it a little stream. We prefer the river version, but definitely 9/10 for pure enjoyment. We have an idea what’s coming for a 10 score, so keep your eyes on these guys. Never has there been a better time to be part of the Empire so if you get a chance after Covid - get along to see Black Orchid Empire live and release some of that lockdown tension. Live gig/tour dates on their website www.blackorchidempire.com

Darren KIng

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