Orphaned Land
Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (240 Reviews)
January 28th, 2018 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mabool this is not – it doesn’t have to be.

Orphaned Land has had a tumultuous career, and a variable roller coaster of album qualities to go with it. At a most obvious level, fans will compare records past and present (as well as those not yet made) to their opus Mabool. Fairly, it’s a strong starting point for new listeners, providing an instant ceiling for where Orphaned Land’s music should be but unfairly it creates a blinding experience in regards to the band’s new music. Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs is excellent, not because of Orphaned Land’s past records but simply because it stands alone as a profound, modern day melodic experience dabbling in Orphaned Land’s signature folk soundscapes.

For those new to Orphaned Land, there’s always been a general consensus that they will “never release another Mabool”. Various line-up changes have marred the band’s catalogue, shedding light on some problems found on previous records. Since the early nighties Orphaned Land have been fighting for recognition, restrained by their own take on Middle Eastern based melodic metal, while staying true to their own brand of accessible, quality melodic based metal and despite the unpreventable comparisons to the band’s (arguably) best album, Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs is a welcome addition to modern day metal, and a worthy successor to Mabool’s legacy.

Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs is a sixty-three minute foray into Israeli oriental melodic death metal, full of highlights built off Orphaned Land’s already definable soundscape. Opening the record is ‘The Cave’ where Kobi brings his usual clean vocal styles but also an improved growl (if used less frequent than most would prefer) that ties in with some expertly added choir passages providing true depth to Orphaned Land’s new music. All in all it’s not a too far away ask from the “traditional” Orphaned Land fans have come to recognise, only in 2018 the band is coming back full circle, even at the loss of a prominent guitarist in Yossi Saharon (this is the first record without Yossi).
As a whole, Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs has a real depth, Kobi uses his harsh vocals sparingly highlighting a primal rage only where context suits. The rest of the band then echoes his aggression instrumentally, telling a tale of mistrust in the media shown in ‘We Do Not Resist’. The music contrasts from dark and foreboding, to accessible and enchanting leaning into the oriental, folk sections that have helped defined Orphaned Land’s sound over the course of the last two (plus) decades. Contrast between tracks can be found, teasing at the listeners’ ability to combine light and dark. Tracks like ‘In Propaganda’ showcase a rather cinematic, orchestral feel giving extra life to Orphaned Land’s folk-y soundscape. In places, Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs becomes laden with nuances often found on a typical progressive rock album, while tying in with choir sections, bombarding instrumentals and excellently used native instruments and various guest appearances. Every component finds balance within the record’s tracks, often building on the very building blocks of what’s already there. For those worried about a downward spiral of quality on Orphaned Land’s 2018 effort, you’ll only find tid-bits of over-blown folk or slightly underdone melo-death.

Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs is a balanced, well-thought record giving an unparalleled appreciation of culture, religion, socio-politics and historic mythic within their sonic recipe for writing music. The album remains catchy and accessible even with repeated listens, allowing for maximum enjoyment as a standalone record. Understandably, listeners may find discomfort in finding an album not marked “Mabool Pt. 2” but, Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs continues to move this promising band forward into successful modern day metal appealing to metal fans across a broad number of sub-genres. Orphaned Land has released a strong record for 2018 without forgetting how they got to where they are.



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not another Machine Head review...

Dewinged
January 28th 2018


9541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And god bless u for that man. Only heard a couple of tracks but love those eastern influences. Great review Nocte.

Digging: Grayceon - IV

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to the whole thing, over and over again. Really loving this record at the moment

Elynna
January 28th 2018


196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Comparing this with Mabool is unavoidable, but is not necessarily a bad thing. It makes you appreciate all the more how this album is holding its own. I like how they returned to form, while not screwing around with their unique formula.

Digging: Vallendusk - Fortress of Primal Grace

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Completely agreed, but I’ve seen way too many opinions get hung up on what album this is not. It takes away from what’s right in front of you.

I consider this a bounce back for sure

kaparoni
January 28th 2018


320 Comments


This great band is from my country , Israel . They are really great . Love the new album .

teamster
January 28th 2018


2668 Comments


Band has been shit since Mabool, will give this a spin, probably one.

ChaoticVortex
January 28th 2018


606 Comments


All Is One was one of my favorite albums of 2013, will check this one out.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 28th 2018


26316 Comments


I love the cover art for this. Great review, too.

Digging: Shakey Graves - Can't Wake Up

DarkSideOfLucca
January 28th 2018


11076 Comments


Oh fuck yeah, I haven't heard these guys in ages

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2018


7827 Comments


Is this streaming somewhere?




Edit:

yes.
http://musicmp3.ru/artist_orphaned-land__album_unsung-prophets-and-dead-messiahs.html

Digging: Maverick - Cold Star Dancer

CugnoBrasso
January 28th 2018


206 Comments


I only listened to Mabool and ORwarriOR, and I'm among those fools who believe that ORwarriOR is a masterpiece, so I'll give this a try eventually.

Flugmorph
January 28th 2018


17999 Comments


pretty decent album

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Full released Voivod, if I can get it off da iTunes I think it’s time for a review

Crawl
January 28th 2018


2504 Comments


I'm new to this band and after two listens, this feels brutally cheesy. Is this a grower?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It’s supposed to reek with cheese, embrace it : ]

CugnoBrasso
January 28th 2018


206 Comments


Can we call this music genre klezmetal

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


8640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I’m not sure what would be the point

DarkSideOfLucca
January 28th 2018


11076 Comments


Just put this on now m/

About to vape because I'm an adult

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2018


7827 Comments


Full released Voivod, if I can get it off da iTunes I think it’s time for a review

Fair enough, the stream ask was for a quick album inspection.



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