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Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs Award winner

Orphaned Land
Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 19 December 2017, 7:55 AM

There’s one question that torments all those who are struggling for peace in the world: why does humanity keeps silent in the face of wars, corruption, economic crisis, when people are used as sacrifices to the corrupt gods from political powers or the employers? The answer seems to be on Plato’s allegory of the cave: mankind refuses to be free from any kind of slavery, because it demands effort. Many still prefer to live as slaves into a comfort zone in the actual world instead of fighting and making efforts for a better life for all. As the Greek people killed Socrates (the reason Plato wrote the cave’s allegory), you’ll find another good example on the Bible: all complains of Israeli people against Moses during the travel back to the Promised Land. How many times people wanted to go back to slavery on Egypt? Countless times…you’ll see if you read the books. Mankind doesn’t like changes that cost efforts. This is the main concept behind “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs”, ORPHANED LAND’s new album.

The album comes to answer a question as well: how the band would sound after Yossi Sassi left on 2014?

The answer is extremely simple: the same as always. Unlike “All is One”, where the harsh vocals were absent, they are back. We can say that ORPHANED LAND gave a step back to move two forward. It’s because they brought back some elements from “Mabool” and “The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR”, but keeping the excellent orchestrations and fluid melodies from the last album, along with some female voices and opera choirs. They’re in a constant evolution, but they are the ineffable kings of Oriental Metal.

The production was done by the band, having the genius Jens Bogren on the mix, and Tomas Lindgren made the mastering. All their work is up to keep the sound quality of the album perfect and fluid. Of course the clean moments have a clear insight, but they have excellent aggressive and heavy parts as well. All is perfect, fitting on what they play. The artwork for the cover is amazing, a fine work created by Metastazis, showing the deeper meaning of the lyrics.

The main lyrical concept of “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” deals with the human ignorance in the face of leaders and prophets who speak against the slavery, the darkness of ‘the cave’ that we all dwell. Men like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, the historical Jesus Christ, Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat, John F. Kennedy, Yitzhak Rabin and many others that have been killed for standing against the darkness of hate and ignorance. These men were prophets, maybe messiahs of new age, and all of them were assassinated for our own desire to keep ourselves in the same way. Our laziness has a high cost: the lives of the prophets and messiahs of our own times.

Musically, “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” is complex, but not as difficult to assimilate as many can think. Although all songs are wonderful, the introspective feeling that permeates the long “The Cave” (great guitars and vocals performances, along with fine choirs arrangements), the aggressive vocals on the harmonic lines of “We Do Not Resist” (that has a good presence of keyboards), the lovely oriental melodies of “In Propaganda” and of the beautiful “All Knowing Eye”, the adaptation of the traditional song “Yedidi” (a perfect mix between Metal and Oriental melodies), the seduction of the harmonies on “Chains Fall to Gravity” (that has as special guest Steve Hackett, GENESIS’ guitarist, maybe a friendly retribution for Kobi’s vocals on his latest solo album, “Night Siren”), the darkened and bitter atmosphere of the grandiose “Like Orpheus” (another moment filled with a melancholic feeling, where Hansi Kürsch, from BLIND GUARDIAN, appears as a guest on vocals), the acoustic and tender “Poets of Prophetic Messianism”, the ethereal setting of “Left Behind”, the bitter and beautiful oriental/gothic melodic sense of “My Brother’s Keeper”, the aggressiveness that arises from the weight of “Take My Hand” (that shows a great work from bass guitar and drums) and on “Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War” one of the heaviest songs of the album, focuses on harsh guttural voices, where Tomas Lindgren, from AT THE GATES, appears as a guest), and the sad and melancholic ending theme called “The Manifest - Epilogue” can be named as perfect Metal jewels. Yes, Big Daddy here had to write about all the songs, because this album is amazing, perfect in all arrangements and details, and my personal addiction for next times.

“Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” will be released on January, but it already is one of the best albums of 2018. Maybe it’s the creative peak of ORPHANED LAND.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Cave
2. We Do Not Resist
3. In Propaganda
4. All Knowing Eye
5. Yedidi
6. Chains Fall to Gravity
7. Like Orpheus
8. Poets of Prophetic Messianism
9. Left Behind
10. My Brother’s Keeper
11. Take My Hand
12. Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War
13. The Manifest - Epilogue
Kobi Farhi - Vocals
Chen Balbus - Guitars
Idan Amsalem - Guitars
Uri Zelcha - Bass
Matan Shmuely - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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