If you've never heard of Orphaned Land
, and I won't be surprised if you haven't, there is no better time than now. The album which I am about to review is no ordinary album, but then again they are no ordinary band. Hailing from Israel, Orphaned Land
are a band who mix the traditional folklore of Israel and Arabia with Progressive Death Metal.
Birth Of The Three (The Unification)
Originally Posted by The concept behind the album
"It is starting with the birth of the three heroes, then describes their whole journey including all their adventures and finally ends with the flood which fills, covers and destroys the sinful Orphaned Land by a raging storm. The three heroes are the Snake, the Eagle and the Lion (check their sign, the triangle of the three which will be included in the artwork of the album) and they are described as the sons of Seven. They are the sons of the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and despite the war of beliefs running in today's reality the heroes to prevent more bloodshed. Sadly their mission fails and thus they have to face the flood"
To be frank, I will be so bold as to say this album is a complete masterpiece. Although somewhat reminiscent to Opeth, there is literally no other album that sounds like this. Whether it is something as simple as the bands usage of female vocals or the integration of instruments such as a Bouzouki and Oud, Orphaned Land
use oriental elements flawlessly; they stand out and distinguish the album, but are never overbearing. The album is sung in many languages (English, Hebrew, Arabic, Yemenite and Latin) as well as a form of Gibberish (this is what the band refers to it as) that band themselves have created.
Instantly when listening to the album the listener will know this is not a typical metal album. The album starts off with what is said to be a recording of singers on an Indian street, but that quickly fades into the sound Orphaned Land
have perfected over the years, a sound so varied yet so distinguished it's just impossible to forget. Using both clean and harsh vocals, not to mention a full choir and female vocals, the first song set's the pace, if you can call it that, for the rest of the album. The music is captivating and complex, melodic yet intense. The band has managed to utilize not only their talent to the fullest, but the talent of their guest musicians. The overall sound of the album is hard to describe, it really must be heard to be believed.
The arrangements, the vocals, the instruments; the album is perfect. Whether it's using quiet acoustic passages or heavier metal segments, you're always being challenged with this record. The album is as close to perfection as possible; the vocals are both beautiful and yet intensely heavy. The usage of somewhat Spanish style acoustic guitar parts in cohesion with metal works perfectly. The Middle Eastern percussion melds perfectly with the drums. I realize I've yet to really distinguish the sound, but it's merely because there's just so much going on. The story is beautiful, the lyrics are wonderful and the music is top notch. This is easily one of the greatest albums I have ever heard, and while it may seem like a bold statement, once you hear the album you will understand. Although it took 8 years for this album to come out, I think it was well worth it. Orphaned Land
has managed to make a classic album, an album with literally no faults. The album is long, but never drags. It's complicated but not for the sake of being complicated. The album is a work of art.
Stand out Moments
The transition from an almost latin sounding acoustic passage to a very, for lack of a better word, Jewish metal passage at the beginning of "Norra El Norra - Entering the Ark"
The diversity of "Halo Dies - The Wrath of God"
. The tempo changes and wonderfully executed clean vocals, the synthezisers and the crushing guitars.
The choir passages mixed with Middle Eastern percussion and a piano during "Building the Ark"
I could go on for days, just do yourself a favour and pick this up.
Whatever you want to call it, this album is perfect and it must be heard. I apologize for this not being the most professional review, but I'm just at a loss for words. This album is a must hear.
Thanks for reading